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Show Notes

Are you curious about how to support and nurture introverted leaders in the classroom and beyond? In this episode of The Quiet And Strong Podcast, host David Hall sits down with Dr. Heidi Kasevich, leadership educator and founder of Kase Leadership Method. Together, they delve into the importance of understanding and embracing introverted students’ needs, while creating inclusive environments that allow them to thrive.

You’ll discover tools and strategies to cultivate introvert-friendly classrooms, helping introverts reach their full potential. Heidi shares her insights on how to shift from participation to engagement, redefine what it means to be a leader, and create spaces for deep listening and reflection.

Listeners will take away a deeper understanding of how introverts can excel in their own unique ways,  value self-awareness, and become compassionate leaders. Tune in to this episode to gain valuable insights into fostering introverted leaders, and discover why understanding our diverse nervous systems is essential for an inclusive and thriving environment.

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Dr. Heidi Kasevich  is founder of Kase Leadership Method, a mission-driven organization committed to fostering temperament-inclusive cultures where people of diverse personality styles can thrive. Through professional development workshops, keynote presentations, and executive coaching, Kase Leadership facilitates the courageous conversations needed to create communities of belonging where introverts are as valued as their extroverted counterparts. She is also founding Director of Gardner Carney Leadership Institute’s Leadership Academy, a revolutionary program that empowers students and faculty to be self-aware, resilient, and compassionate leaders.  

Heidi recently served as Director of Education at Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution, where she launched a national introvert-inclusivity professional development program, featured in numerous national magazines and radio programs.  She is co-author of The Introverted Actor: Practical Approaches, and her forthcoming publication, Silent Talk: Setting the Stage for Introverts to Thrive, provides K-university educators with research-based strategies to create introvert-friendly classrooms and nurture quiet leaders.

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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

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Timestamped Overview

[00:00:37] Welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast for introverts hosted by David Hall. Dr. Heidi Kosovich, founder of Kase Leadership Method, discusses the importance of embracing introversion and creating inclusive environments. She is an expert in quiet and women’s leadership and has published books on the topic.

[00:03:12] The author experienced pressure to speak up, struggled with popularity, found their voice through the French language, and experienced barriers in school.

[00:07:07] Passion is key – introverts have a lot to say and should not be made to feel less than. Confidence comes from having a passion and something valuable to share.

[00:11:00] The author discovered their introversion through Susan Cain’s book, which led them to promote introvert-inclusive classrooms.

[00:15:58] The term “diversity of nervous systems” refers to our sensitivity to stimulation from the outside world. Introverts have a lower threshold for stimuli and prefer one-on-one socializing. They may leave parties early due to too much stimulation. Introverts may also be sensitive to lights and noise. The author recounts a story about a student who needed dim lights in the classroom. The author, an introvert, prefers quiet hotel rooms when traveling due to sensitivity to their environment.

[00:19:48] The Strength Stretch Restore Method helps introverts adapt and stretch their comfort zones without burning out.

[00:24:52] Research shows benefits of quiet time for creativity. Schools should build in reflective pauses and create dedicated quiet spaces for recharging.

[00:29:20] Using phrases like “just speak up” and “come out of your shell” can backfire on introverts, leading to shyness and fear of social judgment. This is particularly challenging for girls who are socialized to be perfect and nice. Without understanding and support, introverts may hold back.

[00:31:31] Understanding introversion, thinking before speaking, and preparing ahead of time are important for overcoming shyness. It is important to recognize the needs of introverts and create a conducive environment for them to thrive.

[00:36:49] Introversion and extroversion can complement each other on teams. Extroverts can help make decisions, while introverts bring thoughtful analysis. Sales teams can benefit from introvert-extrovert partnerships.

[00:39:51] Leadership begins with self-awareness, starting at a young age. Teach children about introversion and extroversion preferences. Understanding temperament diversity and personality styles is important. Encourage all students to be compassionate and take action to solve challenges.

[00:46:31] The book Silent Talk aims to provide practical tools and strategies for educators to create introvert-friendly classrooms and nurture quiet leaders. It emphasizes the need to shift from quantity-based class participation grades to quality-based engagement. The goal is to set the stage for all students, particularly introverts, to thrive in extrovert-dominated school cultures.

[00:49:04] Director of Leadership Academy offers revolutionary program for students and educators, empowering all to become leaders and advocates for self. Also offers professional development program for educators.

