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Have you ever felt that your introversion is limiting your potential as a leader?

In this episode of The Quiet and Strong Podcast, David sits down with international leadership coach Faris Khalifeh to discuss the strengths and gifts of introverted leaders. Together, they explore how understanding and embracing introversion can lead to greater authenticity, confidence, and team performance.

Whether you’re an introverted leader looking to tap into your strengths or simply want to learn more about introversion and leadership, this episode offers valuable insights and practical tips.

Tune in to discover how introverted leaders can thrive in today’s evolving workplace and be strong.

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Faris Khalifeh is an international leadership coach, consultant, and facilitator with over 10 years of experience working with clients from different industries ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. His corporate background has given him a unique perspective on life coaching, leadership, and training. Faris has coached more than 1000 leaders globally across many industries.

Website: Fariskhalifeh.com

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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com
Gobio.link/quietandstrong
david [at] quietandstrong.com

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Timestamped Overview

00:02:38 The writer is a coach for introverts, after realizing that operating as an extrovert without realizing they were an introvert left them unfulfilled in their corporate career. They aim to help other introverts understand and embrace their personality type.


00:05:37 The speaker first read the book Quiet when it was launched in 2012, but it wasn’t a transformative moment. It was a journey to understand oneself. They met the author, Susan Cain, and recommend her book and TED talk for introverts.


00:10:30 Introverts have common traits like being great listeners and reflective, but not every introvert has the same gift, strength, or experience. Self-reflection is important for everyone, but introverts tend to do it more naturally.


00:12:10 Introverts have gifts of clarity in reflection, listening, writing, and emotional intelligence which allow them to create deep relationships and remain composed in high-pressure situations.


00:17:42 3 ways to explore strengths: Personality assessments (e.g. Myers-Briggs), StrengthsFinder, or reflection through coaching questions. Goal is to identify top 5 strengths.


00:21:04 Living authentically boosts confidence and is achieved through understanding values, personality type, purpose, and strengths. Self-discovery is ongoing.


00:23:08 Align with values, live authentically, reframe gifts, embrace differences.


00:28:20 Leadership has different styles and starts with self leadership. Society’s portrayal of leadership can be misleading. Traits of a leader are curiosity, open-mindedness, and a growth mindset.


00:30:40 Leaders are encouraged to embrace their unique strengths, including introverted traits such as empathy and good listening skills, which are trending in the market along with inclusive leadership. This approach to leadership is also known as conscious, servant or quiet leadership.


00:34:24 Psychological safety at work allows for authenticity, even for introverts; leaders should be open and inclusive.


00:38:26 Choose to tap into your gifts and be open to possibilities, even if it’s outside of your comfort zone. Mindful exploration can lead to growth and avoiding limiting labels.


00:42:03 Understand and complement team members’ skills and communication styles for optimal performance and collaboration. Treat people the way they want to be treated for the best results.


00:45:28 To invest without money, start with curiosity and willingness; take a free personality assessment, like 16personalities.com, and share results with the team.


00:48:06 Introverted leaders must prioritize quiet time for recharging to improve productivity and plan their day around it, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.


00:51:12 A farewell and invitation to connect.


Podcast Transcript

Faris Khalifeh [00:00:00]:

If you are an introvert, for example, and you resonate with with your traits, so a great listener, introspective, calm, enjoy writing, enjoyed deep relationships, all that, then lead that way, lead with with the with those traits. So and so in other words, leveraging your unique strength and that’s how you lead. So and many, many leaders and and and people have worked within corporate or not corporate, they’re leading that way. And I’m seeing actually a trend going that people are more moving into that type of leadership regardless of the percentage type.

David Hall [00:00:48]:

Hello, and welcome to episode 127 of the Quiet Strong Podcast. especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and a creator of quietestrunk.com. This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Entravision is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, while our each episode on a Monday, be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave a review. That would mean a lot to me. Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there. The intro version is a beautiful thing. Farris Khalifei is an international leadership coach, consultant and facilitator with over 10 years of experience working with clients from different industries ranging from startups to Fortune 100 Companies. His corporate background has given him a unique perspective on life coaching, leadership, and training. Ferris has coached more than 1000 liters globally across many industries. His passion for coaching is visible through his work, including teaching, mentoring, consulting, and community development, and serving on boards including the International Coaching Federation. Verus is also keynote speaker and has given speeches at many international events alongside well recognized thought leaders such as Bob Berg, Selena, Caesar Sivan, and Dori Clark. Prior to becoming a coach, Vera spent 10 years in the workplace having held senior roles in management and leadership. Alright. Well, welcome to the quiet and strong podcast Ferris. It’s so good to have you on today.

Faris Khalifeh [00:02:19]:

Wow. I’m honored. Thank you for having me.

David Hall [00:02:22]:

Yeah. And you call yourself a quiet leadership coach, and we’re gonna get into that. But before that, I always like to know. Tell us about yourself, and you know, your journey being an introvert and then becoming a coach and and a leadership coach for other introverts.

