What it Really Means to Feel Safe in the Workplace with Teo Pile

ON THIS EPISODE

When we talk about safety in the workplace, we often think having a roof over our heads and good air conditioning does the job. But what we’re really talking about are those inner subconscious stories you tell yourself when you get an email from your boss and suddenly your heart rate skyrockets. What does this mean?

Join me and my guest this week, Teo Pile, as we discuss anxiety in the workplace, the key to a sound mind and body connection and breaking free from nervous system protection mode. Teo is a Somatic Trauma and Nervous System Coach who guides women to untangle the traumatic cues of their body and symptoms to rebuild safety and self-trust. We also get a glimpse into how Teo transformed her entire life after tapping into more self-agency and choice.

ABOUT THE GUEST
Teo Pile

Teo Pile is a Trauma Coach based in the beautiful Cotswold countryside in the UK who helps courageous people who are trying to balance life’s challenges to gain more inner calm & build resilience so they can thrive from life’s challenges and design a life they love.

she has a curiosity for the art of being… being human. Why’s that you’re wondering? Because being human, being ourselves in our most sincere form is our greatest gift.

She’s  passionate to see that in you too. Your joy of life. Finding your purpose. Or just the act of being. Being present is an art. A creative process. And I am here for you to discover just that.

SHOW NOTES

We discuss:

  • How constantly operating in a space of protection will impact our conversations and actions

  • How to release yourself from the “I always need to be doing something” mentality and bring your body back into connection

  • That coregulation with your colleagues is also an option and we don’t always have to figure everything out on our own

TRANSCRIPT
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[00:00:00] Teo: We can look around and say we’re safe, but there’s a story happening below our level of awareness of consciousness that might tell a different story, and that is, Sensed through sensations in the body. And if you feel safe, how do you perceive it in your body? Because yes, your mind is safe. Well, I’m safe.

[00:00:22] But it’s important to also bring your nervous system online, your body, to also get to know that, to help it send cues of safety to the body as well. 

[00:00:32] Carolyn: Empowering women to transform the impact of trauma into strength and resilience. Teodora Pile is a somatic trauma coach and mind body specialist dedicated to guiding individuals toward a path of healing and self discovery.

[00:00:49] She uses a unique approach of integrating trauma resolution tools, nervous system regulation, and embodied consciousness, and she supports her clients by unlocking them from the negative patterns of anxiety, pain, and fatigue, and fostering a sense of authenticity and connection to self. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Teo

[00:01:16] in this episode. , you’ll hear Teo and I talk about the brain. This is really an episode about your nervous system and understanding safety versus protection. Teo shares insight about the lightning process. We talk about co-regulation, and Teo gives some really practical tips here to help us. Regulate our own nervous systems and the power of co-regulation and why that’s so important for us as leaders.

[00:01:51] So welcome. I hope you enjoy. What do you and I have to share? Welcome 

[00:01:56] Intro: to Evolve a new era of leadership, a podcast for real leaders to join real conversations with business experts, practitioners thought leaders, and change makers who integrate head, heart, and body in all they do, who commit to compassion and curiosity, who commit to radical self-leadership in their quest to understand others better too, because the only way to deliver real results.

[00:02:23] Understand what it takes to lead real human beings. This is a new era of 

[00:02:29] Teo: leadership.

[00:02:35] Carolyn: I’m Carolyn Sora, and this is Evolve a new era of Leadership. So I was scrolling through Instagram a few months ago and I came across this post and this amazing woman, her name is Teo Pile, came into my feed five underlying reasons on why Anxiety shows up, and I was knee deep into writing my book. Reason number one was nervous system Dysregulation.

[00:03:04] Teo, you had me at number one on your list. Thank you so much for joining my podcast today. Welcome, te. 

[00:03:13] Teo: Thank you very much for the invitation and it’s a honor to be here 

[00:03:17] Carolyn: and you are joining us from the other side of the pond. I understand. So it’s afternoon for you. It’s morning for me. I love doing these podcasts cuz I get to meet people from all over the world.

[00:03:28] And I have to say, that post made me an instant fan of yours. And I know that, you know, we’ve had a few conversations since then and you are a somatic trauma coach and mind body specialist. And I understand, you know, again, we talked a little bit, you have a corporate background. Could you just help us understand how did you find your way into this work and why was it so important for you?