Podcast Transcript

Heidi Kasevich [00:00:00]:

I was able to expand my influence and really get that message out, that we need to create introvert, inclusive classrooms, and we need to very intentionally set that stage so we can nurture our more quiet, introverted leaders, so that they know that they have the strength and the capacities to change the world as much as anyone else. You.

David Hall [00:00:37]:

Hello and welcome to episode 131 of the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced normally. We will air 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 that introversion is a beautiful thing. Dr. Heidi Kosovich is the founder of Case Leadership Method, a mission-driven organization committed to fostering temperament, inclusive cultures where people of diverse personality styles can thrive. Through professional development workshops, keynote presentations, and executive coaching. Case Leadership facilitates the courageous conversations needed to create communities of belonging where introverts are valued as their extroverted counterparts for their potential to learn and lead. She is also the Founding Director of Gardner Carney Leadership Institute’s Leadership Academy, a revolutionary program that empowers students and faculty to be self aware, resilient, and compassionate leaders. An expert in quiet and women’s leadership, she serves as a career coach for nonprofit leaders at Executive Coaches of Orange County. Heidi recently served as Director of Education at Susan Kane’s Quiet Revolution, where she launched a national Introvert, inclusivity professional development program featured in numerous national magazines and radio programs. Her proficiency is grounded in 20 years as a leadership and history educator, department chair and Program Director at schools in New York City and Paris. She is a co author of The Introverted Actor Practical Approaches, and her forthcoming publication, Silent Talk Setting the Stage for Introverts to Thrive provides K through university educators with research-based strategies to create introvert-friendly classrooms and nurture quiet leaders. She received the 2022 Education 20 Outstanding Leadership Award.

David Hall [00:02:49]:

Hello and welcome to the quiet and strong podcast, Heidi. It is so great to have you on the show today.

Heidi Kasevich [00:02:54]:

I’m so honored to be here today. David, thank you so much for the invite.

David Hall [00:02:59]:

Heidi, you do some amazing work and we are going to get into all that, but let’s just start out with, like, tell us a little bit about your journey as an introvert to now doing the great work that you’re doing around introversion.

Heidi Kasevich [00:03:12]:

Sure. So I’d like to take you back a few years. When I was young, I felt enormous amount of pressure to just speak up. And some of my most bittersweet memories from middle school and high school involved few things. Loud Halloween parades, which I actually really despised, but I somehow navigated them by wearing a Pilgrim costume, very somber and being cold called in English class. I can vividly remember that I finally did say something, but that’s sort of the bittersweet part. Finally did say something, but it was very difficult. And I remember, particularly in high school, that being popular was tied to being outgoing and spotlight loving, and that really wasn’t me. I felt like there was no way I could ever contemplate taking on a leadership role with my quieter nature. And that always made me feel as though there was something wrong with me. Right. And as one of my fellow educators affirms, today leadership is a popularity contest where kids are expected to run the show, to be chiefs. And in fact, David, I didn’t really come out of my shell until I found the French language. The language and culture freed me to be myself, first as a 9th grade participant in a language exchange program, later as a French major in college, and then later it was my very first job. I was a French language instructor at New York University. And that’s really how I found my voice. And when I was sort of fast forwarding to my years as a history and leadership educator at various schools in New York City, I used to begin by telling students that I did spend my entire middle high school years with that fear of speaking up in class. And I was told repeatedly, just come out of your shell, which shut me down rather than to help me to flourish.

David Hall [00:05:32]:

What was it about teaching French, and how did that help you?

Heidi Kasevich [00:05:37]:

I felt like I became a different person. I felt like I could be myself. I felt like I could be authentic. It’s interesting that I sort of took on this different persona when I was part of the French culture, when I was speaking the language. And I think particularly as an exchange student in that 9th grade experience, one of the things about being an exchange student is that you really want to listen, to get to understand people, and there’s the pressure on you subtle, and not so subtle at times, to speak up, right? If you don’t speak up, you don’t speak the language, you’re not going to have friends, as one of the students who I interviewed for my next book actually said, who had a similar experience. But I often tell introverts, it’s finding your passion something that you really love. And so I knew that I loved the French language and culture. And if I didn’t get up in front of a room of students at some point, no one would know about my passion. No one would know, no one would learn about everything that I knew about French language, French history, French culture. So it’s passion mission first, and that can often then pave the way for an introvert to feel much more comfortable in, quote, unquote, coming out of their shell.

