Your Core Wisdom Will Make You a More Empathetic Leader and Team Member

Growing up, given my experiences with racist childhood bullying and cultural confusion, I learned to “perform” across all areas of my life. My “Performing Self” was present everywhere.

By “Performing Self” I mean the self you show up as when you feel like you don’t have a choice but to conform or hide who you are, because otherwise you believe people will reject, hate, or judge you. The Performing Self is part of my Three Selves Framework™ – an innovative and inspiring model for living, working, and leading more authentically (you can learn more here and here).

As I share in my best-selling books, We’ve Got This and The Authenticity Principle – both of which are on the importance of authenticity and belonging – I thought I needed my Performing Self to help shield myself from others’ scrutiny and mask the pain I was carrying inside of me. I was performing across all areas of my life, but the most insidious way was probably my fixation on constantly being positive, perfect, and in achievement mode – especially in the workplace.

If I could keep projecting sunshine, achieving a ten out of ten on everything I did, and winning accolades, then maybe I’d finally be accepted and feel like I belonged. I mastered the art of this positivity-perfection-achievement act to the point where it became an integral part of my Performing Self at work. You could say I had “PPA” tattooed on my chest. This way of being ultimately struck at my ability to be empathetic and compassionate towards myself.

It’s my CORE WISDOM that made me realize that I don’t need to be perfect and constantly achieving to experience personal, and professional joy. In fact, through my healing work, I now know that to experience belonging in the workplace, it’s so important that we rid ourselves of the relentless pressure we feel to be perfect achievers, especially as leaders (more on that in a moment). This is what it looks like to practice empathy for ourselves.

By core wisdom, I mean your inner knowing that helps you to take care of yourself. It’s your core wisdom that guides you to tune in to, understand, and settle your body and mind so that you feel more connected to who you are. It’s what has helped to move me from constantly feeling unlovable, and therefore being so hard on myself, to feeling beautiful about my Authentic Self, which has been critical for my career development – especially as a leader.

On this note, know that your core wisdom as a leader is essential for your personal joy, but it also matters in the workplace. What do I mean by this? When you have a more regulated nervous system, feel more mindful and still, are able to better track what you’re thinking and feeling. This directly impacts the quality of your leadership. In growing and tapping into your core wisdom, you’ll: make better decisions; understand how you’re judging others; be more adaptive, inclusive, and empowered; and, importantly, practice greater empathy.

And, of course, all of this helps to create greater belonging in the workplace – for yourself and for others.

So how can you learn more about growing your core wisdom? Here are some important resources that you can leverage:


I hope these tools help you! And, as always, I’d love to hear from you about your journey with leveraging your inner wisdom.

Reach out to the bci team here to learn more about our range of cutting-edge programming on how to cultivate authenticity and belonging in the workplace.

If you’re looking for more authenticity and belonging related resources, check out:

Dr. Komal Bhasin, MSW, MHSc, DocSocSci

Komal is bci’s Senior DEI Consultant and Mental Health Expert-in-Residence and an accomplished DEI facilitator, coach, and strategist. Komal has over 20 years of experience in providing strategic and advisory guidance and program development across a range of sectors, with a particular concentration in mental health and racial inclusion. Komal is also the founder of Insayva Inc., a social enterprise focused on providing accessible DEI and health equity support to charities and non-profit organizations.

Komal has extensive experience in creating and delivering programming in a range of DEI areas, including unconscious bias, cultural competence, mental health inclusion, psychological safety, and allyship. She is passionate about driving transformational change in workplaces and has worked closely with bci clients — corporations, professional services firms, health care providers, and educational institutions — to embed cultures of DEI within their organizations.

Komal has provided one-on-one inclusion coaching to hundreds of senior leaders and brings a unique approach that is informed by her background as a therapist. She is able to expertly handle sensitive conversations and situations and works with leaders to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to advance racial/ethnocultural, gender, and mental health-related equity across teams and organizations. Komal also offers a performance coaching program designed specifically for BIPOC leaders. This program aims to help BIPOC leaders harness their place, position, and identity to thrive in the workplace and beyond. Komal is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).

As bci’s Mental Health Expert-in-Residence, Komal offers tremendous expertise around workplace mental health. As a doctoral trained mental health clinician, certified health executive, and registered social worker, Komal has assisted organizations looking to advance employee mental health inclusion and well-being through offering programming on inclusive dialogue, anti-stigma, burnout prevention, psychological safety, resilience, and self-care. Komal is committed to advancing mental health and wellness across the life course; she currently serves on the board of the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario and previously served on the board of Children’s Mental Health Ontario and the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

When Komal is not working, you’ll find her painting, cooking or snuggling with her cat.