[First published on Feb 4, 2016]
[Updated on Feb 12, 2016]
Highly sensitive people are “different” but different in the way that businesses need. The highly sensitive see things in ways others cannot and are the world’s greatest innovators.
These are the people you want running your businesses. You want them on your creative teams to help push your business to the cutting edge.
With their influence, your business will stand out by creating new ideas and taking existing ideas to a new level of brilliance.
Here are eight characteristics of the highly sensitive that make them exceptional business leaders.
1. Emotional awareness
The highly sensitive are acutely aware of their inner emotional workings. They feel the emotions of joy, happiness, love, gratitude, excitement and passion more deeply than the average person. They also experience pain, discomfort and their physical experience more intensely.
Because their thoughts, ideas and experiences tend to be richer and more profound, they are gifted with a greater insight into what makes the human being feel enough to be moved.
Because they understand what moves people emotionally, they know how to capture consumers with creative products and ideas. This makes them undeniable assets in the world of commercialism.
2. Great empathy
The highly sensitive are built with a natural and deep empathy towards others making them powerful leaders, teachers, coaches, guides and mentors.
The emotionally sensitive are completely “tuned in” to the feeling experiences of others, enabling them to stop another person’s negative state from spinning out of control.
Their ability to show compassion makes them great balancers in challenging situations. Because of their empathy, they tend to respond to the emotions in others, giving them the insight to calm and provide practical solutions that ease tensions.
When the emotions in others are positive, the highly sensitive are skilled in building upon those emotions to more deeply inspire and motivate their team to the cause.
3. Dedicated to fairness and justice
The highly sensitive stand for what is right. All of their senses are magnified making them live through feeling rather than rationalising. This makes them ‘relationship-oriented’ rather than ‘agenda-oriented’ in their approach.
Because their sensitivities and insights are other-focused, they make sure all ideas generated benefit the justice of the whole system. All business communications are focused on far-sighted, rather than short-sighted, agreements.
The highly sensitive have exactly what it takes to change the face of all facets of their business due to their commitment to justice and life being based on nothing less than honesty and integrity.
They never seek to greedily secure a deal. For them, there is no justice in greed and for this the highly sensitive are your greatest allies.
The emotionally sensitive are committed to creating dynamic, highly productive, value-based organisations that hire people who are passionate about their work.
They give others ample opportunity to grow, making them feel valued and respected. They are concise in giving those they manage clarity about their roles and responsibilities, eliminating confusion.
They do not support the high-control, low-trust model in directing their team. Rather, they empower others to be the creative developers of their own skills in getting to the next level of their career.
Innovation never happens in a vacuum, so the emotionally sensitive value, build and maintain large networks of people, assets and establishments.
Collaboration is highly valued as diversity provides them varying viewpoints to grasp the full spectrum of challenges which may arise economically, technologically, and financially.
The emotionally sensitive are attuned to each aspect of their business, providing them the clarity of what needs to be done to stay competitive and cut above the rest.
They are instinctive in knowing how to navigate through all resistance to their ideas. This keen awareness of emotional mechanics allows them to navigate more effectively than most.
The highly sensitive are deeply passionate about what they believe in and are able to make significant differences in the business landscape. Their minds are endlessly active and not built with an ‘off’ switch.
They are often so passionate that they consume themselves with their work and cannot stop until they have reached a satisfactory level of readiness to launch their ideas.
They are intense, deeply imaginative, perceptive and deep. Whatever they do, they give it all they have got.
This quality makes the highly sensitive person an invaluable commodity in pioneering new paths with a steadfast commitment.
6. Need space and time to themselves
Because the emotionally sensitive are extreme and ingest the wholeness of the emotional and physical environment around them, they need time to retreat and refuel.
In many ways life is more difficult for them. Everything about life is magnified and penetrating to their experience. Their brilliant minds are constantly in motion – creating, designing, and thinking, like a merry-go-round which never stops spinning.
They burn out easily if they do not take care to refresh themselves. Without time to disconnect, it can cause blocks in their creativity, so they need quiet time to further make use of their genius.
Many highly sensitive people are introverted, which is a trait that can also encourage creativity.
The emotionally sensitive have a richness of sensory detail making them attuned to shades, ideas, colours and textures of the commercial world many do not see. They are also able to see the voids, gaps and spaces for innovation not seen by others.
The highly sensitive are interested in creating something new, taking new approaches, and creating products the consumer did not even know they needed. They enjoy re-imagining and re-purposing products or ideas already in place as well.
Because they prefer the unconventional, they pay little attention to traditional business metrics which inhibit many companies from making breakthroughs. The highly sensitive are the people who make the “difference”.
The emotionally sensitive are known givers. If you need something they will try to get it for you, regardless of the cost to themselves.
They are a “players coach” looking out for the best interest of each individual team member and what each needs to be successful.
They are giving, loving, encouraging and committed to any and all people they have relationships with, personal and professional.
They are demonstrative with generosity and value its impact on the happiness and overall attitude of people. They compliment often, acknowledge others for their achievements and reward liberally, inspiring others to want to work with them and for them.
The highly sensitive are trailblazers. Being naturally innovative means doing things differently or doing things that have never been done before.
An emotionally sensitive person is someone who has embraced this idea and creates environments in which employees are given the tools and resources to challenge the status quo, push boundaries and achieve growth.
The emotionally sensitive are curious, self-motivated, visionary, risk taking, constantly in motion, playful, self-accepting, adaptive, reflective, experts at recognising patterns, committed to learning, collaborative, articulate, resilient and persevering.
With them as your leaders, you company will be a cut above the rest.
Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in California with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. This article was first published on Entrepreneur.com. To learn how to identify the highly sensitive people and assess such talent in your organisation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Thought of the Week articles, click here.