Faris Khalifeh [00:02:38]:

Yeah. Thanks for asking. So My story okay. So I I was born in Jordan in the Middle East. I grew up in Dubai, so I moved to Dubai when I was twelve years old. I finished school there. And then after college or university, I studied business. And after that, I started working in the advertising world. advertising and marketing. And for 10 years, I spent time in the corporate world or the ad world doing multiple things. but mainly business related, dealing with clients and growing the business and all that. And I was excited in the beginning, and I was passionate about that topic and that industry specifically. And then at some point in my career, I started feeling less and less fulfilled. I know it sounds like a typical story. And then aside reflecting, like, why am I not fulfilled anymore. So that took a while, of course, and going inwards and and exploring. And at some point, I realized, okay. What’s happening? I start feeling unfulfilled because, 1, as a that’s when I actually start learning about introversion. I realize that I’m operating as as an introvert but operating in an extroverted world, which never crossed my mind. And actually at that time during that corporate world experience. I didn’t know what’s an introvert, so I wasn’t even exposed to that. So I think it started maybe with Susan Cating book That’s what started that self exploration. So I was running like probably acting unconsciously as an extrovert to fit in. So that took a toll on me. You can imagine that now, I guess, in a bit, we’ll talk about introversion and and all that. But, yeah, not knowing who I am really affected that fulfillment. And, also, I realized I’m very passionate about personal development. which is coaching. So that’s what led me to coaching and then why I work with introvert specifically and why quiet leadership is because understanding myself and my percentage type was a a huge shift to me. So I wanted to help other introverts understand themselves. and understand themselves and also embrace who they are. So probably I’m I’m assuming maybe similar to your story. But once we find it’s not good or bad. It’s just a percentage rate, and that’s how we wire nothing to be ashamed of. So I wanted to help people get that because from my experience, there’s a misunderstanding, and there’s also a shame around it. People feel ashamed being introverts, and they feel there’s something wrong with them.

David Hall [00:05:21]:

Yeah. Absolutely. And, you know, you’re not the first to mention Susan Cain’s book. You know? I highly recommend her book quiet, and also her famous TED talk. And how did you find the book? Like, what what drew you to it?

Faris Khalifeh [00:05:37]:

Yeah. It’s interesting because it was a long time ago when I read it first time, I read it it when when it was first launched. So I’m not true. And I think maybe 2012, I’m thinking as it was long time ago. And it wasn’t that that kind of moments where it was like a a big a moment for me to yeah. I felt it was slowly. That was the introduction then read more into it. Then it was a progression of understanding myself. It wasn’t like sometimes people read something and suddenly everything shifts. I’d love to say that, but that was it’s not what happened to me. It was a maybe a continuous journey of 2 years unpacking and understanding. But I love that book, and then I love Susan Kane. Actually, I met her. She she did a talk here in in Vancouver 2 years ago. And and organizers knew that I am a quiet leadership coach. So they assigned me on her table. So we had lunch together during before her talk. So that was great. Yeah. She’s she’s awesome. And I told her, of course, about how she was a big influence. I highly recommend people introverts and experts actually to read the book and watch the TED Talk. It I think she start I I don’t know. It’s not who she didn’t start it, but I think she got the media attention because Jennifer Ken Wheeler started the talk about this topic and published their books before Susan Cain. As for some reason, Susan Cain, Ted Talk went wild, and people start getting understanding the percentage types.

David Hall [00:07:06]:

Yeah. Yeah. And there’s there’s some other great authors like Jennifer Conweller and others. Definitely. That’s great that you got to meet her and have lunch with her. That’s that’s awesome. Yeah. What was the what what was the part of her message that really Mhmm. Change things for you.

Faris Khalifeh [00:07:22]:

I would say that there’s nothing wrong with me. That’s the message. Intravenience is not a bad thing and understanding it. So it’s basically understanding what it really means because media which includes TV, I don’t know, my time magazines and books and all that had that negative representation of what an introvert is. It was always presented like the shy person, which shyness and introversions are different. But besides that, I always portrayed as the socially awkward not a communication person no skills in that regard. Hard to make friends, not sociable, not great at sales, marketing, all that negative connotations. And extroverts on the other hand were portrayed as their that’s the right thing to do in order to to climb the corporate ladder or even succeed in life. And I felt for it. Like, when I worked for 10 years in advertising, without, like, analyzing it, it just happened, I guess, unconsciously. I thought alright. In order for me to succeed, I need to be an extrovert and and imitate what are what other experts are doing. So v log, not in a bad way. But, I mean, v log, think on your feet, don’t take breaks, go go go, all that stuff. So that was for the book and her message was no. That that’s that’s not accurate. You can be introvert and successful, and you can be expert and successful too.

David Hall [00:08:54]:

Yeah. And likely, if you’re gonna be an introvert and be successful, you have to understand your gifts. Like, you you just mentioned, like, you know, extroverts are often better at thinking on their feet. We can think on our feet. But, you know, as I as I think about some different things that I’ve done and decisions. A lot of times, the best ones have come with time, and it’s a gift, and I need to understand that not always try to come up with something instantly. And sometimes, you have to help other people understand that too. Like, give me some time to think about that. So, yeah, it’s not good or bad, but we need to understand it so that we could be successful and also so that our needs are met so that we come up with the right ways to have that time we need to think or plan or focus or recharge, you know, and those are things that are different for us. And and when you don’t understand those, you definitely can feel drained and Like, sometimes, a lot of times on this show, people say they felt like something was wrong with them, that kind of thing.

Faris Khalifeh [00:09:53]:

Exactly. It’s super important. That’s the first step understanding the self and then, you know, then okay, what are the gifts and how can I tap into them, leverage them and embrace them? Exactly. And you’ll be surprised, not not you, because you probably know it. Yeah. Like, I was surprised that those gifts the acquired gifts are are awesome. Yeah.