[00:03:51] Teo: Yes. I am on the other side of the pond. ? Yeah. In the uk. And it’s basically my. Journey. My own struggles, and yes, my background is in corporate. I started off in law and with the law degree, then I moved into IT insurance reinsurance in the city of London. and I absolutely loved it, but of course it came with its own challenges, perhaps on some foundations that weren’t very strong.

[00:04:20] Basically a lot of insecurities, anxiety, depression, pains in my body, and I was like, this is not quite right. What is going on? And I do have an incredible curiosity. Mm. And I started off in 2016. I joined like a brand new training program called The Lightning Process, and that really helped me get my life back and really being able to perform at work and have more confidence and not see.

[00:04:52] Everything as a trigger and not constantly being in hypervigilance. 

[00:04:57] Carolyn: What was it about the lightning process? If you could distill it in a brief way, what was it that helped you realize that not everything was a trigger? And what did a trigger mean for you? Like what did that look like at work? 

[00:05:08] Teo: Yes. Good one.

[00:05:10] Uh, so the lightning process is a three day training. We’re basically using the power of the mind and the mind body connection to see in a way areas where you might be getting activated and everything, and how to work. With the mind body connection to rewire the nervous system, using visualizations, using different concepts of self-coaching, how to coach yourself for success rather than coaching 

[00:05:35] Carolyn: yourself.

[00:05:36] You can basically understand or see what’s happening and help find a different path, a different route. 

[00:05:42] Teo: Yes, but the way you do that is using the power of neuroplasticity. Okay? So using the brain’s ability to change and adapt based on the information it receives. But the lightning process is a process.

[00:05:53] It’s basically a tool. So you learn the steps and you apply it in different areas of your life. Okay. And when I went to do it, it’s usually very effective with chronic illnesses, uh, chronic pain, anxiety, depression. I went in more for, for anxiety, but specifically for work. And then what happened after I learned the tool.

[00:06:13] It’s constantly putting into practice. And for example, I remember at the time I was in a new role, a lot of novelty, and I was constantly basically being on high guard and being alert. For example, if I would receive an email from my boss, I would immediately think I’ve done something wrong. Right?

[00:06:32] Although it wasn’t, 

[00:06:32] Carolyn: that’s not normal to you. Like I spent years like that . 

[00:06:37] Teo: Likewise. And I thought up until that point is normal. Yeah. Or the same if, for example, my boss will call me into his office to ask me something, the same thing, I’ve done something wrong. Or for example, being in a new project, having high expectations that I should know, for example, working my teeth that I should know the product on day one.

[00:06:59] Carolyn: Right. So we just have to pause here for a second because. I thought that that was what it meant to be a high performer, and it sounds like you did too. We just accepted that that came along with being really good at work and, and really desiring to do a good job, but it’s not. It’s our nervous system that’s dysregulated.

[00:07:21] Teo: Yep, that’s right. And I didn’t know that until then. And that’s exactly what I thought, that you constantly have to better yourself, that you have to work and be available all hours of the day. That having anxiety about speaking in public or doing a presentation or doing your review or asking for feedback or even receiv.

[00:07:45] Feedback and taking it very, very personally and constantly shaming yourself or not doing something well, I thought that’s just how it’s meant to 

[00:07:53] Carolyn: be . Yeah, yeah. And sort of like suck it up buttercup. You just need to get better at receiving the feedback. Yes. Yeah. But you don’t, there’s things going on in our nervous system.

[00:08:02] Yes. So that learning that process, you were able to go back into your workplace and not be triggered or hooked the same way it sounds. 

[00:08:09] Teo: Yes, so basically my approach to my work changed. I began to gain more confidence. But I would say miraculously, but it’s not quite miraculously my whole work changed.

[00:08:21] Mm-hmm. , and I always say in a way, when I look back and even 2017, it was just like the best year in all areas of my life. The reason being because in a way, when I was more curious, when I was more open, when I became more accepting, these are my skills, yes, I can improve, but I can also accept where I am and bringing more safety in my.

