Nia Thomas [00:00:00]:
Hello, and welcome to the Knowing Self, Knowing Others podcast discussing self aware leadership with thinkers from around the globe. Join me, your host, Leah Thomas, as we talk to today’s guest.

Nia Thomas [00:00:11]:
Listeners, I’m joined today by Serena Lowe. I first heard Serena talking on the soft skills for leaders podcast. I I was really interested in her take on introverts and introvert leaders. So contacted Lorena after that podcast and asked if she would come and talk to us about self aware leadership. Serena is an introverted coach and a trauma informed coach for people pleasers and perfectionist. She empowers quiet achievers to grow into quiet warriors, and she’s the host of the Quiet Warrior podcast. Serena, it’s lovely to talk to you again.

Serena [00:00:45]:
Thank you very much, Nia, for having me here.

Nia Thomas [00:00:48]:
It’s wonderful. Serena, tell us a bit more about Trauma informed coaching. What does that mean? I’m hearing the words trauma informed in lots of different places. But in terms of your coaching, what exactly does it mean?

Serena [00:01:01]:
So I think the easiest way I can explain that is to say that when it comes to a lot of talk therapy, and that includes coaching, The emphasis is working from the neck up, and that is we tell people, you know, you need to change your mindset, you need to think differently, you need to learn all these new skills. So that’s very much a focus on the thinking, the brain. What we’re telling people is, you know, you need to change the way you are right now. But sometimes what happens is people get stuck with a change. So on the intellectual level, the logical level, they know what they need to do. They know what they’re not doing, but they still can’t get going with it. They still get stuck, and they still go round and round in a in a vicious cycle trying to Get to that place of breakthrough. And for many of them, they have been through some kind of trauma, which they may or may not be aware of, that has affected them very deeply to the extent that they don’t feel safe inside their bodies.

Serena [00:02:00]:
So their minds may be telling them, You need to do this. You need to inculcate this new habit. You need to speak in the certain way, communicate better, and so on. And they say yes, yes, yes. But then Somewhere else in their bodies, they are resisting because it doesn’t feel safe. Something in the past has happened that has not been addressed, has not been healed, And that is blocking them from being in alignment, incoherence. And so there is this conflict between the inner and the outer. And so they can’t resolve that, and they can’t make the change and get the breakthrough that they need.

Nia Thomas [00:02:35]:
That’s really helpful. My background is in, leadership management within the children and preschool children Hector. And when we talk about trauma, we’re often talking about neglect, abuse, domestic abuse that is significant trauma. But what I’m coming to notice is that, actually, trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes people may have had sexual harassment in the workplace or a bereavement that might have impacted them significantly, and all of these things We take into our adult lives and as we grow and as we change, all of those things come along with us Unless we have the opportunity to address them. Let’s talk about self awareness and and self aware leadership. How does self awareness really play a role in effective leadership, especially when we’re talking about introverted leaders?

Serena [00:03:33]:
So I would say that self awareness is the foundation stone of emotional intelligence. And if you look at it from the 4 quadrant framework Used by the Institute of Social and Emotional Intelligence, you start off with knowing yourself and managing your own emotions, And then you move outwards into managing your relations with others and and your emotional responses to them. So it always has to begin With self awareness, there is a need for an ability to honestly look at oneself, to know one’s strengths, To know one’s weaknesses as well, your values, your drivers, why you feel the way you do, why you act the way you do, And to be honest and recognize that there are areas of your life where you have your own fears, your own prejudices, your own beliefs, And to know what the source of these is. So when you’re self aware, then you are better able to regulate your emotions and foster Healthy self acceptance and self regard, and you can also better manage how you respond to people and situations. And what this calls for actually is Moral courage. It also requires honesty, and it requires humility. Now when a leader lacks self awareness, What they have is blind spots. So they can’t see themselves clearly either because they can’t or because they’re unwilling to.