David Hall [00:10:16]:

Okay. So let’s that’s that’s the next thing. Let’s what are your gifts that that you found as a introvert? It may be something that is not your gift as an introvert, but you’ve seen in someone that you coach. because, you know, we we don’t all have the exact same gifts.

Faris Khalifeh [00:10:30]:

Yeah. Yeah. Totally. I love that. And I was sharing with you earlier before we had to record that on your website, you talk about how you know, we have common traits. It doesn’t mean every introvert we have the same gift, same strength, same experiences. We’re human, we’re complex. it’s not like one size fits all. But the common ones I find are we’re great listeners. which makes sense. Like, if we’re required, then we’re listening. So that’s a big one. And I feel that’s the most common. Second one is reflective and introspective. And that’s a powerful trait to have because self reflection gives you the opportunity to understand yourself and understand others time to assess How am I doing? What are my values? What I’m good at? So that this is the time to reflect. Even on your day, how did the date go? Where did I where what areas do I need to improve on, or what areas do I need to leverage on. So it gives you that space. And regardless of your introvert or extrovert, most recent books I’ve read on leadership and person development, they talk about how important self reflection is. So that comes naturally to us. And not to say that extroverts don’t reflect everyone reflect and everyone listens, but we tend to listen and reflect more more and naturally, organically without putting an effort.

David Hall [00:11:58]:

Yeah. I think that’s the keyword. It’s it’s it’s very natural for us, and it’s a gift. but it comes to us natural. We we naturally drift inward and and and can reflect, and a lot of great things can come from that.

Faris Khalifeh [00:12:10]:

Exactly. And I think I don’t know if it wasn’t from the book, quiet, or other related books talking about how most of the innovation that happened in the this was because someone was sitting by themselves in the room or in a lab or in a cabin or so usually that and, you know, you get that clarity in in reflection. So it’s definitely a gift. And the listening is a gift because then you understand others. You learn more you’re more empathetic. And also that connects to building relationships. When you listen to people, people will appreciate that. And and that helps even to create a stronger relationship. So when the the myth that interrupts don’t make friends or not good at the relationship building actually on the contrary because of the listening, we can create deep relationships. So maybe deep and not broad. There’s no right or wrong. Some people like to have many friends and stay at maybe surface level, or you can have around 5 friends and you know them deeply and and they know you deeply, etcetera. So there’s no right around different ways of having relationships. And the 3rd gift, I would say, we tend to be better at writing. because that gives us the time to take our time to gather our thoughts and put it on paper. So writing and that’s a gift because you can imagine with writing You can do many things like yourself. You published books. You you write blogs. You express your thoughts and all that through writing. not just through writing. Through many things including writing. So that’s a great gift. And I would say the fourth one that comes to my mind the sense of calmness, groundedness, which connects I find it connects to emotional intelligence. You know? Lately, there’s a lot of talk about emotional intelligence I see articles on on LinkedIn in the professional world about tapping into the EQ. And I find as introverts First, so the emotional intelligence part of it is emotional self awareness. So in my opinion, self awareness comes from self, leadership, and and contemplation introspection. So so that’s one thing that I feel we do well with the emotional intelligence. and then emotional regulation. We have that sense of calm, and I imagine. And, again, there’s exceptions, of course. But generally speaking, we tend to be composed and and grounded. And that helps in in scenarios where people around you are feeling and not safe or or there’s deadlines and you know how to let’s say if we use the example of the corporate world, fast paced deadlines, having someone on the team as an introvert have that sense of, you know, it’s contagious and could ground the team. So that’s a that’s a great gift I find.

David Hall [00:15:02]:

Yeah. And sometimes like, again, we’re all different, but part of my gifts are being analytical and being strategic. And so, I always have a backup plan, you know, just and sometimes another backup to that. And so, it does help me keep calm because You know? If this doesn’t work out, which could happen, I know what we’re gonna do next. And, you know, it also is a leader. It’s in and to help people see those backup plans. That could be a hard thing sometimes because some somebody might interpret your calmness as not caring, which you know, is not the case. And so you have to work on that too sometimes.

Faris Khalifeh [00:15:38]:

Great point. I find the the way to bridge the gap to talk about it because exroverts or different percentage types, I would say, would see things differently. So like you said in if we’re calm, Some people might see it as we’re, 1, maybe not interested to what did you say? You said something about commerce.

David Hall [00:16:01]:

Yeah. Just it could be interpreted. It’s not caring. Often, it’s a great thing. It’s a great trait. It helps it helps people around you, but it can be misinterpreted.

Faris Khalifeh [00:16:11]:

Exactly. So there are misinterpretations when we don’t talk about it openly. So that’s why most of the work I do with companies is to bridge that gap. So explain what an introvert is and then explain what an extrovert is and what are the traits for each, what are the strength of each And many times I feel like there’s, like, a moment in the room because there are assumptions and interpretations were not necessarily true. So let’s say an example, let’s say there’s an introvert that work on the team and they wanna go out for drinks after work. And that person, for example, says many times, says no to the outing. And and That person is saying no because by knowing what an introvert is and you need to recharge your batteries by by 5 o’clock probably the energy is depleted. they wanna go and have their allotted time to recharge. So when they say no, that could be interpreted as that person is another team player, doesn’t like us, doesn’t wanna hang out, but that’s probably talked to you the opposite. That person wants to be there and is a team player and all that stuff. So it’s a misunderstanding. But once I explain the difference and why that person behave that way that way, people totally shift their perspective. So that’s why I feel it’s important for both percentage types to share and talk about this.