[00:08:42] And the ability to know, okay, I can navigate the UPS upside down, but without putting so much pressure on myself, all of a sudden, in a way, even projects changed. I felt more confident, more open to trying out new things. Even being part of the social committee or putting myself forward for different projects, everything else changed.

[00:09:05] Carolyn: Wow. Wow. And now I know that this led you to do. A whole lot of other training. We talked a little bit about that. Can you share with us that it sounds like it opened a real door. This whole notion of the nervous system, and I believe the nervous system and understanding how to regulate your nervous system is an untapped resource for leaders around the world.

[00:09:30] Where did this journey take you after you were able to find newfound performance at. 

[00:09:36] Teo: Actually took me in 2018 to take a step back and thinking, hmm. What do I actually wanna do? Mm-hmm. So in a way, tapping more into that self-agency. Yeah. And choice. And although in a way, yes, the corporate world, I really loved it.

[00:09:53] Aspects of it I really loved, because I think like in any kind of job, whether we work for ourselves or we work for other businesses, there’s an element of things that we like and things that we don’t like. Yeah. In my personal life, there were a lot of changes that were happen. and then I took a moment to reflect.

[00:10:10] I was like, what do I really want for myself? Mm-hmm. . And do I really see myself in a way retiring from being a business analyst or working in it? Well, what do I actually want for myself? And then I remembered that after I got, well in 2016, that I planted the seed. And the seed was if I’m able to get well, I know it’s possible for other people to get well.

[00:10:35] Yeah. So I connected back with. Intention that I said two years earlier is like maybe that now it’s the time to do something in that direction. So I began researching. So I joined the qualification to actually become a lightning process practitioner. So I started that in 2018 alongside having a full-time job.

[00:10:57] Wow. Doing all of the qualifications. And that went until 20 20 20 when in January, 2020, I passed my exam and I became a lightning process practitioner. And I was also in a new job, in a quite stressful job. But also I knew that it wasn’t quite fulfilling me. Right? And it wasn’t necessarily aligned my values.

[00:11:21] That’s when the way I took the decision that I can’t do. So then I took the decision to go into what I wanted to do. So setting up my own business 

[00:11:30] Carolyn: and your business now as a somatic trauma coach, you know, given your own experience in the corporate world and learning how to regulate your nervous system, what are your clientele like?

[00:11:41] What, what are some of the things that you do with your clients to help them find this regulation and this awareness that, you know, you and I just talked about a few minutes ago where you don’t have to feel like that all the time at. 

[00:11:53] Teo: Yes. I work with a variety of clients. One is people that deal with chronic illness, so like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or chronic pain.

[00:12:03] Aris allergy, that’s one. Area, yeah. Of work that I do. And the same including like parts work or working somatically processing emotions. So variety of modalities. But the other parts of my clients is people that work in companies, the corporations. But what comes up in conversation is that perhaps some of the un unsafety that they felt throughout the years growing.

[00:12:34] in home environments in school, we don’t just leave that at the door of the company we work for. Yeah, we carry with us. Yeah. And how does that manifest? So a lot of the pressure, a lot of anxiety, a lot of thoughts in a way that I, I’m not good enough. A lot of fear that if they don’t perform, they will be let off.

[00:12:57] Inability to switch. Constantly being on. And even if they want to relax, they can’t because their body is in a protective mode. It’s like, no, you can’t. Right. 

[00:13:09] Carolyn: And can we just take a minute to describe like what does that mean when the body is in a protective mode? Yes. 

[00:13:16] Teo: So. We can’t fool our biology. Going back to the points that you said about in the way you’re noticing even with leaders and how important is for all of us, regardless we work for ourselves or we are in a leadership position or an employee to know about our biology and about our physiology.

[00:13:38] So whenever we perceive a threat or there is a real danger, Before we think or we see what’s going on below our level of awareness, there’s already a multitude of processes that have been happening. So the nervous system has been scanning for cues of danger or safety, but mostly looks for danger, especially if it’s a state of disregulated.

[00:14:06] And he will send you signals to tell you this is not. This is unsafe. And if we keep on doing that day after day, year after year, it will come a point where our heart rate is very increased. We will notice pain, intention. Our mind is racing. And even when we sit down, either we want to read or just relax, we find ourselves that we can’t.

