Servant Leaders and the Art of Healthy Communication

–Sometimes ignorance is the most effective way to disable abusers

If there is something uncomfortable to communicate, we must be tasteful in our delivery. We must not dignify them with violence or toxic humor. We leave that to trolls. Instead, we simply bypass their ignorance with silence… let them live with their own hatred instead of indulging their need for conflict.

~Aaron Towle

Those lines said by a fellow writer and good friend of mine are, without any doubt, some rare gems of wisdom. If I may add my 2%, I would say servant leaders wouldn’t require the affirmative form “must”. It is one of the words they erased from their dictionary. How come?

Simply put, it became their natural way of showing up in life. They paid the price to be irresistible beings to whom we can look up. They were bold and stayed with the pain of transforming long enough — given most individuals on the planet have been conditioned to some extent even when it comes to the healthiest family systems.

Who are those servant leaders?

People who reconnected with their gifted virtues and developed the level of their four seeds of intelligence during the transformation adventure. Should you be interested, I shared a non-exhaustive list of their lovable virtues in this piece: What Does Make Us Attracted To Some People Without Controlling It?

Interestingly, the seeds of intelligence exist in every one of you, given you all have a servant leader numbed under the layers of the life-time of conditioning and waiting for you to clean the dust:

  • Intellectual intelligence (IQ): We develop this first form through being humble enough to unlearn & learn again. This part also depends on how much others are willing to use our minds creatively.
  • Physical Intelligence (PQ): This includes being paid fairly for our contributions so that we could live decently and continue giving back to the world.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ): This one determines our ability to build trust and healthy relationships depending on the other party as well.
  • Spiritual Intelligence (SQ): This one is fueled by our Center, which is giving us our direction in any endeavor. This form is the only one that does *not* depend on others and is the foundation of servant leadership.

The manifestations of those forms of intelligence are respectively: Vision, Discipline, Passion, and Principled legacy. Let’s take an example if you don’t mind:

Adolf Hitler had a vision: World peace will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. He was not only disciplined but also successful in building a disciplined army blindly believing in him as well as his vision. He was extremely passionate about his evil plan. Can we call him a leader? Absolutely not. Why not? What was missing? The most crucial component of the equation: the ‘Principles’ Center, the conscience.

He was an ego-driven individual who, instead of uplifting the world, could only create chaos!

More to the point, servant leaders are the ones who worked on re-writing their invasive subconscious program so that they could move back to their original Center. Developing the seeds of intelligence — most importantly, the SQ — and maintaining them happen naturally in parallel with the transformation process.

This investment gives birth to what we call interdependent individuals. If you feel interested in understanding the difference between interdependency and wholeness, this article might be a good fit for you: Can You Reach Wholeness Without Others?

The healthy communication art

Servant leaders are emotionally mature people.

Maturity is the balance between compassion and bravery. If I have real maturity, I can listen. I can empathically understand, but I can also courageously confront.

~Stephen Covey

Thus, servant leaders would ignore reactivity and displays of hatred. I believe their drive would depend on the person, though. While it is compassion and a will to inspire when dealing with kind souls, the main reason to make use of one’s emotional maturity with character-disturbed individuals and tormented souls is to disable them.

Curiously, I feel there is a common confusion between diplomacy and emotional intelligence. While diplomacy might imply wearing a mask to fit in or manipulate, emotional intelligence allows us to speak bomb truths without offending anyone, given we are principle-centered.

Servant leaders belong to the latter group, as you might have guessed. They educate and elevate global awareness. For those of you who are interested in learning about developing the EI, I explored the topic here: How to Develop The Emotional Intelligence Skill?


When being loyal to the principles, servant leaders fight the lack of them without demeaning people. They only talk about the manifestations of the distortion. They are not violent in their delivery because they are unapologetic truth-tellers and principle-centered at the same time.

A low level of emotional intelligence needs masks to manipulate, deceive, control, gain power, nurture the sick ego, etc. When the masks are dropped, we see the true colors, which have nothing to do with principles or being an activist for any noble cause. It’s all about protecting the fragile ego.