Serena [00:04:59]:
And that means they lack input on where they are succeeding and where they are failing, so they don’t have the information they need to improve. And what can happen is that without that self awareness, there is this danger, the risk that in relating With others and particularly in leading others, they may hurt or demoralize the people they work with without realizing that they are doing so. Now when you said Introverted leaders and self awareness. I would say that most introverted leaders by nature of their tendency to self reflect would be highly self aware, but, of course, there are also introverted leaders that I’ve come across who are Lacking in self awareness and maybe don’t even want to go there because of other issues. For instance, they may be very nonconfrontational. They may steer clear of anything that is challenging or difficult in terms of conversations and confrontation, and They may have this avoidant tendency because their need for harmony And people pleasing, implicating is so strong.

Nia Thomas [00:06:11]:
The more I’m understanding about introverts and and being an introvert, it’s very interesting to me, that we have an inbuilt mechanism to reflect. When you’re talking about that need to avoid conflict, You’re probably also avoiding feedback because every time you have feedback, there’s a potential that you might hear something you don’t want to hear, And that is always a a fearful place to go. As an introverted leader, how do you, navigate the challenges of self awareness and really leveraging those strengths in a leadership role.

Serena [00:06:48]:
I would say that because of the tendency to be constantly self reflecting. I’m getting input all the time, but I also actively ask for feedback because I know that there are Always blind spots, and there’s always something that I’ve missed out. And so I think to generalize, the same would For any introverted leader, there needs to be that moral courage to be honest, to have integrity, also to have a support network of people who are prepared to challenge you, to encourage you, but at the same time, who will speak the truth to you in love. And that means they are not doing so to judge you harshly or to criticize you and bring you down. They’re doing so for the greater good of the organization and the team because there are other people’s Feelings and performance that are at stake. So with introverted leaders also, there is often this tendency towards feeling that they’re not good enough. Imposter syndrome, evaluation anxiety, judging themselves too harshly. So To counter that, we need to practice self compassion as well, and that is something I’m working on actively too.

Serena [00:07:57]:
And that means that instead of thinking to myself, I didn’t do that project well or that conversation didn’t go well. I should have said this. I shouldn’t have said that. We Learn to give ourselves grace because we know that we are not perfect and we will never be perfect. And so instead of Focusing on what went wrong, we ask ourselves what went well, and how can I do better next time? And we also give ourselves that leeway to to accept that it doesn’t matter if this particular interaction didn’t go perfectly Because we learned something from it. We grew through it. And next time, we will do better when we know better. And so when you talk about leveraging strengths In a leadership role, I would say, first of all, you need to know your strengths.

Serena [00:08:47]:
So for introverted leaders, usually the strengths are to do with active active listening, empathy, Inclusiveness, quality over quantity, and depth over superficial displays. So introverted leaders are Generally very good at listening closely and making a person feel that they’re heard and they’re seen, which is very important when you have this mixed Group dynamic in a team. You are going to have some people who will dominate the conversation and sometimes talk over others without being aware that they are doing so. So as the leader, You would be playing that facilitator role of noticing all these dynamics playing out and doing your best to Even things out so that those who are quieter have a chance to speak and to contribute as well in a way that is comfortable and safe for them. So that could look like Not necessarily answering on the spot because introverts are not very good at that, but perhaps they could contribute in writing, or they could be given A bit more time to formulate their thoughts before they are put in the spotlight as it were. And also, I think very importantly for introverted Leaders not to get lost in the detail because we’re very good at the details and noticing what’s wrong and noticing all the loopholes. But it’s also important to stay connected to the bigger picture and to the why. Why we’re doing this thing? Why we are leading? Why this this particular project is important? How does it fit into the bigger picture? So Balancing those 2 energies, I think, the attention to detail with the importance of the bigger picture and the goals that we’re trying to achieve that a team is trying to achieve.

Serena [00:10:24]:
You you mentioned

Nia Thomas [00:10:27]:
introverted leaders working alongside other types of individuals. And and when we’re talking about introverts, we tend to talk about extroverts. If you are an introverted leader and you have a team of individuals who are maybe predominantly made up introverts. And and I know that there are lots of people, and and listeners, you might be one of them, who doesn’t like to label individuals as introvert or extrovert, But we’re talking in general terms here that we have preferences towards one style or the other. How do you operate When maybe you were a minority in an extrovert group.

