Working with Relational Leading and Sensemaking in Teams of Leaders

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In recent years an increasing interest has been paid to the relational aspects of leading and some scholars have even started using the term relational leading as a specific understanding of leadership. This movement is highly influenced by the dialogical turn in both social and human sciences and, in relation to this, social constructionist ideas. Relational leading is linked to a relational understanding, which puts dialogue at the center of organizational life and understands leading as a shared activity, where persons in relationship move the organization forwards, rather than the result of a single person’s achievement. In this understanding, leading is seen as a co-created activity, rather than a personality trait or a personal attribute.
When relational leading builds on the understanding of leading as a shared activity, basic principles such as dialogue, multivocality, co-creation and sensemaking become crucial, and special attention is paid to the development of communication skills. Leading is here seen as skillful participation in dialogically based processes of sensemaking and coordinated action, where communication is understood as a process of mutually meaning making – a process of continuous coordination.
The chapter unfolds and discusses fundamental aspects of relational leading seen from a social constructionist stance. The chapter also provides the reader with a short illustrative example from my practice while working with a team of leaders (officially appointed managers) at a vocational school.
Translated title of the contributionDialogisk og relationel ledelsespraksis
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Sage Handbook of Social Constructionist Practice
EditorsSheila McNamee, Mary Gergen, Celiane Camargo Borges, Emerson Rasera
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherSAGE Publications
Publication dateOct 2020
ISBN (Print)987-1-5264-8887-9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Relational Leading
  • leadership development
  • Social constructionism
  • relational constructionism
  • Sensemaking
  • Team development
  • Role playing
  • Management development
  • Organizing
  • Organization

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