David Hall [00:17:30]:

Yeah. Absolutely. So we were talking about gifts and strengths do you help people that you coach find their gifts and strengths? What do you take what kind of exercises or things do you take them through?

Faris Khalifeh [00:17:42]:

Yeah. What’s coming to my mind now, 3 things. 1, once they do the percentage assessment, let’s say myer Briggs. for example, one of the popular percentage types. That breaks down the percentage and also highlights what are the key strength. So let’s say in like, we were sitting now listening or etcetera. So so they that’s one way of exploring it. And something to say about personality assessments. I find them as a great catalyst for a conversation. So it’s not like the written stone and whatever is on on the assessment is true. So it’s a starting point. But that starting point opens, you know, perspective. And with curiosity, start exploring. Does that do I relate to this strength that’s mentioned in the assessment? If yes, then that’s great. You start learning about this strength. So that’s one way. And then you can take a step further. If you wanna do another assessment, I like strength finder. It really showcase your top 5 or if there’s 30, I guess, but I mean, the most basic top 5. So that’s another layer. of seeing that. And if you don’t wanna go assessment direction, it’s reflection. And the type of questions I asked them, Like, first, I would ask them what do you think your strengths are. So many would say I don’t know. Usually, they start with nothing or something around. But if I give them the time, I could think again take your time and and be okay to celebrate the strat because some people might see, oh, I’m showing off. I need to be humble. Oh, I don’t have any strat. But then if you let go, you start thinking of, yeah, okay, what are the strengths. Let’s say they’re still struggling. Then questions like when were you happy as the most? what was happening? What were you doing? And that usually connects to some the person being utilizing their strength. could be questions like what’s the biggest accomplishments you’ve done? And what did you do back then that helped you reach there. So these kind of coaching questions help them identify their top 5. I’m just saying top 5 because it’s easier to stick to the top 5, but, of course, we will have more. So that’s the 3 ways usually I start exploring.

David Hall [00:19:54]:

Yeah. Great. And I I like the Myers Briggs and Gallup strengths as well. I I I like those 2. I’m I’m happy that you said it it is those any instruments, those included, they’re tools, and you have to validate what it’s saying for you because it doesn’t you know, some people act like, oh, well, here’s what it told me I am. It’s like, no. It’s it’s helping you, like, have conversations. A friend of mine recently said, oh, I took the Myers Briggs, and I thought I was a extrovert, but I’m really introvert. And I know this person pretty well, and I I pretty sure she is extrovert. You know? Again, nothing wrong either way. Yeah. But I’d have to have some more conversation with her and ask or some further questions because, you know, you you can you can answer those questions in a different frame of mind sometimes. So it’s really important like you’re saying to validate it and talk about, you know, what what in this is true for me, but it it really aids the conversation and the reflection.

Faris Khalifeh [00:20:54]:

Yeah. It’s the conversation for sure. Yeah.

David Hall [00:20:57]:

And then how important is it to live authentically, and how do you help people with that?

Faris Khalifeh [00:21:04]:

Yeah. Great question. I know it sounds cliche, like, linguistically, and it’s been used a lot, but it is true. Maybe the words, maybe replace it with another word, maybe aligned, whatever it is. But, yeah, living with authenticity makes you I find makes me at least more confident, more grounded. easier actually because you don’t need to you just be yourself, and that’s it. You don’t need to pretend something. You’re not. So how does how do you reach there? probably there’s many ways but what comes to my mind and the common ways I help clients with that One starts with the personality types because maybe that’s my focus and then moves into the strength, then moves into what are your values that’s important, especially for for everyone, I would say. But into it, since we have, let’s say, because of our battery life, having values, and we might because of the battery life, we need to almost be efficient what to focus on and prioritize So having understanding what you value helps you focus on the right things, I guess. So the values are important and the why. your purpose, your vision, why you’re doing what you’re doing. I find these 5, like, questions, the values, the purpose, the percent type, the strength. the starting point. And, of course, you can go deeper and deeper into it. You can it’s limitless. It’s ongoing and learning process, but it usually, I start there. And then that opens another probably opens another rabbit hole and all from a self discovery point of view. So the idea, the more you learn about yourself, the more you understand it yourself, the more empowered, the more authentic you become, the more confident That’s how I see it.

David Hall [00:22:57]:

Yeah. Yeah. I I like the word alignment too. I think that’s the good one, you know, when you’re aligned with who you are just like you described. I think that that makes all the difference in the world.

Faris Khalifeh [00:23:08]:

Yeah. And aligned to your values, well. Because if you’re if you’re navigating life and saying yes to things that are not aligned, it will take a toll on you. And that probably move into not living authentically because that could tap into maybe people pleasing or doing things that you don’t enjoy. And also, I would say, reframe and understanding the gifts because let’s say if someone had a negative understanding, being an introvert or being a great listener and not, let’s say, great talker, etcetera. The minute you embrace it and understand it, the more you then you’re comfortable with your own skin. So you don’t have to pretend someone you’re not. So that helps with the authenticity as well. to reframe the things you were looking at maybe programmed by society. That you need to do the you need to be this. You need to be that. You need to speak that way. So for example, let’s say if I use my exam myself as an example, as a coach or a speaker, I might think, oh, I need to be, like, anti Robins on stage. And then that’s probably impossible. Then I’m gonna think, oh, then I I can’t be on stage. then when you reframe that, okay, that’s one way and one personality, one style, you can also be, you know, the quiet speaker on stage. And that makes a shift when you start seeing there’s no right to run. You’re just different people doing it differently.