Serena [00:11:04]:
Operating as the leader, it would be about creating that psychologically safe space for every person to speak, but particularly for those who normally don’t feel seen and heard because the the way, You know, the the power dynamics play out. Sometimes some people just don’t feel comfortable to speak because they are so used to being spoken over. They feel that they don’t belong to the group or they don’t they haven’t earned the right to speak or there’s somebody else in the room who is always the one that everybody looks to to give the answers because they are somehow given that authority, sort of informal authority and this persona of knowing all the answers and always saying the right Things that the boss loves to hear. So nobody wants to stand out and be that one that says the contrary thing. And Less so if you are the introvert. You don’t want to stand out at all. You’re actually trying very hard to blend in and to belong. So The leader who is observing, taking in all these dynamics and noticing how the group works and all the different personality types that are present would then be actively making it safe for quiet people to share diverse views because It’s important to to get all the views in before you make a major decision and commit everybody to a certain path.

Serena [00:12:24]:
The danger is that When people are trying too hard to either please or to fall in line or to comply with what they think the the correct answer is, then everybody jumps on that particular bandwagon and speaks the same way and supports each other, but then nobody is bringing up the what if. What if this goes wrong? You know? We didn’t pay attention to this other part. We haven’t considered these other things. And those are the the details that introverts are very good at picking up Because their brains are constantly processing and filtering and noticing and, you know, taking in all all sides of the picture before they speak. But if they don’t get a chance to speak and to contribute their opposing view or their objections as it were, then you don’t get a holistic solution. Oh, you don’t get a holistic picture of the problem that is being presented. And what happens when you actually go to implement and execute And all the flaws start showing up, and then you have to go backwards and unravel and solve all those problems again.

Nia Thomas [00:13:23]:
Listeners, if you could See me here. I am nodding. Serena is talking. What misconceptions or stereotypes do you think exist around introverted leaders, and and how do we really go about debunking those myths?

Serena [00:13:38]:
I think it would be the same as for introverts everywhere, and that is that Leadership needs to look and sound a certain way. Leaders need to be loud. Leaders need to to have personality. And to have personality usually means that you’re very noticeable. You’re you’re the kind of person that people’s eyes gravitate to straight away in the crowd. And you speak in a certain way usually Louder. You project your voice well. You are confident.

Serena [00:14:07]:
You are outgoing. You are chatty. You’re the kind of person who whom people expect to, you know, circle around the room talking to everybody, have a word for everyone, always have something to say. And that is usually The complete opposite of what an introvert is. And so there is this sense or this perception that an introvert would somehow not quite fit the criteria for what a leader should look like. In the 1st place, introverts usually go slightly under the radar. You don’t even notice them because they’re trying so hard not to be noticed. And so how do we debunk these myths? I think the first thing then would be to to accept that leadership comes in all shapes and sizes.

Serena [00:14:50]:
We We are talking about how effective someone’s performance is, how persuasive they are, how much knowledge and competence and wisdom they have, Whether they are the right person to solve this particular problem, to to carry this team across, and that actually has nothing to do with how Sociable they appear or how charismatic they appear, it’s more to do with the substance of what they are doing. So the tendency is In Western culture, particularly to to judge much more on the appearance and the form rather than the substance, whereas in certain other countries, A person who has that wisdom, that knowledge, the kind of person that people listen to and whose Authority is implicit. It’s very much more valued. So, again, there it is a it depends on the cultural context, Where you are when you when you compare an introverted versus an extroverted leader and how you value them differently.

