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Connecting Minds & Souls through 'Mutual Mind States'

The Principal's Blog
October 27, 2019

RARE Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits for Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People You Lead by Jim Wilder and Marcus Warner

With only two weeks left before Dr. Jim Wilder shares about 'Parents as Rare Leaders,' there is still time to join other parents and staff in engaging with this very helpful recess. Our front office still has a few copies available for $10. You may also purchase from online or local stores.

In thinking about this topic, I was drawn back to this passage from ch. 5, pages 101-102, where the authors discuss the concept of mutual mind states.

"Mutual mind states develop strong group identity... when two brains establish a mutual mind state we sense the other person 'gets it',' 'understands,' 'is genuine,' and even 'knows me.'

Mutual mind states work by using mirror neurons. These neurons are activated when they 'see' something that resembles their activity in another mind...

Mutual mind states are generally developed face-to-face from gestures, facial expressions, voice tones, synchronized energy levels, and mirrored mind states run faster than conscious thought. Without mutual mind states people do not share the same reactions, motivation, and direction. It is obvious that leaders must be really good with mutual mind states if they are to coordinate, lead, and motivate groups to work together at the same time, in the same direction, and with the same goals...

If we are not conditioned to stay in a mutual mind state when life becomes stressful or exciting, we will lose the use of our relational circuits...every brain has more identity potential than has been awakened. Through mutual mind we use that mirror potential to grow a joyful and highly motivated identity in our group. Awakening new parts of self helps grow a group identity because we realize that in this group we are more than we were before. The same mutual mind states and skills that build a group identity will strengthen and build fast-track functions.

What an interesting idea to consider -- two minds, souls, and beings, impacting each other. One realizes how much we impact each other for better or worse and particularly how we 'speak' through so many aspects of relationship.

As the preeminent leaders in our children's and student's lives, we have the privilege and responsibility to form much of how our children relate to their reality. Each adult in our community has the capacity to grow and lead in a way that will cultivate within a child a better foundation for a mature adulthood.

Obeying Christ's command to 'let the little children come unto me' certainly includes treating and training young people as He sees them -- full of potential, value, and purpose. The great thing is that as his disciples we can learn new ways of relating and being if we seek wisdom and discernment. Growing in our heart, soul, and mind has to come before we can help a child do the same.

What a privilege to grow with children! And what a challenge! I am grateful that we have the each other, people like Jim Wilder,the heritage of Christ's body through the scriptures and experiences of those who have gone before us, and most importantly the Holy Spirit to guide. May we grow in this practice of attuning with young people in a way that will point them to the goodness of God.