Stanley Henry: the introverted attention seeker on the power of transparency (#17)

Do you sometimes find it hard to say what you really think? 

Maybe you’re scared of hurting someone’s feelings or maybe you’re hoping to avoid conflict. 

This is something I struggle with myself. I often find myself sugar-coating or being very indirect or sometimes I say nothing at all. 

But I was recently told be someone that “being nice is a form of arseholery”. 

So you can imagine my interest in talking with that person about this topic. 

And so today we’re talking to Stanley Henry about the power of transparency in relationships and in business. We discuss topics like leadership, gaslighting, making salaries visible and how to have open and honest conversations. 

Stanley describes himself as a misfit, dreamer and managing director. He spent 12 years travelling the world working in hospitality and running hotels. He settled back in New Zealand in late 2019 where he is now the Founder and Managing Director of The Attention Seeker which is a B2B & LinkedIn Marketing Agency. Stanley is also the Founder of The Nesian Network, a networking group that supports Māori & Pasifika Business Owners and Professionals. 

We hope you enjoy this insightful conversation with Stanley Henry. 

You can connect with Stanley on LinkedIn

You can listen to the episode on Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher or Simplecast

Show Notes

1:59 – transition into first leadership role.
4:19 – collaborative vs dictatorial leadership style.
5:45 – being promoted above peers.
7:9 – impact of retreat on strained relationship.
13:19 – importance of being aligned with goals
22:45 – giving feedback.
27:50 – gaslighting. dealing with people who deny making mistakes.
31:10 – encouraging open conversations and feedback from subordinates.
34:51 – balancing vulnerability and over-sharing.
38:5 – wearing your weakness as armour.
40:10 – importance of transparent communication.
41:3 – transparent financials: making salaries public to everyone.
46:51 – impact of transparency in personal life.
52:28 – introverted attention seeker: adapting natural style.
56:23 – get in touch with Stanley.

Links to References


8 Mile 


Key Quotes

“Managing staff was a big change for me…my first few months I was too casual.” 

“I have been conscious of the leader I want to be. How much do I tell people what to do and how much do I ask them?” 

“As you lead different people you need to find different ways to do it.”

“That vulnerability that came with people being in a safe room being able to share their stories and struggles gave understanding and helped the communication.”

“Just because we are talking about the same thing doesn’t mean our understanding is the same.”

“Find out the root cause of what both parties are trying to achieve.” 

“A big part is having the courage to say that you are wrong and start the conversation again.”

“I always ask a lot of questions, let them go and then bring them back, and then ask the question in a different way. This avoids a tough conversation later on when you are misaligned.”

“You can’t do good work if you are not doing any work.”

“You have to pick and choose how you can speak to people.”

“As a leader you have to document stuff.” 

“When I was trying to get to know my staff the best way was to show vulnerability to them that allowed them to empathise with me.”

“I have no care of what people think of me, I know who I am and I know what I do. I can now tell you everything. By being an open book people cannot attack you.”

“People always think they are worth less that what they are.”

“When you put people in a box and give them the right parameters they find a way to make it happen.”

“Triggers. I’m a big human baby. Give me some food. We know our triggers!” 

“My core personality is introverted. Introverts lose energy talking to people, but by business goal makes it a necessity to what I need to do.” 

About the author

Divan and Mark are co-hosts of the Candour Communication Podcast where we discuss interpersonal communication and all the human stuff that gets in the way.