[00:14:32] Mm-hmm. And there’s this constantly, this in the background. I need to be doing something. I need to be doing something I can’t be saying. , this is kind of the speed that we are talking at. 

[00:14:40] Carolyn: Yeah. Well, and I’ll tell you, like I sat down the other night and I was like, I really wanna read. I really wanna read.

[00:14:46] And I couldn’t. I was like thinking of other things and that is my nervous system not wanting to slow down. 

[00:14:54] Teo: Correct? Yes, yes. But there’s another point that I wanna make. Okay. That we are either in connection or in protect. 

[00:15:05] Carolyn: It’s binary, right? It’s either one or the other, correct? 

[00:15:09] Teo: Yes. Okay. But there’s also some nuances because we can also have blended states.

[00:15:15] Okay. Blended states being, for example, when we play or when we do a activity, we have some mobilization, but it’s still connected. We’re not afraid. Okay. Okay. Yeah. But usually, yes, we’re either in connect. For example, now we have a conversation. I look into your eyes. We’re smiling. Yeah, we’re talking. So it, it’s connection.

[00:15:37] But also even in this conversation, one of us altogether, we might have moments when we will disconnect and it’s normal and it’s natural. And when we disconnect, we go into a form of protection. But also when we bring awareness or percept. To an internal process, we can invite back reconnection. So I’m noticing I’m disconnecting onto protection and I can noticing my feet on the floor, bottom on the chair, noticing my breathing, looking at you, or looking around and knowing that I’m safe and I can come back into connection.

[00:16:25] And we do that throughout the. . 

[00:16:27] Carolyn: So let’s take that into the workplace for a second. Mm-hmm. . So I’ve had people say to me, Carolyn, the safety thing, we’re safe. We’ve got a roof over our heads. We’re in a beautiful meeting room. What do you mean safety? I don’t get it. Can we just dig a little bit more into what does safety.

[00:16:51] Mean, what is our nervous system looking for when we say safety? It like the whole protection or connection. Is there a little bit more we can share with the listeners around that? If it’s like safety, what do you mean? We’re safe? 

[00:17:05] Teo: Yes. In our minds or looking around logically, we can look around and say we’re safe, but there’s a story happen.

[00:17:16] Below our level of awareness of consciousness that might tell a different story, and that is sensed through sensations in the body. So for example, for listener, whether they think about either being at work or in a situation where even if they’re talking to someone. How do they feel? Do they feel their body tensing up?

[00:17:43] Do they feel like in a way they’re abouts feeling like they’re run? Do they noticing the heart rate going really fast? Do, are they fidgeting? Are they looking, scanning around, looking as like, where’s the first door that I can get out? Right, right. But also constantly thinking, oh, this person doesn’t understand.

[00:18:06] Or perhaps perceiving that, Hmm, I’m not feeling felt or I’m not being understood. 

[00:18:12] Carolyn: Right, right. And so that means we’re in a state of protection at that point in time. Yes. 

[00:18:17] Teo: We’re in a state of protection in a way. When we bring into conversations in the workplace, it’s like, oh, but I’m in a safe environment.

[00:18:25] It’s like, okay, just taking a moment to notice that. And if you feel safe, how do you perceive it in your. when you take a moment. Cuz yes, your mind can say, well, I’m safe. I’m in this beautiful meeting room, let’s say. Okay. Mm-hmm , your mind will know that. But it’s important to also bring your nervous system online, your body to also get to know that, to help it send cues of safety to the body as well.

[00:18:54] And the way we do that is just slowly, and of course not anyone needs to notice just with our eyes, let the eyes wander looking around. And actually taking some time to observe the space we are in. And when we do that, that will send cues of safety to the nervous system. I was like, I know where I am. Okay.

[00:19:15] And the mind body connection. Gets more 

[00:19:17] Carolyn: balanced, comes back online, and then we’re able to come into a state of connection. Yes. And we need that state of connection to have, you know, really good, robust conversations to be creative and to problem solve. We can’t have those things we all want at work if we’re not in a state of connection.

