Leadership Inside Out

Issue 22

On being heard

April 14, 2024

Hi Reader, How are you? Really.

Most likely you are the kind of leader that listens to your people. You know the basics of caring and effective leadership.

In fact, you listen A LOT. Or at least you always try to.

You know that making space and time to hear the concerns and voices of your team is an important practice.

But this issue is not about improving how you listen others.

Today’s newsletter is about the magical insight and transformation that happen when you REALLY allow YOURSELF to be heard and seen.

And in many ways when you get better at listening to yourself you do, in turn get better at listening to others.

Let me explain.

I often witness caring, empathetic leaders busy listening to everyone else with no time left to really listen to and understand what’s going on with themself. (It’s a learned and socialized behavior for some).

While they spend the day creating space for others to be heard they find themselves feeling deeply lonely and isolated.

They do not feel they have an appropriate place to express their concerns – not wanting to create a culture of negative venting or complaining, so they push their feels and needs aside. (This is totally natural).

When we allow our emotions to be felt and heard they stop draining our energy and interrupting our focus.

This may sound counter intuitive for those who have gotten very good at suppressing and ignoring their own needs. It will feel uncomfortable for people who were never taught how to process emotions (like many of us). Or it will be seen as a waste of time for people who have created an identity around helping others and blinding themselves to their own needs.

However, when we stop ignoring and avoiding yourselves, we can get curious about how we actually feel. We can explore the thoughts and beliefs that direct our action and begin to consciouslly response and pull wisdom in these moments of reflection.

In coaching sessions, I often hear relief as my clients explore their concerns without worrying about judgement or that it will get back to the others.

As they talk, they discover or remember a truth already within them waiting to be learned and practiced in a new way.

Despite any initial discomfort developing a practice of listening to yourself, you will be able to unlock wisdom, wellness, and more energy for your work and life.

Take some time now to listen and care for whole yourself.

Let’s use the three components of my coaching model Leadership Atlas™️


Are you ignoring the signs from your body?

What does it need?

Hydration, Nurishment, Movement, Rest, Connection… ?

There is only so long that it can be ignored without impacting your emotional and mental states.

Not to mention health costs in the US, don’t wait until your body is screaming at you to be heard. Feeling sceptical? This book is a wake up call to listen to your body.


What are you really feeling?
Utilize a tool like the Feeling Wheel to get more specific.

What physical sensations or deep beliefs are connected with this emotion?

Can you acknowledge your feelings without judging them or acting out on other people?

Example: Noticing that you are feeling angry does not make you an angry person nor does it require to react to what trigger the anger.


What thoughts are you feeding yourself?

Are they true or supportive?

Take stock of what you currently think and believe … not what you THINK you should be thinking.

You may be saying out loud, “Everything is fine” but if you actually find yourself blaming, complaining, or wanting to say something else you miss the opportunity to gain insight and improve the situation. Instead get curious, seek solutions, and gleen wisdom from your ACTUAL thoughts and beliefs.

You are worthy of being heard and dialoguing with what you discover.

This is the heart of increasing self awareness and beginning the inner work of creating practices that support your authentic, empowered leadership journey.

When the people I work with feel seen, heard, and supported their capacity to provide that for others grows. Ripples from the magic of being heard extends far beyond the coaching session.

Not everyone is ready or interested in leadership coaching but EVERYONE benefits from being seen and heard. 💕

Be heard & supported

Mini Coaching Sessions

Are you considering a job transition or wondering if you are burnt out?

This single 30 min. call will help you STOP spinning and instead reflect, find clarity, and map a way forward.

I am happy to offer these sessions at a “Tip Jar” Rate. No cash in hand, don’t worry someone’s got you covered.

Mini Session Feedback: <<Giant exhale>>
“Thank you so much!! I just couldn’t see a good way forward with my current challenging circumstance weighing me down! I feel so much better.”

If you’re pondering questions like:

  • When do you know it’s time to leave a job?
  • How can I leave my coworkers behind in this toxic work environment?
  • What if the next place is just as bad?
  • How do I find energy to look for something new?
  • Does leaving this job mean I don’t care anymore?
  • How bad does it have to get to be considered burnout?
  • Should I stay and try to create change?
  • What if I’m the founder and don’t want to do this anymore?

Music Recommendation:

“it’s time to go” by Taylor Swift

“Sometimes walking out is the one thing, that will find you the right”

This bonus track on her indie album reflects on the painful, yet empowering experience of leaving.

There is no way she could have imaged how much money and fame she would earn by re-releasing her entire collection of work after she lost rights to the originals. While the song speaks to the emotional aspect of leaving, the bigger picture that we know is that she flipped the script and you can too.

What if your painful moment of transition is actually just the beginning of a new more empowered, aligned, joyful chapter in your unique leadership journey?

Con Amor, Sonya​

Enjoying these emails? Share them with a friend. It is much appreciated. 🙏🏽

Curious how coaching could support your unique leadership journey? Book a discovery call.

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