David Hall [00:07:07]:

I love that. That’s one of the keys because we do have a lot to say. We do have things that we’re passionate about, and often it’s because we’re not acting or communicating in the same way as maybe our extroverted colleague were made to feel less than. But that’s a key to all this, is being passionate. And obviously one of the things I’m passionate about is the strengths of introverts. And I could talk all day about that. And it’s funny. When I was a kid, or not even a kid growing up into college, beyond college, I was very nervous speaking. But that was one of the keys. I really don’t get nervous anymore is because whatever it is I’m talking about, whether it be introversion or education, I have a passion for it. And so I’m not nervous. I know that I have something that people want to hear that they need to hear, and that’s just been a key. So I’m really happy that you said that. What is your passion? And then there’s some other things that we’ll get into that you can do around, because it’s not just your passion. There’s other things you need to understand about your introversion to be able to share your message and feel comfortable and.

David Hall [00:08:25]:

All that good stuff. So that’s amazing.

Heidi Kasevich [00:08:31]:

I think we want to talk about myths around introversion that you and I, all those involved in the introvert revolution, want to dispel. And it’s really that introverts can be leaders. That’s the core of what I the work I do today with students and with faculty at really, schools across the country. So when students define leadership, let’s start with them. They often hold that enduring cultural bias that they associate. A leader with an extroverted tends to be an extroverted male where he takes charge and he gives orders. You’re expected to be alpha, gregarious, bold, outgoing, charismatic. And again, students think that a leader is someone who just gives orders. And what happens to our introverted students whose strengths are quite different? And I’d love to talk a little bit about those strengths and how to nurture them. It often leaves those introverts feeling as though I can’t do it. Like I said at the beginning, when I introduce myself, I can’t take on a leadership role because I’m not a spotlight loving, podium, Caesar type person. I mean, that said, we can stretch and do all those things. We can learn how to do that, but that’s on our natural state or our natural gifts.

David Hall [00:10:11]:

Yeah, that’s a myth that we bust regularly here. Introverts can be amazing leaders, but we’re probably going to succeed in a different way. We’re not going to do things the same way as our extroverted colleague might. And yeah, Gregarious is not a word that I used to describe myself. And the funny thing is the things you were describing, especially them, the leader loud and in charge and barking out orders. I’m finding that people think that might be how it’s supposed to be, but it’s not what they want anyway. They don’t want that type of leader anyway. Although there’s this myth that leaders should be like that. So that’s definitely a myth that we need to keep busting.

Heidi Kasevich [00:11:00]:

And I have to say, David, thinking about my own story, I never really actually discovered that I was an introvert until this has happened to many people. The year 2012 when Susan Cain published Quiet the Power of Introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. I mean, I had my own AHA moment reading her book, I felt, wow, I’m normal. There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m an introvert. That was so pivotal for me in my own building, my own sense of confidence. And mind you, I had been in the classroom for already a couple of decades, but I was a teacher who was always feeling kind of burned out at the end of the day because our schools are crowded, noisy, busy places, constant with expectations of constant collaboration, constant social interaction. And I have to say, kind of thinking about the work I’ve done, the arc of my participation in the Introvert Quiet Revolution, I had the great fortune of being invited by Susan Kane to become her Director of Education at her company, Quiet Revolution. And in my capacity there, I was able to essentially kind of turn the aspects of her book into a professional development program for educators around the country. And from then, from my perch in the classroom, I was able to expand my influence and really get that message out that we need to create introvert, inclusive classrooms, and we need to very intentionally set that stage. So we can nurture our more quiet, introverted leaders so that they know that they have the strength and the capacities to change the world as much as.

David Hall [00:13:10]:

Anyone else, and maybe more so. Oh, gosh, you’re not the first person so many of my guests have expressed. They thought something was wrong with them and then they ended up with Susan Kane’s book and it was eye opening. Or maybe they read the book and also watched the famous Ted Talk. What drew you to getting Susan Kane’s book? In the first.

Heidi Kasevich [00:13:42]:

Knew I was just I think the title drew me to the you know, I’ll just never forget. I have this great memory of actually reading the book with my son on the beach, whatever, one summer after the book came out and going through the personality assessment together and just ticking off the boxes. Oh, yes, all this amounts to we are both deep introverts, incredible sensitivity to stimulation from the outside world, be that sensory or social high reactivity. In other words, needing solitude for recharging time. That on the one hand. And also, I knew my decision making style was a little bit different from others. In other words, I’m a little bit more deliberate. I like to weigh options before making decisions. And quite frankly, the research shows that if you look at kind of the neurobiology, while introverts and extroverts both have the same amounts of dopamine in their brains, the dopamine pathway is more active in the brains of extroverts. Which means that they’ll kind of get a kind of dopamine rush at the expectation of rewards in the environment, such as winning a medal in a track race, getting your name in the newspaper. And I never really felt that way. For me, it was kind of much more sort of internally motivated, which is the hallmark of the introvert temperament.