[00:19:39] Teo: Correct. Because we don’t have. When we are in protection, our physiology takes over and we do not have access or is much access to our prefrontal cortex. Where there is logic, where is ability to reflect or is also empathy, creativity, curiosity, right? Prisons. So now you can imagine if we’re constantly in a state of protection, how does that affect our convers?

[00:20:10] We’re more in a reactive space. We don’t necessarily have the curiosity to see, hmm, what’s happening in here? Can I find a different way of explaining? Can I relate to the other 

[00:20:22] Carolyn: person? Right? So let’s say we don’t. Cuz I was one of those people. I was like, I’m just gotta again, do what I need to do. I didn’t pay attention to what was around me.

[00:20:32] How do we bring ourselves, what are some things we can do to tell our nervous? Actually to even get in connection with our body, and let me take an even further step back. I just didn’t even think I needed anything from my neck down, like that was just the vessel that carried the head that had the important stuff in it.

[00:20:52] How do we bring our body back in connection? You mentioned a little bit about looking around and putting our feet on the floor. What are some cues or some things that we can help the listeners to maybe integrate and try out today when they’re at work or tomorrow when they’re at? . 

[00:21:08] Teo: Yeah. So first of all, setting strong foundations and strong foundations come from creating this ability to orient to the spaces we are in, either inside or outside, and grounding.

[00:21:21] So ground is just noticing the feet planted on the floor, autumn on the chair, leaning against the chair, how our hands are resting, noticing our breath, and see if we can slow it down, but not necessarily with an. Releasing the tensions or softening the tension we hold and also as much as we can. And I know a lot of the time that’s not quite possible to begin to slow things down.

[00:21:53] What do you mean by that? So if we are noticing ourselves tapping into the keyboard very, very, very fast, I need to get this email down just to see like that’s a perceived. That’s a tiger coming in, right? And they’re just noticing that, just take and pause. It’s like, do I really have to send this email in the next five minutes?

[00:22:14] And even if I do, I can give myself five minutes, but can I just slow down a bit to hear how I tap on the keyboard to really look at each word that I write, look on the screen every so often. Eyesight away from the screen because that’s very narrow, very focused. Mm-hmm. , which is in a sympathetic dominance if we have a window to look outside on the window at the sky, and then to come back again, and these are all small things, but doing them over and over again.

[00:22:50] We begin to have a different conversation with our body. We begin to perceive things and by doing that we also. Get to understand ourselves and if we go above a threshold of capacity for us to hold, we can know like, okay, now this is the time to take a break. Mm-hmm. As much as we can. Cuz also, I know there’s a lot of pressures and a lot of deadlines and a lot of things that are happen.

[00:23:22] In a, in a work environment. 

[00:23:24] Carolyn: And what can a break look like though? It doesn’t need to be a 15, 20 minute walk. I mean, ideally that would be great to get outside and connect with nature be would be great. And I know, you know, if I look at myself even just a few years ago, my immediate response would be, I’ll walk later.

[00:23:41] So, If we look at this as a bit of a journey for folks, what is something they can do to take a break to help stay connected with what they’re doing and their body? 

[00:23:55] Teo: For example, getting a cup of tea. First of all, asking your body, what do I need right now? And that could be, maybe it’s comes to 3:00 PM and I forgot to.

[00:24:06] That’s walking and getting yourself something to eat. Yep. Or it’s about getting a cup of tea and really noticing the warmth of the cup of tea, and even taking it in at every sip we take to really pay attention to it. or it can be just having a chat with a colleague and saying, I’m kind of struggling with this, or I dunno which way to approach it.

[00:24:33] What do you think? Because even that regulation in coming into connection with other people is very important. Mm-hmm. doing a small stretch or even rotating the wrists very slowly cuz we hold a lot of tension in our joint. So just rotating the wrist or the ankles a few times and just noticing, pausing, and noticing what it feels after can really help to.

[00:25:01] Bring our nervous system and our body in a conversation. 

[00:25:05] Carolyn: Yeah. I love the way you say that to you because I know I would be worried about losing focus. It’s like, oh God, ahead. It took me a while to get focused here, and if I do anything but think I’m going to lose that focus again and what you’ve just described.

[00:25:23] When we do those things, we’re activating our different senses, right? We’re using our different senses to have a better, more focused connection with our body, which means our head will work better, our cognitive capacity will work better. That was the breakthrough that I didn’t understand. Absolutely, 

[00:25:45] Teo: absolutely.

