When you think about a leader, you may think of something that’s charismatic, headstrong, courageous, and probably intimidating. However, a high level of sensitivity can make a person an even more effective leader, according to psychologist Sherrie Campbell. Sensitive people just see the world through a different lens and feel every emotion much more deeply than their counterparts. They possess a certain level of empathy as well, and can sense when someone else is hurting.

Sensitive people make wonderful friends for these reasons, but what makes them natural-born leaders, as well?

Sensitive people listen to others without interrupting.

highly sensitive people

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” –Stephen R. Covey

If you think back on your former bosses, you probably remember most of them talking more than they listened. Talking is very common in today’s world, but actually listening to the other person’s perspective has become a dying art, unfortunately. However, sensitive people have a knack for listening to another person without having to interject or get the upper hand in the conversation.

Research also shows that employees feel happier and more fulfilled with their jobs when they have kind, sensitive, and empathetic bosses.

Many bosses today only think of what’s best for themselves and their brand but don’t regard their employees similarly. Sensitive people make better leaders because they put their egos aside and care deeply about how others feel. They want others to express their feelings because they know transparency makes for happier people, and, therefore a thriving business or organization as well.

 Sensitive people take others’ feelings and opinions into consideration.

Unfortunately, many bosses today take their powerful position to the head, which further inflates their ego and causes a lot of dissatisfaction and tension in the workplace. Many people who hold high-level positions possess a great deal of insecurity, because they place their value only in how much money they can make, not in how they treat others.

Sensitive people care about how others feel and would never dream of deciding without getting feedback from their employees. They truly understand and live by the saying “There’s no I in team,” and know that to lead others, you must get on their side. You must consider all parts of the whole, not just your own piece of the pie. Sensitive people are well-aware of this, and execute this ideology in their everyday lives.

The introspection and high self-awareness among sensitive people helps them understand others better.

Sensitive people spend a lot of time trying to understand themselves. As a result, they can understand the inner workings of others much better. Because they know themselves so well, they have a high level of confidence, which makes working with them much more painless and enjoyable than working for an insecure, egotistical boss.

Sensitive people know that their gift does not make them weak or a doormat but makes them stronger and more cooperative. They know dictatorial leadership only results in unhappy, fearful, and apathetic employees. They want people to feel comfortable opening up to them and sharing their thoughts and opinions. Even though they might hold a higher position, they see everyone on an equal playing field, including themselves.

Sensitivity plays a huge role in their mindset and attitude about leadership because without their knowledge and understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, they wouldn’t have any clue what others can do well and what they need to work on.

Highly sensitive people know they must first master themselves if they want to lead others successfully, so they have done extensive self-development to achieve this. Self-aware people make better leaders because they can keep their feelings in check and control their emotions before they get out of hand.

They don’t take their frustrations out on others; rather, they take note of how they feel and deal with the feelings in a calm manner. They don’t want their own storms to affect someone else’s day or performance at work, so they consciously try to transmute those feelings into a passion for what they do.


Final thoughts on sensitive people and leadership

Sensitive people are a wonderful treasure in our world, and when they become leaders, they have the ability to create an immense amount of positive change. They see others not as a problem to solve or an obstacle in their way but as human beings who just want others to understand them. We must attempt to see the perspectives of others so that our world includes the feelings of everyone, not just ourselves.

Great leaders know that respect, the ability and willingness to listen, and compassion for others create a positive environment and strive to achieve this in everything they do.