Nia Thomas [00:15:47]:
That’s an interesting take on it. I spent a little bit of time in in Japan back in my university days, and the way that people revered quieter people, those Wise owls who would talk little, but when they talked, they said things of substance, how people revered them, whereas You’re you’re right. In in our Western culture, there is this who is more sparkly, who is brighter, who is louder, Who is taking up the airspace, and you can see it in practice. How can introverted leaders really balance out The need for solitude and that reflection with the demands of leading, particularly if they’re collaborating with other people.

Serena [00:16:33]:
I think this has to come with self discipline and also clear boundaries. So one of the things introverts might find challenging is To to say that this is what I need, and this is my yes, and this is my no, and why. And that’s again to do with what we talked about earlier about the need to please and duplicate and to preserve social harmony. So I think the Challenge then for the introverted leader is to be able to make these things nonnegotiable, to say that This is my priority. This is important to me that I have this time. If I’ve just had For the next hour after this meeting, I’m not to be disturbed because I’m going to recover. I need time to recalibrate before I move on to the next thing. The worst thing for an introvert leader would be to hop from 1 meeting into another without a break in between to reset themselves emotionally and mentally.

Serena [00:17:27]:
That’s not how they function. They need time to to debrief with themselves, to process what’s going on because their minds are constantly churning with, you know, with what’s just happened, you filter, you process, you think about it some more, and then you think, oh, something didn’t quite work there, or I need to attend to this other detail that wasn’t addressed, and so they need time to write down their thoughts. They need time to Have a word with themselves, take a walk, you know, take a breath. And so that’s really important to build into the schedule to make it very intentional. And, of course, in between, twin, you know, going out, getting some fresh air instead of eating at your desk, going out for a half hour or 45 minutes to get a meal somewhere else, somewhere nice, Just having a break, a different environment, and attending to what your inner landscape requires of you. Because otherwise, the the introverted leader is going to burn out very quickly They find themselves overwhelmed and completely drained.

Nia Thomas [00:18:23]:
I can definitely align my experiences with what you’re saying there, And I have to be very conscious that if I have meetings that are back to back, that I have to park my thoughts very consciously To end one situation, to be able to move into the other because what you can’t do as a leader is let The thoughts from the previous meeting cloud your decision making or your ability to listen in the next meeting because you’re not Giving those individuals your dedicated attention, which they deserve. So I absolutely agree that there is something about being Better at and being disciplined at giving ourselves thinking time, resting time, reflection time in between. Are there any specific leadership traits or qualities that you think are particularly important for integrated leaders, and and that they should cultivate?

Serena [00:19:19]:
I’m thinking particularly of the DISC framework. So when we look at the right side with the d and the I At the left side with the s and the c, what I’ve noticed over time is that a lot of introverts fall into the left side, which is they have the high s energy, Which is the stabilizer, the harmonizer, the person that wants to keep the peace, and to and that can you know, when it’s Done dysfunctionally, that comes out as people pleasing and placating and avoiding confrontation and difficult conversations. And then you have the high c energy, and that’s where the introverted leader is the one who’s very attentive to detail, very perfectionist. And if that’s not done in In a healthy way, that can also come out as micromanaging, being very harsh and critical and expecting perfection all the time, and Being very nitpicky. So what needs to happen for the introverted leader, I think, is to deliberately lean in the other direction, which is not natural for most of them, and that is the high d energy and the I energy. So the d energy is required because If the introvert is also a leader, they need the capacity to make decisions quickly. They need to be decisive, and they need to be able to execute on those decisions. They can’t be constantly worrying about pleasing every single person in the team or in the room or the organisation, and they can’t be worrying too much about the detail and getting lost in the details so that they disconnect from the big picture.

Serena [00:20:50]:
So there needs to be that balance between what’s happening overall and what’s happening in each quadrant, in each segment of the big picture. And then with the eye energy, they also need to develop that because a lot of introverts Shy away from actively socializing and networking because the traditional ways of networking tend to be more extrovert biased And in favor of people who enjoy being with other people, whereas introverts get drained by being with other people. And so, you know, they they consciously would Avoid those sorts of activities. However, in order to be a good leader and in order to accomplish the organizational goals, there is a need to collaborate connect with others. There is a need to influence, to persuade, to negotiate, and to influence. So all these things are, you know, part of that That high eye energy, which the introverted leader would do well, I think, to intentionally cultivate.