[00:25:46] And like you said, I want to mention another point, like you said, when we activate different senses, But also from a brain perspective, whenever we do these activities, we activate different parts of the brain as well and 

[00:26:01] Carolyn: different areas of, because why do we wanna activate different parts of our brain?

[00:26:06] Because 

[00:26:06] Teo: that will help us focus better. Okay. Yeah. Because when we activate different gas, so there’s more areas of the brain getting lit, lit up, . Yep. And basically new brain circuit. Get connected. Then when we focus back on the work, we might notice ourself, we focus better. We might notice we get a different idea.

[00:26:28] We might find ourselves being more productive. 

[00:26:31] Carolyn: Yeah. And so what are some of the things your clients say to you, Teo, after working with you and doing some of this work? 

[00:26:37] Teo: For example, I just had a client, we’ve been working for Fremont and actually, and I work a lot with people in transition. So for example, with, uh, women that going back after having a child go back into the workspace and the same because they have a new identity.

[00:26:53] Mm-hmm. And wondering, okay, how am I gonna be able to deal with everything, with all of this? And what I find is they’re able to perform better, but in the way they feel more in touch with the. They’re able to distinguish between what’s okay for them to say yes and they’re capable of doing, and what perhaps it’s okay to ask for help.

[00:27:16] Mm. To have a mentor to know that not everything is a threat, so not to being on that hypervigilance, it’s like, okay, I have work. And also to know very important, especially from a trauma perspective, is that there are situations. That I can get out of. So not to feel entrapped and that’s a big thing. Right?

[00:27:41] Right. And know what’s in my control and outside of control. What are 

[00:27:45] Carolyn: some things where we might feel trapped and not recognize that that could be some old patterns that our lower brain is reacting to? Is there anything that comes to mind? 

[00:27:57] Teo: It could be anything. Being in a project that you think you have No way.

[00:28:01] or, um, different conversations with colleagues or even the fact that I have to answer this email right now. Mm-hmm. . So that’s how our nervous system will perceive that that’s being trapped and that’s where we need to bring in choice in this self-agency. It’s like, okay, do I need to answer it now or is it okay if I answer it in the next half an hour?

[00:28:26] Right, right. So bringing choice. 

[00:28:28] Carolyn: And then that tells that lower part of our brain that’s not connected to our cognitive brain. Like, Hey, there is a choice. You’re not trapped. Yes. Right. And the other thing I’m picking up from this conversation or this element of the conversation too, is we don’t need to sit there and figure out why we’re feeling like that.

[00:28:49] That actually doesn’t help us move forward. And I think that that’s a really big message that I know I talk about in my book, which is coming out April 25th, that it’s not for us to. Understand or unpack what trauma would’ve been in our past, but that it’s stored in our body and we have to give our body a choice to respond in a different way.

[00:29:15] Teo: Absolutely. Yeah. Yes, because trauma is not in the event, is how we respond and how a nervous system responds to that. And that’s why we don’t need to take the past. , whatever it might have been, it will present itself in how we parent and in our relationships into our work and how we feel about ourselves in the present moment.

[00:29:39] Right. But the foundation in healing or regulating is about creating this safety, this capacity to feel safe in navigating the ups and downs of life. Knowing that I. Some form of self-agency of this internal choice. Great. 

[00:30:00] Carolyn: Now, we’ve loosely used this word co-regulation a few times we’ve dropped it into this conversation.

[00:30:06] Can you just take a minute, Teo, and describe what that word means and why it’s important for leaders in our workplaces? 

[00:30:15] Teo: Yes. So coagulation is a formula. Now I’m gonna geek out again. . That’s all right. It’s one of the principles of polyvagal theory. Bay Polyvagal theories. Basically the model in the theory that says, yes, our nervous system is not only sympathetic and parasympathetic, but that the parasympathetic branch has got two other branches, a ventral branch, which is about connection in social engagement system, and dorsal, which is more about shutdown and disconnect.

[00:30:44] So co-regulation is one of the principles. The fact. It’s our imperative, our biological imperative. What does that mean? We come into this world because we are mammals to be in connection with other human beings or animals with other things. So it’s about this interconnectedness and knowing that we’re not alone.

