Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Yvonne Chu – Leadership for Introverts: Quiet Stories and Hidden Powers

December 11, 2018 Marie Gervais Season 1 Episode 4
Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast
Yvonne Chu – Leadership for Introverts: Quiet Stories and Hidden Powers
Show Notes

Bio for Yvonne Chu

Yvonne was born in Burma and raised in Hong Kong. She immigrated with her family to Canada at the age of 16.

She attended the University of Alberta, and has worked as a Settlement Practitioner and a Health Promotion Practitioner. In 1994, she and 12 others created the Multicultural Health Brokers Workers’ Cooperative Ltd. 

Yvonne is passionate about finding the true nature of social inclusion and inter-culturalism.

Episode highlights:

Join Yvonne as she explains how silent leadership from her grandmother in the form of grace and love helped her grow into a leader herself. 



  •  “Even with very difficult life circumstances, human beings are incredibly strong. They become even stronger when surrounded by love.”
  •  “I believe it is important to create room for individuals to have democratic relationships at work, even in a hierarchy.”
  •  “It is helpful to deliberately open a space for introverts so we feel able to contribute.”


Childhood incidents:

From the age of 2-16, Yvonne lived in one apartment with 10 older family members in Hong Kong. She was very observant of relationships and perceptive of emerging conflicts. She considers herself fortunate to have grown up in a very loving and supportive family. 

Groups you were born into:

As a Daoist leader, Yvonne’s grandmother personified bringing out the best in others, guiding others from the side, quietly. Yvonne claims that is the type of leadership that introverted people like her can really grow into. 

Groups you chose to belong to:

From multicultural leaders, Yvonne learned that people have much in common in shared humanity. She is still learning about love and honoring one another, and how strength is built through that process. 

Temperament and personality influences

Yvonne is an extreme introvert, yet very engaged in relational work. She allows herself to listen and not feel obligated to speak. By doing this, she can gather diverse views and reflect them back to the group easily. She also identifies opportunities to optimize harmony.

A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experience

The Chinese culture puts a lot of emphasis on context and the unspoken. Others may miss that, or not believe Yvonne when she explains it.

Advice to an employer to work with me

Yvonne asks that employers not judge her for being an introvert. She requires them to trust her and others who bring other senses and ways of being to the workplace and see what can be learned from that. “Believe people who have relational skills and use those insights to harmonize workplace relationships,” she states.

More great insights from our guest!

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