David Hall [00:15:39]:

Yeah, so much there you started to mention the biology, the differences between introversion and extroversion, and you’ve actually called this that there’s a diversity of nervous systems. What is the difference? Are we biologically wired differently as introverts?

Heidi Kasevich [00:15:58]:

So, yeah, I love that term, diversity of nervous systems. So if you think about kind of what I said about stimulation, that’s what it really has to do with. It has to do with our sensitivity to stimulation from the outside world. And so with that kind of the introvert nervous system, there is kind of a threshold in terms of the amount of stimuli we can take in from the environment, which is why for introverts, we prefer socializing in a kind of a one on one situation rather than large groups because that’s a lot of social interaction. That’s why we will go off to a party, but perhaps need to take an Irish exit and leave a little bit early because we just had too much stimulation. It’s enough. It’s time. My battery is depleted. And that also applies to lights and noise. I really never used to understand why I would really want dim lights in the home, prefer candlelight, why I can’t really take loud music. Only occasionally I’m getting myself pepped up for something, and it’s really because my nervous system is again reacting to lights and noise. And I have this little story about students in one of my classrooms. And even though I always fashioned myself as an introvert, friendly educator, we still had a kind of a culture in schools which I was a part of it at the outset, until Know really took on the charge of leading the quiet revolution in Know as part of this culture, whereby if you just think of a common classroom in the US. Today, the lights are really, really bright. And I had a student who always wanted to kind of keep her like her head, kind of know, with kind of a hoodie situation and never really understood that. And I used to I think I misjudged her. And I think in fact, what she needed was just to dim the lights. And I remember insisting no. And I had some students, you used to ask me, dr. Katzwich, can we turn on the no, we have lights on in my classroom. But in Know back in the day, I don’t think I was really reaching those introverts in my classroom who need more sort of calm, warm influences. And frankly, I feel David, when I’m on the move, if I’m traveling, the first thing I do is go into whatever hotel it is and make sure I’ve got a quiet room on a high floor away from the elevator. I am so sensitive to my environment and I have to just really be proactively aware of that.

David Hall [00:19:03]:

Yeah. Our introversion or high sensitivity comes to us naturally and it’s not something that we can change. And I had several other epiphanies around that in addition to biology, just observing other people, and they come to it naturally. We have a lot in common as introverts, but as we get to know each other, there’s definitely some things that might be different. I might not be as sensitive or other things like that, but the point is that we come to these temperaments naturally, and it’s not something to fix, but it’s something to understand. And once you understand, you can do amazing things. You can do amazing things if you’re working with the temperaments that come to you quite naturally.

Heidi Kasevich [00:19:48]:

Yes. And when I work with students who are more introverted, I’ve developed and also with adults in my coaching practice who are more introverted, I’ve developed sort of a methodology which I call the Strength Stretch Restore Method. And so it really gets at what you just mentioned, David. So we first need to understand what our preferences are. I like to say turn those preferences into strengths. And that’s about 50% of who we are. Who we are, we are biogenetically born, more introverted or more extroverted. And the other sort of about 40% of who we are is who we want to be. We’re adaptable. Adaptability is a trait. So as I counsel introverts to take risks, to stretch outside of their comfort zones, which, by the way, often has to do with verbally participating in a group or verbally participating on a team or giving a speech at that podium in front of the entire grade. I counsel students that we can stretch, but we also need to do it comfortably so we don’t have experiences that then shut us down. So I like to counsel students and adults alike to think about stretching, kind of think about the self as a rubber band, and you want to stretch that rubber band kind of not too far so it will snap, or on a scale of one to ten, somewhere in the four to six range. So you are stretching, but then you’re also kind of coming back and honoring your temperament, so you’re not stretching so far. In other words, an introvert trying to be an extrovert, which is that kind of fixed mentality, but you can stretch out of your comfort zone as long as you come back to honor who you are. For me, for example, that would be me teaching all day and then coming home and realizing, okay, I need my half hour alone, just quietly sitting or taking a walk or whatever it is to recharge. One of the things I worry about a lot, a great deal for my students and for the faculty members in schools, is burnout, which gets at the third aspect of my method, which is restore. So I worry about those of us who will kind of stretch so far or self monitor to the point of self negation. And as Dr. Brian Little from Cambridge University says, if we do that, we’re going to have serious health problems. We’re going to have compromised immune functioning. We might experience undue stress, anxiety and depression. So we have to think about as particularly as introverts and connected with everything I said about stimulation, we have to think about how we restore, how we recharge. We have to build that in to our days, to our months, to our years.

