Sarah Boyd


The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation

How To Make Sensitivity Your Leadership Superpower

Notice: Undefined index: plus_sharedcount_enabled in /home/sarahboyco/ on line 670

Notice: Undefined index: bar_sharedcount_enabled in /home/sarahboyco/ on line 672

Have you ever been accused to being ‘too sensitive’, ‘overly emotional’ or ‘over-reacting’?

Have you ever thought it about yourself?

The label of ‘too sensitive’ or ‘overly emotional’ is often thrown around towards women as a criticism within the context of leadership.

It is a fear for many women in leadership that if they show sensitivity (even appropriately), it will be regarded as weakness, undermining their authority.

So they shut down & become stoic, all the while internally hating themselves that they feel this way & can’t seem to ‘pull it together’.

But sensitivity doesn’t have to be a weakness, in fact it can be the greatest asset in leadership.

Once we understand the power of sensitivity & know how to harness it, we’ll stop hating ourselves when we feel it.

In todays episode were going to talk about “How to make sensitivity your leadership superpower”

The label of sensitivity can often be thrown around as a criticism. It suggests that an individual is not in control of their emotions, or that they’re making a small issue larger.

New research suggests that high sensitivity is a trait (just like introversion or extraversion).

It has been found that up to 20% of the entire population fall into a category called ‘Highly Sensitive Individuals’ (HSI).

These individuals process the world around them in a deeper way; they’re more in tune with their emotions & have a deeper empathy for others.

The research shows that on a physiological and neurological level HSI process the world differently from the rest of the population: they feel & see things louder and more deeply.

Therefore HSI do get overwhelmed by the stimulation of the world – because they’re noticing & processing more.

It is in these situations where it appears they ‘over react’. But the truth is they are reacting to an overly large amount of stimuli.


As we begin understand that high sensitivity is a trait that has huge benefits and strengths, we will begin to hold it in higher esteem. 

In a leadership context, high sensitivity can be of significant benefit, & something to be desired.



1 Intuition
 How to make sensitivity your leadership superpower

Intuition is knowing something on a deep level even when we don’t rationally or logically understand it.

Sensitive individuals are more naturally tuned in to their inner world & therefore their intuition. This is a great asset when it comes to leadership & business decisions.

2 Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the awareness and understanding of our own emotions & the emotions of others.

Individuals who are not aware of their own emotions may believe they’re “not emotional”, but this is often untrue.

There are numerous studies on emotional suppression – when individuals push their emotions down to hide from themselves & others.

The studies show that emotional suppression not only increases their personal stress response, but it also increases the stress response of everybody else around them.

It is a strength to be aware & in-tune with our own emotions. Then we hold the power to respond to the situation intelligently. 

Highly Sensitive Individuals have a natural awareness of their own emotions & this can be a strength in leadership.

3 Empathy for others
How to make sensitivity your leadership superpower

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes & have an appropriate emotional response.

Empathy is one of the core ingredients of healthy leadership. 

In order to influence an individual you must connect with them.

Empathy is the connection point.

In this way our empathy for others is of huge benefit to increase influence in leadership.



It’s important that we begin to view sensitivity as a strength rather than a weakness.

If we can learn to play to the strengths of high sensitivity, it can significantly increase our impact & influence in leadership.


In the comments below I’d love to hear from you:  Why do you believe sensitivity is a leadership superpower?

How to make sensitivity your leadership superpower

Be the first to leave a comment.

Let us know what you have to say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The 9 most powerful questions to get perspective in a difficult situation.