Sensitivity sometimes gets a bad rap amongst men. But did you know it’s actually a hidden strength that resides within many top leaders? The key is in understanding the potential value of the sensitive male leader.
At one time in my journey, I experienced my own sensitivity as a challenge. I felt I had to put on a shell and harden up. As a result, overthinking and my critical internal editor led to feelings of personal doubt and insecurity. I found a way out by being true to myself. In the process of coaching other leaders, I discovered that I definitely wasn’t alone.
Do you resonate with these?
I have a client who is very direct. He was bullied as a kid, and is absolutely brilliant. He built and sold a very successful company and now leads a different organization. His emotions were shut down. This can lead to a feeling of isolation, and appearing callous and uncaring.
Another client is a leader in a high tech start-up. He’s an innovator, a fantastic planner and a detailed thinker. He too was picked on as a child for being very kind and considerate. Motivation against ongoing resistance can be tough for him. Developing an intense and protective external shell isn’t uncommon for men with a similar story.
My clients are learning to accept their unique strengths and recognize that the sensitive man has many qualities to bring to leadership. The sensitive man can be an energetic doer, who leads in a truthful, clear and friendly manner. And once they embrace their sensitivity – they can be highly effective in understanding others and leading with this strength.
Do you deeply appreciate it when others show care and concern for your wellbeing? Does criticism hurt more than you try to show? Perhaps you are an independent thinker and supportive towards others. Discover the strength in your behaviour, your invisible needs and how stress can show up in your communication.
“I tell the story of my changed life, at first deeply rooted in a dysfunctional childhood. Learning about how my brain has adapted, and how I have managed to change has filled me with awe and wonder. I have moved from survival to success, from persistence to purpose, and from destructive modalities to deep and abiding relationships.”