David Hall [00:23:20]:

Yeah, absolutely. And it is different. We do need breaks. We need to restore and recharge and we need to figure out how that works. I tell the story. I still have a full time job and I was going into the office every day and then all of a sudden with the pandemic, I wasn’t. And I realized that the time in my commuting time where I was alone, that was an amazing time for me to think, prepare for the day, or recharge at the end of the day. And even though I didn’t miss the drive, the traffic, the gas, all that I figured out, I did need to replace it, just like you described. At the end of the day, I joked with my wife and said, okay, well, I’m going to drive home and just meaning going from my home office to my bedroom and sit in the recliner for a little bit before going out and doing some other things. So it’s so important to figure that out. And the other thing with it is we need time to recharge, but we also need time for so many other things. We need time of some alone time to think, to focus, to plan, and those are using our thinking gifts as an introvert. And we need to allow some time for that, which I think sometimes when you don’t understand introversion, you don’t give.

David Hall [00:24:40]:

Yourself the time to recharge or the.

David Hall [00:24:41]:

Time to be productive in your gifts.

Heidi Kasevich [00:24:44]:

Yeah, I like to talk about the plenitude of solitude.

David Hall [00:24:50]:

Yeah, I like that phrase.

Heidi Kasevich [00:24:52]:

And that’s actually for introverts and extroverts alike. There’s a lot of research points to the benefits of quiet time for coming up with creative ideas. We need time alone serves as a context to get into a kind of state of flow where we are at our most creative. And so when I do my work with schools, I’m very attentive to helping school communities kind of have slow down their schedules build in some time where students can have time to think, whether that be honestly three to 5 seconds of reflective pausing before calling on a student in class. Because often educators will call in a student after 1 second, which favors the extrovert speak to think approach rather than the introvert think to speak approach. So it could be that short of a reflective pause, or it can be three minutes of just stopping your class, letting your kids, all of them write, jot down ideas, try to make connections. What did I just learn? What do I think? Asking beautiful questions, just again, via writing. So that’s another reflective pods that we can build into our schools. And then also when we talk about recharging in schools, we need spaces in our physical plants that are dedicated, quiet spaces. And I have seen schools over the years absolutely struggle with this because not all our schools are designed with what Dr. Brian Little would call restorative know places where we can go to recharge our batteries.

David Hall [00:27:03]:

What would that look like for a student? What would a restorative niche look like?

Heidi Kasevich [00:27:09]:

Well, it could look like a lot of different things. I’m thinking of the younger ones at recess. That means there’s not pressure on the student for constant social interaction. That means it’s okay to then take a book and read in the library rather than go out and play whatever game is going on, because that doesn’t work for everybody. It could mean having some educators I know call like a cozy corner in their classrooms, just a place to go where you don’t have to. Again, the expectations for social interaction are zero, and you’re not going to be labeled as a loner or as antisocial. There is a recognition that, hey, this is a person with solitary recharging needs. And that that in terms of promoting the well being of all of our students, we need to allow for those quiet spaces and also for the quiet times within our busy schedules.

David Hall [00:28:27]:

Yeah, I love the work that you’re doing around the classroom because we were talking about just a little bit before the show when we were kids, there was no talk about introversion extroversion. And I know definitely I probably felt there was something wrong with me at many points while I was growing up, and this would have been so helpful. Instead, we’re finding that as I’m doing this show, people have discovered their introversion much later in life. Twenty s, thirty s, forty s. There’s one story that a guest told a guest that was a coach that she was working with somebody that was like 78 and was figuring out that she was an introversion. And her not understanding her introversion did cause her problems. And that probably could have been changed if she would you know, it’s not something you change, but her changing her understanding could have made all the difference in the world.

