If you're a highly sensitive person, then your sensitive leadership traits make you a natural born leader.
Why is sensitivity important? We're all emotional creatures as humans. The better equipped people are to understand other people’s emotions, the better they can lead. That’s why HSP's are born to lead.
I myself have been referred to as sensitive or highly sensitive a time or two. I can understand where an HSP is coming from. But my sensitivity has helped me to communicate to people in a way that gets them to be better (most of the time).
That’s what being a leader is all about. Getting the best out of the people you’re working with, and understanding what gets a particular individual to respond in a positive way.
If you’re an HSP, take a look at how your unique personality traits accomplishes true leadership.
9 Sensitive Leadership Traits
1. Your ability to remember details empowers your organization
One of the key characteristics of HSPs is they can remember almost EVERYTHING. The directions to the store they need to go to, the exact item they need to get, the cost they’re going to save and so on.
Those things may seem like minor details, but minor details can add up to achieving a bigger picture.
For example, let’s say a particular person working for them is vegan, doesn’t like foul language, and appreciates quiet environments. The HSP knowing all those details can create an environment that best suits that worker.
They can give them work space that’s more secluded, using appropriate language with them, and providing special vegan food in the work cafeteria.
Since HSP’s themselves desire the best environment to function properly, they’re going to do just as much to make sure the environment is one that energizes and comforts those they're leading too.
In addition to that, because HSP’s are so good at remembering everything, they can also remember things that their workers are doing well, and what they need to improve on.
They can be laser focused on giving their followers work material and tutorials to fix a particular skill that’s lacking, and also know which areas of work would be best for each specific worker to be focusing on.
For example, they might remember one of their workers is really good at writing. As a result, they'll get them to do more work related to writing. HSP leaders can know better than most leaders how to make use of a person’s best skills for maximum benefit.
The HSP not only accomplishes building up the company through their sensitive leadership, but they also accomplish bringing greater fulfillment to the worker, because they get to do what they’re good at and enjoy.
Beyond these examples, all the important stuff that needs to be done at certain deadlines, a highly sensitive person will make sure nobody forgets, and everybody gets it done.
In general, your sensitive personality traits are what help you remember what works best for leading each individual working for you. That's one key way how to be the best leader.
2. Your high emotional awareness comforts your followers
One of the benefits of being an HSP is that you're not only able to understand how people are feeling, but you can pick up on those feelings quicker than most people. I myself am usually able to know when people in my life aren’t the happiest,
This is a very effective trait for a leader in knowing when to help the people their leading when they seem to be feeling overwhelmed.
An example would be a worker who looks like they’ve not been themselves lately. The sensitive leader will know to offer that person time off to help re-energize themselves. Perhaps send them counseling services to help with their stress.
Highly sensitive people can also effectively lead by being able to do some of the counseling of their followers themselves. I know with friends and close people in my life, I’ve usually been the one they come to for advice. I’m usually able to say the right words to help make them feel better.
Perhaps the same has been true for you. Because HSP’s understand emotions so well, they’re able to respond to people’s deeper underlying issues that are really causing the stress to occur.
They listen more closely to not just what that person is saying, but how that person is sounding, and the subtle movements of a person’s non-verbal body language.
Their sensitivity allows them to feel those people’s emotions deeply, and as a result of feeling those emotions deeply, they take greater care in helping people get through them.
I know for myself, whenever someone is down in my life, I can get a little bit down too. It affects me to see people I care about not be happy.
Because HSP’s will show more care and do more to make their followers feel better, they foster better relationships in their organization.
The better mood people are in, the more likely they’re all going to get along with each other. That creates a happier stress-free workplace environment for everybody to do their best.
We live in a culture that often applauds leaders who are tough-minded, strong, and always hard on their followers. Leaders who push people to the extreme to get the best out of them.
Maybe sometimes there’s a time and place for those traits, but the arguably more effective leader knows how to show comfort and emotion to their followers. That kind of sensitive leadership can help someone feel more encouraged to keep doing their best. All because they feel valued and appreciated.
3. Your intense emotions don’t allow you to be deceptive, creating organizational trust
People can say a lot of negative things about HSP’s, but they definitely can’t say they’re not honest. With the way they feel things so intensely, they’re rarely dishonest about their emotions or anything in general.
This is important because people have to believe the person that’s leading them is someone they view as having integrity.
So with HSP’s being more honest than most people, they garner a certain respectability. As a result, that makes their followers more likely to listen and follow their directions for the day.
Your sensitive personality traits will influence your followers as well. With you being more honest, that influences everyone else in the organization to be honest as well.
4. Your sensitivities make you more inspirational to your followers
The ability to inspire requires the ability to touch people’s hearts. So who better to touch a person’s a heart than a highly sensitive person. Inspiring people involves knowing the words that hit the right tone and the right message.
