Becoming a Self-Aware Leader

On this episode of Soft Skills for Leaders, my guest is Dr Nia Thomas.

Nia discusses the importance of self-awareness in leadership and provides tips and activities to help people reflect and grow in this area.

The conversation covers a range of themes from inclusive decision-making, to managing stress and emotions through meditation.aNia emphasises the importance of conscious leadership, seeking unfiltered feedback, and developing both hard and soft skills in order to become a self-aware leader.

If you’re looking to improve your leadership skills and gain some practical tips and insights, this episode is a must-listen.



Nia Thomas discusses various aspects of self-aware leadership, including solo and team activities for self-awareness, coaching and mentoring, the importance of inclusive decision-making and reflection and feed-forward to improve relational skills, and defining nine traits that make up a self-aware leader.


[00:03:50] Defining self-aware leadership through reflection and regulation

[00:20:40] Self-awareness hindered by filtered feedback and disconnect

[00:23:50] Unrealistic expectations and toxic leaders damage organizations

[00:20:55] Inclusive decision making

[00:27:45] Self-awareness is a journey

[00:28:42] Solo and team activities to grow self-awareness

[00:30:55] Meditation and breath for self-awareness

[00:31:44] The benefits of video review

[00:33:14] Facilitated 360° review

[00:33:55] Trusted feedback from those you respect

[00:35:00] Three word feedback

[00:36:22] Softs skills for self-aware leadership.


Talking Points

  • Self-awareness as a never-ending journey
  • Importance of coaching and mentoring for senior members
  • Reading a room and observing behaviours as essential traits of an authentic and effective leader
  • Unrealistic expectations in organisations and their effect on employee interest
  • Importance of inclusive decision-making and listening skills in bridging the gap of strategic-level disconnect
  • Various methods to build self-awareness
  • Crises management from the macro to the micro level
  • The Impact of bureaucracy and red tape on crisis response
  • Psychological safety and the role of leaders in building it
  • The Dunning Kruger Effect in developing self-awareness
  •  Importance of seeking unfiltered feedback for conscious leadership
  • Nine traits that make up a self-aware leader: care, humility, authenticity, reflection, trustworthiness, adaptability, modelling behaviour, listening, and learning from experience.

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The Importance of Coaching and Mentoring: “If you are one of the most senior people in your organisation, and filtered feedback is a thing as we know it is, where else are you going to be able to get that objective feedback, that ability to reflect on your own behaviour? And coaching is a perfect way to do that.”

The Importance of Self-Aware Leaders: ‘I want an authentic leader to be curious. I want them to care about what’s going on with individuals in the room and I want them to have to be able to listen and observe the behaviour and see what is happening in the interaction.'”


Links to other Soft Skills for Leaders podcast episodes

Leading with Purpose 

Head and Heart Leadership


Connect with Dr Nia Thomas

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nia-d-thomas/

Website: https://knowingselfknowingothers.co.uk/home/

Connect With Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans is one of Australia’s leading Executive Public Speaking Coaches and Corporate Storytelling Trainers. If you would like help training your team in soft skills, public speaking and business storytelling, get in touch with Lisa. Book a complimentary 30-minute  session to find out how I can help you share your message. 

Book a complimentary mini-coaching session with Lisa here.



If you are based in Australia, you may be interested in hosting a facilitated storytelling for leader’s workshop. I have delivered these workshops to groups worldwide, both in-person and online. There is a format to suit every group, from two hours to two days. Click the button below, to find out how you can get ahead in your communication using the power of storytelling. 
Lisa Evans helps professionals to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, improvisational actor, and host of the Soft Skills for Leaders podcast

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat. Download my e-book – How to Build Confidence and Overcome Nervousness.

Lisa Evans

Professional Speaker