Heidi Kasevich [00:29:20]:

Yes. And I’ve certainly come to that realization for myself because as I shared, it really wasn’t later on in life that I was able to label my sensitivity to stimulation as introversion. And what happens in these circumstances, and I’ve seen it so many times with students and faculty, is that if we keep using those phrases, well, just speak up. Just come out of your shell like Maya, or write progress reports that say, Maya has some great ideas, but she won’t share them with the group. If we keep doing that, that actually backfires for our introverts, and they can become, as I did myself, shy. And I know many times on your show, David, you’ve had guests unpack the difference between introversion and shyness. I’ll just reiterate, shyness is a fear of social judgment. But if you think about if you’re constantly being told, well, just speak up, just come out of your shell, and there’s no kind of long runway provided for that, or there aren’t temperament inclusive practices that are embedded into your school culture, well, then you’re going to develop a fear of saying something that’s going to be wrong. Particularly, I would say, for our girls, who tend to be kind of socialized around being perfect and being kind of, like, nice all the time. So kind of a double challenge for the girls. But as I talked about Burnout, I worry that without proper understanding of self and other and techniques that create introvert friendly classroom environments, our introverts are going to end up really just holding back.

David Hall [00:31:31]:

Yeah, I wish we could do away with that come out of your shell phrase. And often it’s said by well meaning people, they’re trying to help. And for me, when I was shy, when I was younger or anxious, for me, it came from not understanding my introversion. And once I did, it largely went away. And there can be other causes of shyness, and extroverts can be shy, too. There can be other causes. But for me, understanding that you referred to earlier, that I think and then speak, and also because of that, I often should prepare ahead of time for things. And when I figured those things out, that I think before I speak, and that preparation, whether it be so this definitely applies to the classroom, this applies to work. So many areas. Often if I prepare ahead of time, I’m going to do better. And it’s not that I’m in my shell. I’m going to think first and then speak. And again, when I was getting certified to do the Myers Briggs, that’s what the Facilitator said, exactly what we’ve been talking about. Introverts think and then speak and then extroverts think in order to speak. It was like a light bulb moment for me. I’m like, oh, that is true. And there’s nothing in the world I am never going to most often speak in order to think I’m not wired. We were talking about wiring earlier. I’m not wired that way, but at the same time, it’s a gift because I’m always thinking I can come up with some amazing things. In fact, yesterday I was working on a project that required a lot of strategy and analytical thinking, and you talked a little bit about flow. It was amazing. I had such a good time working on this project. But again, I think I have a gift for thinking. And it was fun to be able to think and strategize, like, how are we going to accomplish this thing? So there’s a lot of great gifts, but there’s needs that we have, and we need people, whether it’s in the classroom or not. What does this student need? Do they need to prepare? Do I need to wait a little bit and get comfortable with that silence if it’s just letting them think and then respond and not just, okay, does anybody have any questions? Okay, good, let’s move on. That often is way too fast, but that’s what happens more than not, right?

Heidi Kasevich [00:34:04]:

And often in that process, introverts are labeled as slow in a negative way. Introverts have a gift. Talking about gifts and strengths, I would call that the gift of the character strength of Prudence, which is, according to the Values in Action Institute, prudent leaders, or Prudent people are careful about their choices, do not say things they might later regret. They weigh options before making decisions. And so I like to call this deliberate risk taking or deliberate decision making, which is often connected with kind of deep thinking. But one of the things I actually really like to do with my students is trying to get them kind of fired up about being Prudence, putting a word to it, like, my introverted gift is Prudence, which doesn’t really I mean, they have to understand what Prudence means. But then I also like to just kind of jump over to, hey, a Prudent role model. It’s Warren Buffett. And I’m going to quote him here. He once said, success in investing doesn’t correlate with IQ. Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble when investing. And his advice, don’t take big risks looking for big rewards. Be patient. Which I think is a famously prudence comment.

David Hall [00:35:55]:

Yeah, that’s great. And you know what? We need all these different types of people. But can you imagine if we didn’t have anybody that took some time to think about things? And I think of myself sometimes. I make really fast decisions, quick decisions on the spot. But as I think about different big decisions that I’ve made, the ones that I did take my time to think about definitely turned out better. And I’m like, yeah, if I didn’t take time to think about that, that could have really gone wrong. And we need people like that to be able to say, let me think about that, and really. Let it roll around in our deep thinking brains. There has to be some kind of limit. You can’t think forever, but it’s really a gift. We need people that are thinking through things and trying to imagine what’s the best or how can we avoid these negative consequences. We need that.