[00:31:06] And there’s a lot of talk about self-regulation. Being the ability to do it all on my own, but also that has nuances because when we think about only self-regulation that can have nuances of individualism, that I have to do everything on my own. I don’t gonna ask for help. I have to figure out on my own.

[00:31:27] And sometimes we need that, and it’s okay to have that, but also not to forget that it’s important to come into this connection to know that. I don’t have to figure out on my own. I can ask for help. I can bounce ideas of other people and that I can feel safe or curious or present in the presence of other people.

[00:31:55] And why is that important for leaders and leadership? First of all, what comes to mind is the idea that it can take the pressure off them. Yep. Because it brings in more collabo. They don’t have to sit on a pedestal and thinking that they need to know it all and figure it all out on themselves. Mm-hmm.

[00:32:16] let’s see. Let’s see. And this is a playing field, but there’s another element because we come into co-regulation and they’re saying with two people or more, but only if everyone wants to engage in that regulation. Hmm. , and it’s very important, let’s say in this conversation, I may want to come into co-regulation and I’m opening up in here, but if there’s something within you that’s telling you mm-hmm.

[00:32:47] and you don’t want to, or you or you can’t, unconsciously, yep. It won’t happen. So we both have to be open and willing to come into that regulat. 

[00:32:57] Carolyn: and what can leaders do? What’s in their control to help create conditions for good co-regulation? 

[00:33:06] Teo: The first image that came to me is like, for example, if, uh, leaders or CEOs, they, they have their own offices and know a lot of us, and I worked in open plans offices, but if there is an office just to leave that door sometimes open, yeah.

[00:33:20] Mm-hmm. inviting that. And being genuinely interested in people, right? Because if you’re only doing it to take off the box, the nervous system will perceive like, Hmm, that’s not quite landing. Yeah. So 

[00:33:36] Carolyn: our nervous systems are good BS meters. The best . Exactly, exactly the best. Yeah. Is there any advice or like anything you would say to leaders now to help them co-regulate?

[00:33:50] So again, let’s say we’re stepping into a meeting and I’ve listened to this podcast and I heard you know this amazing woman Teo pile. Say, say some of these things. How can leaders be aware of co-regulation? Next time they step into a meeting, what could they do? 

[00:34:06] Teo: First of all, before walking into a meeting, checking in with themselves and perhaps noticing if they hold any tension.

[00:34:14] If they’re thinking, oh, we should go this way, you should be. So any thoughts or gestures of contraction? Just to see if they can loosen up a bit and really having an intention to come in a place of regulation. And as they step into a meeting room, perhaps offering a smile. because through the face we get a lot of signals.

[00:34:37] We pick up a lot of signals saying perhaps, look, I’m curious to see how this meeting or how this conversation is gonna take us. Sometimes being okay to say, I don’t know it all, but I’m willing together to figure it out. 

[00:34:57] Carolyn: Mm-hmm. . And it just sends those beautiful messages. It helps us regulate, tells our own nervous system.

[00:35:04] And then as I’ve heard and read in many books, you can influence a room either with your heightened level of state, like anxiety or with calm and just breathing. And I know for me, like when we come into meetings, I really try and make it a welcoming, Hey, how’s it going? And virtually I’ll leave and play music sometimes, and it’s little things like that.

[00:35:29] They’re not a waste of time. It creates, I didn’t know why it was happening. I just was like, I just like to play music. When people come into a virtual meeting room, and I’m not saying you all have to do that, but be aware of the environment that you’re creating for people to walk into. 

[00:35:46] Teo: Absolutely, absolutely.

[00:35:47] Yeah. In any moment. We influence. That we influence and we are being influenced. Yeah, absolutely. About the signals we send and, and receive. Yeah. 

[00:36:00] Carolyn: Hi Teo, you are full of calmness. I have to say. Just being with you, I feel, oh, calm, common safety. How can our listeners find 

[00:36:11] Teo: you? Uh, through my website, theora pile.com and one of my favorite platforms.