HSP’s are so in tune with those kinds of emotional subtleties that they can be very inspirational speakers. Feeling emotions more intensely than others gives you an advantage in projecting those emotions in an intense way that can really motivate and inspire.
People are very quick to follow others that show how passionate they are about what they believe in. There’s arguably no other type of leader that can be more passionate than an HSP.
5. You get so overwhelmed easily, you naturally delegate well
A lot of leaders can really struggle with micromanaging everything that’s going on with their followers, which causes two problems.
One, there’s a lack of trust between the leader and the follower, which can hinder open and honest communication.
Two, this distracts the leader from focusing on the most important aspects of the group or organization they’re running
Highly sensitive people can get overwhelmed easily just focusing on one or two big things to do in the day. Some could look at this as a weakness. It’s actually a strength. because this allows you to delegate tasks to your followers.
This in return builds up the trust between a leader and follower, the confidence of the follower, and allows the sensitive leader (you) to focus on the most important things.
6. Your need to recharge helps you to always be the best leader you can
An effective leader knows when to take care of themselves so they can operate at their best for those they lead. HSP’s instinctively know when to give themselves a break and recharge their batteries.
These people will never be the workaholic type leaders who burn themselves out, which can lead to poor decisions and bad management.
The HSP will do all they can to make sure they feel good inside. And as they feel good, everything else around them will run smoothly and effectively. I know I make my best decisions when I’ve eaten, rested, and had some good time to myself.
Being able to self-manage is just as important to leadership as being able to manage others. Because you know the importance of taking care of yourself well, you're better able to know how to take care of others well too.
7. Wrong decisions stay in your mind more, which helps you make better decisions
Perhaps there’s no person in this world that hates making mistakes more than a highly sensitive person. They can dwell on a choice to make for a long time, analyzing every possible outcome before making that decision.
This kind of strategic thinking is how a good leader makes great decisions. I know for myself sometimes I can take a while to decide on something. But usually when I decide, it ends up being the right decision.
If it wasn’t, it used to haunt me, but I’ve become better able to accept the lesson in the mistake and grow to be a better person.
When HSP’s realize what the right decision is after making a mistake, they usually don’t make the same mistake twice. Some leaders will only focus on their successes.
The best leaders focus on their failures that help them to grow and be better, which makes you a step ahead of the rest.
You also have the credibility to hold everyone accountable to a high standard of decision making, because you hold yourself to that standard as well.
8. Your sensitivity makes you more creative, and creative people tend to be the best leaders
Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”. The best leaders know how to make themselves and their followers stand out as the best in the business through creativity.
Your innate ability to notice the subtlety of sounds and sights and smells helps you to do something different and original. It'll also inspire the imagination of your followers.
Speaking as a sensitive person myself, some of my best work in life involves my creative outlets. Whether it’s writing these articles, or writing songs, I pay attention to how words look and sound together.
An HSP is creative because of the little things they notice. They also create an environment for their workers to be more creative too. This collective elevation of creativity in an organization helps to lead to greater innovations.
9. You’re so affected by criticism, you know how to be constructive in your criticism
Knowing how to deliver criticism can separate the good leaders from the bad leaders. Bad leaders can criticize their followers so harshly, instead of improving them, it can have the opposite effect and make them do worse.
The followers they lead are left with less confidence and less desire to do their best for their leader.
Even though I can be a sensitive person, I’ve learned not to let harsh destructive criticism affect me much. People who are intentionally trying to make you feel bad aren’t worth your time and energy to get upset over.
As an HSP, you're highly aware of how criticism affects people given your own sensitive experience with it. As a result, you'll be more constructive in your criticism, making you a greater leader.
Because you're instinctively careful in the words you use to deliver criticism, it'll make all the difference getting the best out of your followers. Of all the sensitive leadership traits, this may be one of the greatest strengths of a highly sensitive person at work.
What makes a sensitive effective leader?
A sensitive effective leader is one who takes the time to understand the people they're leading, and relates to them in a way that inspires them to follow their instruction.
How do you become a sensitive leader?
You can become a sensitive leader by choosing to volunteer to take on roles of leadership, and practice using your sensitive traits to lead the people following you.
Exercise Your Sensitive Leadership Traits
If you're a highly sensitive person, or even if you’re just a little bit sensitive, you have all the traits you need to be the best leader. You can empathize with others in a way that makes them feel completely understood and loved.
And because you can make people feel that way through your sensitivity, you have the skills to get the best out of them. Sensitive leadership is the kind of leadersship we need in this world now more than ever.
Don’t be afraid to take a chance and be the one who can lead people in the best way possible.
Free Highly Sensitive Person Audio Book
Being out in the world can be tough. Especially if you're highly sensitive. Ted Zeff gives some helpful ideas for managing the world. His book has all been recommended by HSP therapists. You can click the image and select free with audible trial to listen to this audio book. Because these tips can help make work, family, and life in general a lot easier for you.
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