Heidi Kasevich [00:36:49]:

Yes. And absolutely. And I would sort of add, if we’re thinking about ourselves, which of course we are, through the lens of introversion and extroversion, there can be incredible synergy on a team or even any kind of partnership when you have that introvert inclination to kind of slow down and think through things, deliberately weigh those options. And this has certainly played out in my life. It can be the extrovert who has a different proclivity, which is to be less cautious as a risk taker or a decision maker a little bit more adept at thinking on their feet. So sometimes I’ve had my extroverted colleague after I’m kind of deliberating and deliberating my extroverted colleagues like, okay, no, Heidi, now we’ve got to make a decision. And sometimes the combination and actually it can work quite well in sales if you have an introvert extrovert team can work beautifully together because, yes, I would agree that we can, as introverts, be prone to overthinking or over rumination. That’s sort of the negative side. But it has obviously incredible benefits as well.

David Hall [00:38:14]:

Yeah, the deep thinking is important, but at some point we do need to make a decision. But that’s the thing. It’s like, all right, let me think about this, and let’s come up with a kind of deadline sort of thing, right?

Heidi Kasevich [00:38:28]:

Yeah. And then you realize that’s an appropriate response when someone asks a question. If you want your time to think, you’re just like if you need quiet time, you could say, Let me think about it. I’ll get back to you tomorrow. I’ll get back to you in an hour if you have that. Time. And again, same thing with your quiet time. So you’re not labeled as being a loner or antisocial. You can say, I’m recharging. I just can’t have lunch with you right now in this noisy, loud, overstimulating cafeteria. But it’s not that I don’t really care about you. Let’s catch up later. And that can be really hard to say, particularly when our cultures are sort of embedded with expectations around constant socializing.

David Hall [00:39:23]:

Yeah. We just need to be able to articulate our needs. And I love how you said that. It’s not personal, I love you or I care about you, but I need this time to recharge, or maybe I need this time to focus on this project or whatever it is and just be really clear with what it is we need. So how do we help kids in the classroom understand their strengths and needs? How do we develop that at those young ages?

Heidi Kasevich [00:39:51]:

I always like to say leadership begins with self awareness. So we have to start at the youngest possible age. And I’ve seen it done very adeptly with elementary school students. We kind of slowly introduce the terms introversion extroversion and the attendant preferences that go along with introversion extroversion. So, for example, what is your socializing style? So do you prefer one on one conversations or do you prefer teamwork? What is your recharging style? Do you prefer to recharge your loan or do you actually, after school, do you seek out more activities? What is your processing style, which we talked about? Do you prefer to raise your hand first and speak, to think, or do you prefer to kind of wait and think and then to speak? So I think very broadly, again, understanding the preferences via there are a lot of different psychometric tests, but we can just think. It matters which one you use and they can be adapted for the youngest ages. But there has to be some kind of training in temperament diversity. And often with schools, we have lots of markers of identities, but I still often do not see personality style as one of those markers of identity. And if we don’t have that understanding, we will have what I also see more often than I’d like to admit is you’re in a class, you’re watching a classroom. And what happens is you’ve got I’ll give you a statistic based on a smaller group. But in a group of six to eight, you’ve got three people doing 70% of the talking, which means you’re not getting all of the diverse ideas on your team. And you’ve got a third to a half of your students might be just kind of shutting down. So we have to start with intentionally teaching our students and it also begins with ourselves, understanding who we are along the introvert extrovert spectrum, understanding our strengths that come along with it. And then the concept, bring in that concept of stretching. So it’s that combination, but again, with the understanding of that authentic self, which is freeing. I’d say quiet. Quiet. Quiet and strong, but quiet. Set yourself free. It’s not meant to be a label that confines us. It’s the self knowledge that enables us to actually develop greater empathy with others and ultimately compassion. I want this next generation of students, all of them, regardless of personality style, to be compassionate, to turn that I understand where you’re coming from sort of empathy into I want to change your life, I want to make your life better, I want to turn my feelings that I have for you into action. And that’s when we’re going to see, I think and I believe and I hope and I dream. That kind of the next generation of our kids solving the very difficult challenges that face us in this world today.

David Hall [00:43:42]:

Yeah, absolutely. And the way they can do that is by understanding, here’s my gifts that I bring to the world, here’s how I can use them. I love that. I love the work that you’ve been doing and are doing. So earlier we were talking about that you really benefited by Susan Kane’s book, and then you had the privilege of working with her, and then you wrote a co authored a book yourself, the Introverted Actor Practical Approaches. So tell us a little bit about that, and then we’re going to talk about your coming book.