[00:36:18] Instagram. Yeah, Instagram. I’m also, yes, on LinkedIn, but I mostly post on Instagram. That’s where I 

[00:36:24] Carolyn: found you. That’s where I, as I started off the podcast, I just were really connected to what you were posting and it was simple, it was accessible, and it simply made sense. So we’ll make sure to include everything you just said there in our show notes.

[00:36:38] And before we wrap up though, Teo, I’d like to ask all my guests three questions. Are you ready for those three? Yes, I am. All right. And those three questions are based on the three principles that I have for the Evolve Leader. Mm-hmm. . So the first one is around self-awareness, cuz obviously we have to be aware, we just talked all about that.

[00:37:00] So can you share a moment that was perhaps quite uncomfortable, but really, really full of insight about yourself and perhaps helped you understand your own reactivity a little bit. 

[00:37:14] Teo: Yes. And as I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast is when I took the decision to leave the corporate world because I noticed there was a lot of creativity and also in a way reflecting that I knew that there was a big part of me that wasn’t aligned with that.

[00:37:33] So I felt in a way that I was lying to myself, but I was also, I thought it was unfair to the workplace that I was. Wow. So in a way, being really transparent and say, thank you for giving me the opportunity. I really love it and I really did great company, but it’s important for me in this point in life to follow my heart, right.

[00:37:55] And what I desire. And it didn’t come in a way easy because that provided a lot of security, a lot of good things. But it was a moment of, yeah, transition. And I’ve learned a lot. Wow. 

[00:38:07] Carolyn: Thank you. Our second question, um, what is a practice or ritual that keeps you in a calm and regulated state? 

[00:38:16] Teo: Hmm. It’s a few actually.

[00:38:18] Okay. Looking at the sky, and especially at this time of the year, and we live in the countryside listening to the birds. For me, that’s really soothing in calm. So really listening with all of the details, all of the birds, the sounds that, the singing, reading, it’s a big and loving activity for me. Mm-hmm.

[00:38:37] And at the same time, yeah, coming back to my senses, so like we said, orienting, grounding, and really tuning in into what is happening in my body. 

[00:38:51] Carolyn: Beautiful. I have to say too, I got really into listening to birds on my walks as well, and I was blown away. I thought, my gosh, this has been going on around me the whole time.

[00:39:01] I had no 

[00:39:01] Teo: idea. Yes, no idea. And the same for years. I wasn’t aware of poet of singing. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:39:08] Carolyn: And then the third one, I think this is my favorite cuz it involves music. What is a song or a genre of music that makes you feel connected to others or part of something bigger than? 

[00:39:20] Teo: First of all, I would say yes, classical music and some of the classical, cuz I also used to play the piano in music.

[00:39:25] It’s a big thing. But recently, and I’m gonna look as, I never know what is called, so it’s a. Song that I absolutely love and it really lifts me up is called Jungle Kitchen by Addie Shakti. It’s a song that I heard in, um, conscious connected breath work session that I did, and it just stayed with me. And I dunno the words and I can move onto it.

[00:39:55] I just feel so, so connected with me, with the music, with other people and yeah, I love it. Oh 

[00:40:01] well 

[00:40:01] Carolyn: I’m looking it up. As soon as we get off the podcast, , I’ll send you the link. Thank you so much, Teo. I know that our conversations will continue, perhaps not on a podcast with everyone else, but I’m really excited to see where your work goes, and hopefully some of my listeners will reach out to you and wishing you all the best, and thank you so much for coming on the show.

[00:40:23] Teo: Thank you very much for the invitation. I absolutely loved it and look forward to our conversations. After 

[00:40:30] Carolyn: Teo and I stopped recording, we had this secondary conversation that really, really resonated with me. She was saying how important it is for her to bring this work back into the corporate world where she had had so much.

[00:40:47] That’s how I feel too. The corporate world is not perfect by any stretch. I think we all know that, but we also know that there are skills, there are ways that we can learn to adapt and be productive and be happy and not feel the same level of anxiety, and even for some hopelessness that’s existing out there right now.

[00:41:11] That’s probably my biggest takeaway from this podcast that happened after the convers. But I hope you got some good insight from to, and that it can bring a little bit of new insight into how you can lead and let your nervous system be a big part of your leadership toolkit.

EVOLVE Podcast Episodes

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