Nia Thomas [00:21:46]:
Listeners, if you haven’t heard about the DISC, the DISC assessment, it’s, a tool that people are talking about as being very in helping you, reduce your blind spot and become more self aware. If you haven’t done a DISC assessment, I would recommend it. The more people that I’m talking to that have done a DISC assessment, they are saying that it’s very accurate in terms of their preferences, and it is really helpful to have That mirror shown back up to them. So d I s e, look it up on Google, and find somebody who’s trained in your area who can do a DISC assessment with you. Can you share any strategies or practices that introverted leaders can use to enhance their self awareness? What can they do to help them lean into that right side quadrant?

Serena [00:22:37]:
I think finding role models and mentors is important because we cannot be what we cannot see, and because the introvert has been so heavily invested in Keeping the peace as well as attending to details and avoiding mistakes, they it’s almost like they they they are being asked to summon these mysterious magical qualities which they think they don’t have, but actually all of us have it. It’s just in varying quantities, and it depends on the context. So For an introverted leader who is trying, let’s say, to build their network, to get out there, to be more visible, to be seen, to be heard, A very simple thing to start doing is to start connecting with people who are already in your network because a lot of us Gather, you know, network connections, but not many of us follow-up actively to cultivate the the deeper connection of the next step. And what Introverts are actually very good at is 1 on 1 connection. So if they can take the the fear of networking or or their whatever Dread or reluctance they have around meeting new people and scale it down to a level that that they can begin at, which is manageable for them, that means meet 1 new person at a time instead of meet a whole group of new people, It can actually escalate very quickly. The the ripple effect will produce that kind of confidence. Oh, I can do this. That was not so hard.

Serena [00:24:07]:
It was not quite as as frightening as I thought it would be. And from there, you can then build slowly. It is just a a muscle and a skill that All of us can build on, and I’ve been actively practicing that myself. So I I used to completely steer clear of traditional networking events because They drained me completely. However, I’ve started again this year, actively going to events. And I just told myself, each time I go, I’ll just talk to 1 or 2 people. I’m not gonna circle the room and try to talk to everyone and introduce myself and say, you know, 30 times over what it is I do and who I am and all that. It’s just too much.

Serena [00:24:43]:
And so with the 1 or 2 connections, I then, you know, look them up on LinkedIn, social media, and I take an interest in what they’re doing. And then I find something to have a conversation about, and it just goes from there. It’s it’s just make it as easy for yourself as possible. Now with the de energy, That part could be a a bit of a challenge. So that is why I I say that I’m helping quiet achievers to become quiet warriors, and that is because to make that transition From just achieving to being a warrior requires something much more. You require courage, but you also need to have a Wrong why. You need to know why you are going to throw yourself into this area and expand your comfort zone. It’s because there is a larger cause at stake, and so it’s no longer about Me is no longer about my own anxieties or whatever fears I may have and my limitations.

Serena [00:25:33]:
There is something more at work that is important. There could be somebody out there or some a group out there who are voiceless. And if I can speak for them and help them advance their cause so that some injustice can be can be reversed or fixed, then that is important, and that becomes more important than my fears and my introversion. So that is how The quiet achiever becomes a quiet warrior and activates that de energy of getting things done, of being connected to a bigger vision, and of Making decisions quickly and decisively.

Nia Thomas [00:26:06]:
Serena, you briefly mentioned your podcast Quiet Warrior Day. Tell us a little bit more about it.

Serena [00:26:13]:
So the Quiet Warrior podcast is is for introverts and empaths and highly sensitive persons who are On this journey of finding out so I’m a quiet person. How can I grow as a quiet person? How can I thrive as a quiet person in an extroverted world? How do I Become more seen and heard and influential. And so the whole journey, I see it, is as a hero’s journey of becoming that quiet warrior who can speak and Take action and lead and take charge when the moment arrives. So instead of just saying, okay, I’m quiet, I’m shy, I’m anxious, And that’s the end of it. I can’t be do ever any kind of public speaking. I will never accept any job that requires me to sell or to be customer facing. I would say no. I say that the label is useful for a certain purpose.