Heidi Kasevich [00:44:12]:

Sure. So The Introverted Actor is a Macmillan textbook designed for actors, actor educators. And so the audience is a little bit more narrow than my next book. But if you think about particularly for introverted actors, they’re often asked in the profession to behave like extroverts. So if you think about auditioning and networking and the rehearsal hall, there’s a lot of pressure to be that spotlight loving, gregarious talkative risk taker. And when I was at one point observing theater classes, I could certainly see that, wow, there is a desire to really embrace this craft of acting. Introverts really, actually like to get into a character more than introverts become actors because they want to get into a character more than because they love the spotlight, which I find that incredibly interesting. But what we were also seeing was that introverts will have a tendency to want to leave the profession because they don’t have the supports in place when it comes to all those expectations, to be kind of more extroverted, again, from networking events to the rehearsal hall to even auditioning. So the book has kind of practical tips, but also that are grounded in research that really help introverted actors to embrace their craft and to, we hope, stay with this beautiful profession.

David Hall [00:46:01]:

Yeah. And I think that’s another myth. I hear that so much is introverts. They can’t be actors or they don’t want to be actors, but a large share of them are actors, comedians. A large share are introverts, and they have certain gifts that they bring to that. So that’s another myth right there. So we’ve just scratched the surface on the great work you’ve been doing in the classroom and in education. So tell us about this book that you’re working on that’s going to come out next year.

Heidi Kasevich [00:46:31]:

Yes. So that book will be entitled Silent Talk setting the stage for introverts to thrive. My audience is educators k through university educators. And the idea is to provide research based practical tools and strategies to create temperament inclusive classrooms or introvert friendly classroom environments, and to nurture quiet leaders. So in schools, I want for educators to rethink classroom participation so we don’t dole out class participation grades that are based on quantity rather than quality of speech. In our cultures, school cultures, we need to work to balance collaboration with independent work, solitude with group work, allow for quiet recharging times during the school day, you know, and ultimately, again, set the stage. So I kind of connecting the two books here, setting the stage for all students, for our introverts in particular here, to thrive in what are very extrovert, ideal, dominated cultures. And I think that kind of that. Grading on cost participation. 30% of your grade is based on quantity of speech. We need to be really mindful of that, and we can change our practices so we can shift from participation to engagement. What does an engaged student look like? Well, an engaged student can be a deep listener. We might need to educate those who have the tendency to listen, to kind of show, demonstrate their listening through nodding, through leaning forward, through making eye contact, through really powerful body language. And that’s sort of part of what I also do. But again, you just need to broaden that term. And we want all of our students to feel engaged.

David Hall [00:48:52]:

Yeah, definitely.

David Hall [00:48:54]:

I’m excited for your book again, we’ve just talked, just dipped in a little bit to the great work you’re doing. Tell us about the other work that you’re doing in addition to putting out this book soon.

Heidi Kasevich [00:49:04]:

So I serve as the director of the Leadership Academy at the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute. We’ve developed what we call a revolutionary program for students and educators. Our mission is to empower students to become leaders who affect positive change. And so it’s a leadership program that enables all students, introverts and extroverts alike, to tap into the skills and capacities that they all have to be leaders. So we say our graduates learn how to advocate for self. It’s incredibly important for introverts, and the introverts needs unleash the potential of team members, skillfully solve adaptive challenges, foster communities of belonging, speak in public with confidence, and give and receive feedback. And we have an exciting new program as well. That’s a professional development program that teaches educators how to teach leadership to students. And so very excited about that new initiative.

David Hall [00:50:20]:

That’s great. Where can people find out more about that and all the great work that you do?

Heidi Kasevich [00:50:26]:

Yeah, so you can find me on LinkedIn and then on two different websites, and

David Hall [00:50:42]:

Okay, I will add that to the show Notes. Heidi, this has been an amazing conversation. I could have talked to you for hours, so I’m looking forward to putting this episode out there. It’s been very helpful, and thank you so much.

Heidi Kasevich [00:50:57]:

Thank you, David. I really appreciate it. And I feel as though we could talk for another few more hours myself. You just got me going. I’m all around. That very energized.

David Hall [00:51:09]:

Thanks, Heidi.

Heidi Kasevich [00:51:10]:


David Hall [00:51:23]:

Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at Check out the website, I’ll add social media channels for me and my guests 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 stronger.

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