David Hall [00:24:32]:

Yeah. Such a great point. And that’s that’s so important. And, you know, I I definitely before I understood my introversion, I was definitely more shy, had more anxiety, that kind of thing. And now I I I that that’s completely gone. And I’m very confident, but I’m still gonna think before I speak. It’s just always gonna be that way. I’m not ever gonna talk nonstop, and and that’s fine. You know, some people might be expecting that. Like, oh, everybody should talk nonstop, but that’s never gonna be me. And and that’s so good to know. You know? But I can be very confident and, you know, have very valuable things to say, but, you know, I’m not gonna be probably talking as much as some other people might be.

Faris Khalifeh [00:25:19]:

Exactly. And and from my experience what I started realizing and maybe that’s not a realization. It’s obvious I guess that people resonate to different people differently. So so you you won’t find, like, some of that like, for example, let’s say some people don’t resonate to the the to the the talker, for example. Or some people like, I met so many people that say they say, I don’t like that. Rodriguez. I like I don’t know why I’m using him as an example, but I mean so you you’re never gonna satisfy everyone. So you find your tribe. That’s what I’m trying to say. People wanna work with you regardless not just as a coach, as a coach, as an employee, as any person because of your unique traits and personality and character and the energy you bring. you don’t need to be anyone anyone else. You just be yourself, and you will find people that want you the way you are

David Hall [00:26:08]:

and come to — Exactly. Exactly. I probably wouldn’t go to Tony Robbins for coaching, I’d more likely come to you. You know?

Faris Khalifeh [00:26:17]:

I hope he doesn’t hear the podcast.

David Hall [00:26:20]:

Yeah. Yeah. Right. No. But, I mean, he does some great work for many, many people. Just, you know, like we’re saying, the style is different. And You know, we can find coaches that resonate with us and, you know, and you can you can get coached by an extrovert, but the thing I I I I think is so important, an extrovert can coach an introvert, but they have to understand introversion. If they don’t, their advice may not do any good, it it actually could be harmful. And so I I know that that that’s that’s important. So Yeah. But, you know, a lot a lot of times we do learn we do learn best from other introverts, but it just depends. Yeah. I had a gentleman on talking about small talk, and he’s a therapist and he’s a extrovert, but he really understood introversion. He understood shyness, anxiety, and how all that can interplay, and it was a great conversation in a really popular episode. But he he got it. — it out. He he got he got the the introversion piece of it.

Faris Khalifeh [00:27:23]:

It’s important. Yeah. To to to have the understanding of different personalities, I find speaking of this topic like Android expert, many experts come to me as well. So I find sometimes experts They resonate with the introvert energy, or they want to be better listeners or introspective. So so it doesn’t mean I find it doesn’t have to be if you’re introvert to your resonates. You wanna work with an introvert you know what I’m trying to say? Like — Yes. Yes. Absolutely. — any% once, you know, or maybe the opposite. maybe because sometimes depending on the situation, maybe I wanna work with an extroverted, let’s say, coach for some reason. So it depends on the needs.

David Hall [00:28:02]:

Yeah. And what are you looking for? In your case, you understand extroverted you understand the personalities and their needs just like you do introverts. So, yeah, that’s a great point. So let’s get into leadership. What makes a great leader, and how might it look different from an introvert to extrovert? Just the approach.

Faris Khalifeh [00:28:20]:

Yeah. Leadership also another loaded word. I find many people don’t like it. And sometimes when I start a workshop or a talk, I I addressed that first because many people might already disconnect from the word. And to be honest, I was one of them probably 8 years ago. I didn’t like the word leadership. again, because of maybe the society programming and the media. Usually, they’re portrayed as a certain characteristic that I didn’t resonate with. But then I realized there’s plenty of leadership styles. What what we’re seeing maybe on the main screen is one type. There’s, like, at least 10 common types not common. 10 different types that are if you if only use like leadership, let’s say books and from that perspective, there are different styles. There’s the servant leadership. There’s the conscious leadership. There’s many. As a leader, some leaders lead from front, some from behind, So, yeah, there are plenty. And so r is the nature and and and also, it’s not about the title. and something about the ranks. That’s another miscommunication. Sometimes people think it’s ranking in the organization. It could be maybe leadership in that context, but leadership overall the way I see it, it starts with self leadership and understanding the self before you even lead others. and you might not even need to lead others. The core of it, it’s a choice. It’s an attitude. It’s a mindset. and it’s it starts with the self. So for me, almost leadership, I see it as self leadership. and and conscious. Like, for example, a leader is a person that’s curious, open, have a growth mindset. doesn’t see failure as something to avoid. So all these are traits of a leader. And the opposite of a leader would be the opposite. Not curious close minded, doesn’t wanna grow all that. So that’s my take on on leadership as a definition, I mean. don’t know if that was your question.

David Hall [00:30:25]:

What was the question again? Sorry. Yeah. No. That was great. That was great. So, you know, in leadership whether it be self lead leadership relating a team. What are some things that some strategies that might work better for introverts?

