The Five Commitments of Optimistic Leaders: They Work Together © 2013

Another argument is brewing as Chandra tells her daughter, 10-year-old Rosie, to stop pestering her little brother, Dexter. As usual, Rosie ignores her and continues to tease her brother. This dynamic happens at least ten times a day and Chandra can’t see beyond the struggle. She’s furious with Rosie and annoyed with herself for not being able to resolve it.

Perhaps this story feels familiar to you. Let’s use the Five Commitments of Optimistic Leadership to support Chandra in changing the dynamic to create a new scenario. As we analyze Chandra’s situation, we begin to make connections from one commitment to another, just like playing a game of connect the dots.

Let’s watch how this unfolds for Chandra as she takes some time to think.

Chandra cultivates self-awareness by pausing to step back and reflect.

Chandra wants to nurture her relationship with Rosie and Dexter, and she also wants to nurture their relationship with each other.

Chandra begins activating curiosity.

Chandra realizes that she has to refine communication.

Chandra thinks impact. .

Three days later, Chandra is at the computer when she hears the beginning of another squabble between Rosie and Dexter.

Chandra uses self-awareness: .

Chandra decides to nurture relationships.

She activates curiosity

She refines communication

Chandra already feels the impact of her decision to respond in a different way.

As Optimistic Leaders, we find that the commitments are connected one to another. That’s why we like to think about them as “connecting the dots”. As Chandra moves through her situation, she began with one commitment and then relied on the next to help her navigate to an effective outcome. The commitment you begin with is likely to be the one that fits the best in the moment. Of course, it takes practice with the Five Commitments to feel comfortable integrating them in everyday situations. Think about the value using them would have in both your personal and professional lives. We invite you to try them out.

Co-authored by Judy Jablon and Laura Ensler

© Leading for Children, 2020

Judy is the Executive Director of Leading for Children, a national nonprofit that empowers early childhood professionals to be leaders and learners.

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