Serena [00:27:00]:
We identify with it, but let’s not let it become our identity. Let’s not stop there. It is just an invitation to keep exploring and to keep growing. It is not a full stop.

Nia Thomas [00:27:11]:
Listeners, we’ll make sure there’s a link To the Quiet Warrior podcast in the show notes so that you can take a listen for yourselves. Going back to what you said earlier about cultivating a Different kinds of networking approach. I would absolutely agree, and I think I probably connected with far more people in the 2 or 3 years of COVID lockdowns than I would have done before and that’s probably how this podcast was born because there are so many connections that I now connect with Virtually that across the waters and and talking to Serena, who’s in Australia and I’m in the UK, that would never have happened before just because, Physically, it wasn’t possible, and I think that being able to capitalize on the digital explosion is really a positive thing. You also have some communities that our listeners might be interested in finding out a little bit more about. Please tell us about those.

Serena [00:28:07]:
So just like you, Nia, during the lockdown, I started looking for some some new purpose. Because for me, The minute I start getting stagnant and it happens for too long a period, I know I’m in trouble. And my way out is always to start something new. And so it was during that time, 3 years ago, that I started, a meetup community for introverts for social purposes just to connect. Everybody was jumping on Zoom to talk to family and friends. And I thought, well, here’s Zoom. Let’s, you know, let’s make use of the the Meetup app and see what we can do. And so I started introverts around the world.

Serena [00:28:44]:
And this is an online community, but it’s also for introverts who live in Melbourne, Australia. And so what happens is every couple of weeks, I will host an in person event. So people will come along, and we will go for a walk, we go for a coffee, We go to an art exhibition. We go to a museum. We do things that are not too stimulating because I noticed that a lot of introverts also have Sensory processing issues, and some have social anxiety. So there’s a whole plethora of little challenges that we work around and we accommodate and to make it as inclusive and safe as possible. So the groups are curated especially with, Events that are low stimulation, and they are also restricted in size in a sense that we don’t want to overwhelm people with a 100, You know, newcomers, and so I keep it to a small number that’s manageable. So when people come along, they fit in easily.

Serena [00:29:37]:
They know that Everyone else there is already a fellow introvert, so that already makes it feel a lot safer for them to speak and to practice their social skills, And that’s to build their social confidence.

Nia Thomas [00:29:49]:
We will make sure that there’s a link to your introverts around the world in the show notes 2. You talked about introverts public speaking, and I think that’s something that, as a quiet leader, It is that challenge between being and wanting to be in the background and having to make the the leadership leap of standing on the stage and talking in front of 150 people. How do introverts leaders who, maybe they struggle with assertive or or public speaking, How did they lean into that? What are your tips and advice?

Serena [00:30:25]:
I would say, say yes first, then work on how. I think the the the Challenge a lot of us have is we want to have that solution that cures all ills, and we want it right away. So we want to know immediately, what are the 5 steps? You know? What are the the 7 things I need to do to immediately become a much better speaker or to become more assertive? And what I found from experience it Is is that it doesn’t happen overnight because it’s not just about picking up the skills. It’s also about who I am being and who I am growing into, And that is a process. That takes time. I can’t wish myself magically to become a different sort of person tomorrow morning. However, I can do one thing today To be braver, I can say yes to 1 invitation or to say making a presentation. I could say yes instead of no, and That already will set me on a different trajectory.