Faris Khalifeh [00:30:40]:

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I got it. So yeah. So I was sharing leadership in general what I meant So now we go specifically out to the introvert leadership or quiet leadership. It’s it’s under yeah. Again, I’m saying I think it’s something understanding to yourself, but then living walking the talk so and embracing your traits. So If you are an intro, for example, and you resonate with with your traits, so a great listener, introspective, calm, enjoy writing, enjoyed deep relationships, all that, then lead that way, lead with with the with those traits. So and so in other words, leveraging your unique strength. And that’s how you lead. So and many, many leaders and and and people have worked within corporate or not corporate, they’re leading that way. And I’m seeing actually a trend going that people are more moving into that type of leadership regardless of the percentage type, which is more wanna say empathetic because it goes with so empathy to be empathetic, it’s important to be a great listener. So again, goes bad in hand. So people are encouraged in to be a successful leader from what I’m seeing from the books and trends in the market. They’re encouraging, you know, great listening, asking questions, use the coach approach. gives space gives space in terms of so it falls also into the inclusion because now people talk about inclusive leaders. So being an inclusive leader means also creating that psychological safety in in percentages as well. So you’re open. You understand they’re different percentages. There’s not one way, right way to do things. If you’re more the quieter person, that’s great. If you’re more of that person’s great. So so I’m seeing it, yeah, that openness And I say that’s the quiet leadership or maybe some people call it conscious leadership. I think we were saying different things, even servant leadership. But, more or less, it’s different words or different titles, but the the core of that leadership is the same.

David Hall [00:32:58]:

Yeah. So are you finding that people tend to want to have that type of leadership? You’re seeing that maybe some of the old stereotypes are are are being changed, and people are are really gravitating towards this. Again, not everybody, but — 

Faris Khalifeh [00:33:19]:

Yeah. I’m seeing that a lot with even big organizations like Global and even across Canada. because I work with different companies not under quiet leadership, under trainer and coach. So I don’t go with the agenda of I’m working with the introverts. I’m working with all employees. Okay. And the message from these companies is all the same. How can, like, help our leaders be more compassionate, empathetic, inclusive, teach them how to listen, how to ask questions, have the coach approach. Also, many of them also provide or ask me to do personality assessments, not just my Briggs, disk profiles or EQ. And with the same intention, There is no right to wrong. Leverage your strength. So I’m happy to see that. So, yeah, there’s a trend going that direction, which, I don’t know, for me, makes sense.

David Hall [00:34:14]:

Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. And you mentioned also that, you know, this can all provide the psychological safety. How do you do that?

Faris Khalifeh [00:34:24]:

So psychological safety for in the in the corporate setting for people to feel safe to be themselves. to this means they can be themselves. So, for example, I would say in the past, I wasn’t doing a psychological safe environment because the the the message there was you need to be extroverted. Maybe they didn’t use those exact words, but they use the characteristics of an extra word. And if you’re not, then you don’t fit here. So So that’s not safe. So I felt that time that, yeah, I can’t be with myself. I can’t reveal my my real self. And I actually not back then. Even now, I work with leaders. I get super surprised that that’s the message they get also there. I worked with few people that were, like, CEOs of companies, and they said I don’t share with people that I’m an introvert. So they still have that also negative perception. But, hopefully, now they’re coming to me and we’re working together. Now they’re understanding it. But prior to joining or working on themselves, they’ve been hiding this all their lives. because they think it’s not it can’t be an introvert at work. So psychological safety as a leader to to be inclusive and be open to all personalities, all gender, all ethnicities, cultures, etcetera. and and help them have a voice. And so if they share their their thoughts, it’s welcomed, and there’s no suppression to that.

David Hall [00:36:05]:

Yeah. That’s so important. And so that is a lot of the work you do, right, with Doing workshops and things that bring an awareness to different people’s gifts. I mean, what what is the best way for organizations to continue to help understand their strengths and have that psychological safety whether it’d be for the leader or or for for everybody in the organization.

Faris Khalifeh [00:36:30]:

I would say open mindedness or have the growth mindset. I don’t know if that book was great to mindsets. Right? It’s called the mindset. I forgot the name of the author. There is many books talk about the same thing. It’s being curious, not judgmental try your best not to be biased because so how do we do that is by trying our best not to know to understand that it’s not my way is the only way. There’s many ways. And like you said earlier with the introvert extrovert, there’s no right to run. And you mentioned on your website, which like about being left handed or right handed. So if someone is right handed, you’re not gonna go and tell them, oh my god. This is wrong. So having that mindset applied to everything. from all aspects. So to be open, that it’s not my way is the only way or the way I think about things are the only way how things should be. There are different perspective, different opinions, different experiences. We all come with all different experience. So I guess if I wanna sum it up, it will be be curious, not judgmental, and that’s it with these 2.

David Hall [00:37:41]:

Yeah. The left handed right handed thing I’m right handed, and I did exercise when I was doing the gallop strengths. you know, they had you right with your right hand or or your dominant hand, I should say, you know, dominant hand, add, you know, your name 5 times. And then they said, now switch and write with your nondominant hand 5 times. And, yeah, it’s just It did not look good. You know? And, again, it’s not something I chose. You know? I it’s just it’s just something natural. And that’s the whole point is just all these gifts that come to us use them, if we try to use other gifts, it just it’s not it might not turn out as well. So We don’t choose our gifts, but we sure can embrace them.