If you pay attention, you will notice many manipulators who pretend empathy are fans of the word “mercy”. I am aware it is used on auto-pilot by kind souls. I believe it has been vehiculated to the global subconscious program hundreds — if not thousands of years — ago by narcissists in a desperate trial to nurture their grandiosity pattern, while faking goodness:

We’re not equal. I’m better than the rest of humanity. I have all the power to destroy you. But I choose to spare you because I want you to believe I’m a good person.


Myriam Ben Salem
Myriam Ben Salem
I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. Writing has been my very favorite means to educate my audience, captivate their attention, talk to their emotions, and make them relate and take action. I have been honored by working as a columnist for BIZCATALYST 360°, an Award-Winning life, culture, and biz new media digest, serving as the global hub for enhanced performance and well-being, during 2020. Also, I am a contributing author in Mayhem to Miracles: True Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Peace. I am so in love with writing that I have a peaceful smile drawn on my face whenever I start visualizing the books I will be writing for whoever will be tempted to discover an inclusive philosophy breaking with all the stigmas! I was born in Tunisia, a small country in North Africa. I did pretty much everything earlier than the average: walking, talking, singing, dancing. Promoted throughout my entire education, I was also the leader of every end-of-year party. At some point, after working several years for multinational companies as an engineer, team leader, project coordinator, and product owner while always being a top performer, I figured out I was feeling miserable despite the 'perfect external image'. That marked the starting point of an existential crisis followed by an episode that triggered my re-birth and the beginning of the most rewarding adventure of my whole existence: re-writing my subconscious program and reconnecting with my true self. I was saved at the last moment through an out-of-body experience making me see all the lies, realize this gigantic Universe was not revolving around me. Most importantly, I was able to visualize I was here to leave a legacy like all of you, no matter how big or small! The butterfly took time to emerge though. Today, I identify myself as a Universal Citizen. Like-minded and light-hearted people are what I call home. I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer, and was granted the edutainer qualifier: a combination between education and entertainment! I educate on the importance of healing unsuspected traumas, seeing our limiting beliefs and biases with honest lenses, finding one's purpose and a principled mission that goes beyond the self, and unleashing the hidden potential so that to leave our legacy for the generations unborn. I have been using a panoply of means that could vary from explicit ones such as mentorship, speaking, and writing, a skill that emerged naturally during my self-actualization process to implicit mediums like storytelling, how I daily show up in the world and model servant leadership! Writing is my very favorite and most preferred tool deployed for my mission. The topics I explore are in the nexus of stoic philosophy, psychology, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and pretty much any topic involving human behavior. Common denominator? The quality of the subconscious program. You may have a look at some of my works published on my website; Set Yourself Free.

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  1. Wonderful article Myriam. I’m not sure how or why I missed this one, but I am flattered you referenced my little quote. Can’t say that happens every day, so thank you for the kind wink. As for servant leadership, these are new concepts to me. I’ve read a few of your articles in the past on this subject, yet I am certainly no expert. I yield to your wisdom here. As far as I’m concerned, it is best to treat every person with dignity and respect upon greeting. How that person reveals their core values will unduly present itself over the course of time. Eventually some will have nothing left in the game. Certain friendships or relationships will dissolve in the ether of reality. Being rude, obnoxious, arrogant, selfish… narcissistic… these poor virtues will ultimately be exposed. I try to assume a high level of respect for each individual. Only time will determine the truth. We have to remember that we all have character flaws. We all have moments of insecurity or weakness, moments where we ourselves were not pleasant. The difference is how we learn and change our nature, how we improve upon our patterns and behavior towards others. Once we have mastered these virtues of patience, only then may we lead with knowledge and authority. It’s not about how loud someone shouts – it’s how many people will follow the person with a calm, level voice… Till next time my friend.

    • My amazing friend, my celebration doesn’t give you enough credit, should I be very frank! You might not ne familiar with the servant leadership intellectual dictionary, but what is certain and crystal clear to me is that you are very close of becoming one of the most incredible servant leaders I’ve had the privilege to know in person!

      You said it so eloquently: “only then may we lead with knowledge and authority”. Absolutely brilliant! Servant leadership is all about the “moral” authority! Ghandi has no “formal” authority at all in the Indian government. Still, it didn’t prevent India from following his lead! 💙

      Thank you so much for how you show up in life, my friend!