Serena [00:31:21]:
That will already start creating that positive ripple effect because in saying yes And having to feel fulfill the yes, I would then need to develop into a certain kind of person, the kind of person who can deliver that presentation who can go on a stage and speak to a 150 people. In fact, last week, I just spoke to 250 people, and I can tell you that there was a point where I became very that my teeth were chattering and my jaw was was moving. But the thing is, other people are not noticing that. It’s only us. Only we are so aware of all these physiological reactions that are going on, and so we get a little bit a bit immersed, and we get Overcome in the moment, and we think, oh my goodness. Everybody can see, you know, that I’m shaking all over. But people are very kind in general, and there’s a lot of goodwill towards a person who dares to put themselves on the stage and face an audience. And so we I think we are generally, You know, very kind people.

Serena [00:32:18]:
We see someone up there, and we root for them. We want to support them. We wanna ask questions. We want to engage with their content. And so for me, It doesn’t matter that I’m anxious in the moment. What matters is for me to be able to share the message and the words that come through me with the people who need to hear them. And if 1 person comes and tells me that they felt comforted Well, they felt less alone or thank you for saying those things because it really resonated with me with what I’m going through right now, then I think my job is done.

Nia Thomas [00:32:49]:
What brilliant advice. Say yes first, and then work out your processes of how you’re gonna get there. Brilliant advice. Are there any ideas or suggestions that you you can recommend to us to how Introverts can really capitalize on their natural reflective skills to benefit them on their self awareness and self aware leadership journey.

Serena [00:33:12]:
I think the introverted leaders tend already to be self reflective. Perhaps they need to balance that out by self compassion and self forgiveness as well. In reflectiveness also, for instance, journaling is usually a very good recommended practice for any person, But an introvert particularly, because there’s something very magical when you write down what it is that you are thinking about, what you are Pondering over what you’re trying to resolve, you find that there there seems to be some some kind of, unseen force at work, That there is power in writing, power in the written word, and that takes some of the pressure of you in trying to resolve everything at a cerebral level. It’s almost like you They call it like a brain dump. Yeah? But, I see it as as a form of release, giving yourself permission to just put it down there, not judging it, Putting it aside, letting it percolate, and something often pops up later, and that the matter will resolve itself. So I find that with Introverted leaders and self reflection, it’s still important to be intentional because while we may enjoy Joy doing these things. We don’t always find the time or make the time to do them. So, again, it’s about scheduling these activities into our our routine so that it becomes a ritual.

Serena [00:34:29]:
For instance, I like to finish off my night by writing down 3 things that I’m grateful for. And that helps me reflect, but But it also puts me in a more positive focus because I’m looking for evidence that I’ve already been blessed, evidence that I’ve already succeeded instead of Ruminating over what didn’t go well or the thing that I forgot to say in in minute 40 of of the the interview. So I think it’s very much cultivating that sort of mindful practice that gives us permission To accept that not everything will work out perfectly, but it is still okay. And tomorrow, we will do better.

Nia Thomas [00:35:10]:
Serena, brilliant advice. Thank you so much for joining me. It’s been a really good conversation. And listeners, I hope you’ve enjoyed Our our journey through self aware leadership and introversion at the same time. Please do listen to Serena’s podcast, The Quiet Warrior Podcast. It it’s It’s really interesting and and really helpful if you are an introverted leader and you’re looking to continue your journey and become more powerful as you grow. Sabrina, thank you so much for joining me. It’s been brilliant to have you here.

Serena [00:35:41]:
Thank you so much, Nia. It’s been a pleasure.

Nia Thomas [00:35:45]:
Thank you for listening to today’s episode. Remember to rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast player. Remember to sign up to my newsletter on knowing self, knowing, And remember to join me on my learning journey in next week’s episode so that we can develop more self aware leaders around the globe and generate We’re kinder, more respectful, and creative working relationships through reflection, recognition, and regulation. The Knowing Self Knowing This podcast is available on Goodpods, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Goodpods, Podchaser, Amazon Music, Podcast Index, Dex, podcast addict, Pocket Casts, Deezer, Listen Notes,


Looking forward to having you on my learning journey!



Nia is an expert leader who talks the talk and walks the walk.  She is an academically awarded thought leader in self-aware leadership and practices self-aware leadership every single day in her role as a Director in a Children’s Charity.

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