Faris Khalifeh [00:38:26]:

Yeah. And that brings me to something I find important. Also, not to lay put ourselves in a box that this is who we are, and that’s it. We have all of these gifts and and and those traits. We can if we want to. It’s a choice. So it’s not you have to. Depending on your needs, you say, okay. I can’t when I want to, and I think you also mentioned that in one of your blogs. to tap into that. So let’s say I don’t let’s say, usually, introverts, they say I don’t like small talk, for example. and I don’t do either. However, let’s say I’m on a network event and it’s happens on once every 3 months and for that day, for a client, I need to make small talk. And also be open to it because we were talking about the growth mindset as being curious and open to possibilities and and not be closed off and saying this is my way or that’s it. So so as that to to to live that, then to be also open to those possibilities. As long as you’re not doing it by force or you’re not doing it all the time, like, once in a while, it’s okay to to tap into that and knowing, okay, I’ll go home recharge and do my own thing. because I find sometimes we might go into this victim method or the labels. Oh, that’s not for me. That’s not for me. And that limits our exposure. So sometimes we need to do certain things with small amounts with and mindfully, not unconsciously, like, mindfully. Yeah. And and so I always say

David Hall [00:39:54]:

You can do anything, but you your approach might be different. You know? I I also don’t love small talk. but I definitely have gotten better at it. Sometimes I enjoy it. Sometimes I avoid it. You know? But it it it often it’s necessary to get to those deeper conversations that we really wanna have. But, you know, I might think of Like, if I am going into an event, I might think ahead of time, oh, what what are some things I could talk about, you know? And, again, you might talk about other things. You’re not lit you’re not you’re not limited to that preparation, but you might just think, you know, if I need something to talk about, what’s something interesting? 

Faris Khalifeh [00:40:43]:

So, you know, whereas the extrovert might not have to give that any thought at all. So I think you could do anything, but often it’s you do best in your introverted way, but all of that is understanding your introverted way. So Yes. Exactly. I like that. And, also, you can still do, like you said, like, kind of small talk, but your own creative way with your twist. So maybe the common one, how is the weather and all that. You could go I don’t know. What’s exciting in your life at the moment or what latest book you’ve read. So you can still do that in your own unique way.

David Hall [00:41:04]:

Yeah. Yeah. And the other thing too is, you know, the subject of networking and networking networking events comes up often. And, you know, it’s I may I may not get to know everybody, you know, all at once. I may not get to know all hundred people at this event at once, and that’s fine. You know, it’s okay. Maybe I have a couple of really good deep conversations. Maybe it’s with a new person, maybe it’s with somebody I already know, but I have some deep conversations in you know, what what were my goals, and they don’t have to be the same as somebody else’s goal?

Faris Khalifeh [00:41:38]:

Yeah. I say the same thing about networking. You do it your own way. And like you said, it could be 1 or 2 people that you spoke to deeply, and that’s it. Doesn’t set about the quantity. Yeah. Absolutely.

David Hall [00:41:51]:

So as a leader and looking at those you lead, how important is it to know how to help or how to lead different personality styles?

Faris Khalifeh [00:42:03]:

It’s it’s very important because Because when everyone taps into their full potential and their gifts, it’s a win win for everyone. So that’s the top performing teams are the teams that they all understand themselves and others. I know how to complement each other. And that and that’s not just with percentage tags. It could be with skill sets and also with communication styles. people like to be spoken to differently. So if you speak or treat people like the way you know, usually, they say treat people like the way you wanna treat it. Actually, I don’t think that’s accurate. I wanna treat people the way they wanna be treated. And that’s why there’s different communication styles. Even there’s different love languages and etcetera to really understand the people you work with so you can meet them halfway, and they can also meet you halfway. So for example, you know, that person needs some time to reflect before coming up with the with the solution. So you could say as a leader, right, reflects on our meeting today and in 2 days, let’s reconnect and or that’s 1 or 2, you could say email me your thoughts because knowing they’re better at try take. So then you’re getting the most out of people instead of saying, okay. This is the challenge. Tell me now what’s the solution in 10 minutes. So then that person’s not gonna give you the best. So no one’s winning here. So when you understand each other, you give each other the space to bring the best in each one of from from each. So so, yeah, it’s super important.

David Hall [00:43:37]:

Yeah. That’s a good distinction. Treat people how they wanna be treated or how they should be treated, and it’s not gonna look the same. It’s there’s not a one size fits all approach.

Faris Khalifeh [00:43:46]:

Yeah. And also with the with the deliveries, some people, like, I don’t know. If I’m thinking on now of the disk profile, some people are very structured. And even with the my breaks, any personality, any I guess, we all have these things So if someone’s super organized and someone doesn’t is creative and abstract, putting them in one room not understanding each other might be a conflict. was one that that organized person might think that a person is taking it so lightly and they’re not focused. And that person’s thinking this person’s too rigid. But once you understand it once they talk about it and embrace it and own and say, I am this, I am that. How can we work together? That totally shifts the whole energy and the dynamics at work.

David Hall [00:44:33]:

Yeah. Yeah. I could tell you lots of stories about that because we We we need all of our gifts, you know. And and there’s been there’s benefits to both of those, you know, the this organized person and the more spontaneous person, there’s benefits to both. Mhmm. And So it all of this does take time whether you’re a leader or not, and it’s it’s just a you know, and it does take it it does take time to get to know individuals and their strengths and needs. And so where did someone start with that?

