Leading a group through feeling: Teaching by the movement of learning

Leading a group through feeling: Teaching by the movement of learning

Authors

Published

The Physicality of Leadership: Gesture, Entanglement, Taboo, Possibilities" (Monographs in Leadership and Management, Vol. 6), pp. 21, December 2014

Abstract

In this chapter, I re-frame leading in organizing as teaching and identify physical movement as a core mechanism through which leaders are sensitive and responsive to the progress of their group’s learning. To demonstrate this, I analyze interview data with choral and orchestral conductors in terms of Sheets-Johnstone’s (1999/2011) four qualities of movement: tension, linearity, amplitude, and projection. These four qua- lities serve as a grammar or set of basic categories to better understand how and why leaders move in certain ways in relation to their followers, for the sake of the latter’s learning and the collective ability to accom- plish organizational goals. The ability to categorize conductors’ physical movements and the movement of the ensemble’s learning can help practi- tioners and scholars to assess the congruence between the two. With this grammar in hand, leaders can better assess and articulate what kinds of movements can be performed when, in order to guide the progress of their group’s collective learning.