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Soft Skills for Leaders with Lisa Evans

Jun 7, 2023

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.

Nia 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.


[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: The Key to Project Success

[00:27:45] Self Awareness is a Never-Ending Journey

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

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

[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.


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.

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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Links to other Soft Skills for Leaders podcast episodes

Leading with Purpose 

Head and Heart Leadership

Connect with Dr Nia Thomas




Connect with Lisa Evans 



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Learn more about Soft Skills Academy here.

Your Host 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

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Book a complimentary mini-coaching session with Lisa here.