Faris Khalifeh [00:45:13]:

You mean as a per like, individual or as someone that works in the company.

David Hall [00:45:18]:

 Yeah. Someone that works in the company. You know, as as you’re getting to know people’s strengths and needs — Mhmm. — you know,

Faris Khalifeh [00:45:28]:

I would say the most basic simple way without even investment like money wise. First, having the intention and the that you wanna do this. And you’re curious. You wanna ex you wanna understand the team and percentages. So it starts there that you have the willingness. And then if you do, You know, there’s that percentage assessment online called 16 personalities. Probably there are many others, and I think you have one your website too. So it doesn’t matter. As long as you maybe as a as a team or individual, start with that be curious, play with it, do the assessment, see what comes out. Even the the most simple free version online can start get you start thinking and saying, oh, oh my god. I know that. That’s interesting. So that’s one. And then share it with the team. So it could be sometimes I share with some of my clients that are not ready to invest. Let’s say, dude, that’s 16 percentage.com. free version online. Do it for yourself and the team as a fun activity. You all do it and come talk about it. So come back to the office and block 2 hours or 1 hour. Each person shares what they what came out, and what resonated with them, what didn’t resonate. Any moments, any I would say that’s a good starting point.

David Hall [00:46:47]:

Okay. And as you said earlier, we’ve probably said throughout this, it’s not good or bad. so if you are doing that with your team, that’s so important to emphasize that it’s not good or bad. It’s just different than we’re you know, it’s a good thing. because that that could be you know, if if it’s if one’s considered better than an other, that could be a problem.

Faris Khalifeh [00:47:06]:

That’s a great point. So before, yeah, before doing that exercise, to have that discussion. Like, there’s no right or wrong, and this is just for us to start to getting know each other more and yeah. And it’s important to highlight that, like you said. because even not highlighting it, people might even answer their do the answers differently because they might think, oh, oh, this will lead to an introvert. Let me put the opposite. So then no one is the whole point is not Yeah. To be open and transparent, and there’s no right or wrong for sure. So that’s part of the psychological safety that there’s no right or wrong. Let’s just explore it together and talk about it. 

David Hall [00:47:47]:

Yeah. That’s funny because people might try to manipulate their answers. And, I mean, I I know too much. I could I could I could come out as a extrovert if I wanted to because he’s done it so many times. Exactly. And then How important is it for leaders to find their quiet time? Especially especially introverted leaders.

Faris Khalifeh [00:48:06]:

Yeah. if especially introvert, then it’s super important as you probably know, like, the recharge. Actually, that’s a game changer. Understanding your battery life and what drains you and what gives you energy. For me, that’s that was the main game changer in my life. So knowing yeah. Knowing that by itself can shift things drastically because then you plan your day differently. You plan your week, your life differently. So for me, quiet time, it’s part of my life. If I don’t have it, yeah, I don’t know what will happen. It’s it’s not good. So I start my day, the first hour of my day, quiet by myself, having coffee, journaling, and reading. And probably throughout the day, I’ll have mini breaks for sure, and they’re blocked on my calendar. So it’s not it’s not negotiable. So these blocks of time, it could be as even as 15 minutes, that can make a huge difference. And then end of the day, I’m gonna have another 1 hour by myself. anyway, for every person is different. I’m not saying 1 hour is some people you don’t have an hour. So even 15 minutes. So you plan your day the way you you feel is right for you. As long as you have those quiet spots during the day.

David Hall [00:49:20]:

Yeah. And that’s important. There’s not a formula. I’ve seen people try to come up with formulas, and I’m the same. The very first part of my day is quiet, and then I I kinda look at my week and sometimes plug in sometimes, like, oh, man. I’ve got, like, 4 hours in a row of meetings, and I I need to break right after that. And so that that’s that’s key

Faris Khalifeh [00:49:43]:

Yeah.  Because the reason for that, I’m showing that for the listeners is because because if we operate on low energy, and I think that’s kind of the obvious or 2, you’re not at your peak performance. So you’re not as creative. You’re not as calm. You’re not as efficient. So everything is lower too. So in order for you to thrive even on a person level, don’t want your your your battery charged like the iPhone and any other device. So the idea if you optimize your energy, then you can do so much. But not knowing that because many people, including myself in the past, I didn’t know about the batteries. So Probably, I was operating, you know, with low level of energy and batteries throughout the day without even knowing. So the first point is to know your battery and then decide how to optimize it.

David Hall [00:50:34]:

Absolutely. Faris, we’ve talked about a lot of great things. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. Is there anything else you wanna Is there anything else you wanna add that we we haven’t talked about yet?

Faris Khalifeh [00:50:46]:

No. It was awesome. I really enjoyed your questions and where this led us. Thank you so much for having me. That was enjoyable.

David Hall [00:50:54]:

Absolutely. And, of course, where can people find out more about you or connect with you on the work that you do?

Faris Khalifeh [00:51:00]:

Yeah. On my website, it’s my name, my first and last name, FarisKhalifeh.com. and I’m active on Instagram and LinkedIn. So feel free to reach out anytime.

David Hall [00:51:12]:

Sounds good. Thanks again, Faris. This has been a lot of fun. and very informative. You’re welcome, and thank you. Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at David [at] quietandstrong.com. Check out the website, quietandstrong.com. I’ll add social media channels for me and my guest to the show notes. Please comment on social media posts. Send me topics or guests you’d like to see on the show. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, and so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.

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