[December 13, 2018] For anyone not living under a rock, you certainly will agree that many folks today are just too sensitive. As I see it, the problem is that leaders are, as well, too sensitive. We are quick to be insulted; believing others have disrespected, snubbed, or neglected us. And this leader trend is worsening compared to even a few years ago.
“Do not give too much to feelings. An overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and statesman
Over the past few years here on my website, I’ve laid out 106 characteristics of leadership. Nowhere in this list is “sensitivity” among them and it never will be. Many of my friends have suggested that perhaps we look at human interaction differently. I disagree – for example, it’s one thing to care about the welfare of others (outward looking) and another to be sensitive (inward looking).
Psychologists, as well as my observations, have led me to believe that women are more sensitive than men. That, of course, is not a bad trait nor one that would put us at any specific disadvantage. At issue, is whether sensitivity becomes a trait that stands above others. Risks accumulate when people subordinate all other ways of being a good person and where little else matters except how they see themselves treated by others.
In my time in the U.S. military, I never met a senior officer who was overly sensitive. These experiences are not that different from others in my position, and I have come to believe this to be true elsewhere. To reach the pinnacle of senior leadership requires the stripping away of an over-idealized image of self and one becomes thick-skinned in the leadership baptism of fire.
What many have proposed is how to reverse this unfortunate trend of hypersensitivity. The first step is to rebuke those who are overly sensitive. Don’t allow the overly sensitive to change the behavior of experienced, down-to-earth leaders. Let them know that their overly sensitive behavior is counterproductive and will backfire. I also recommend caution because overly sensitive people always have hidden agendas. For a less bold approach read this article (link here and here).
The first step in making any change is to recognize a problem exists. Leaders are too sensitive. It is our responsibility to do those things necessary to get beyond it and not allow any overly-sensitive leader to create or exacerbate a leader issue.
- Are We Pushing Hate and Envy? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-are-we-pushing-hate-envy/
- Are We Babysitters? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-are-we-babysitters/
- Are We Crude Leaders? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-are-we-crude-leaders/
- Do We Encourage Treason? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-encourage-treason/
- Do We Encourage Overreacting? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-encourage-overreacting/
- Are We Reliable? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-reliable/
- Can We Recognize Problems? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-can-recognize-problems/
- Do We Lead by Example? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-lead-example/
- Do We Accumulate Bad Habits? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-accumulate-bad-habits/
- Do We Encourage Irresponsibility? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-do-we-encourage-irresponsibility/
- Are We Narcissists? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leadership-trends-are-we-narcissists/
- Are We Liars? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/are-we-liars/
- Do We Discourage Education? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-do-we-discourage-education/
- Are We Too Pampered? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-are-we-too-pampered/
- Are We Quitters? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-are-we-quitters/
- Do We Promote Divisiveness? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-do-we-promote-divisiveness/
- Do We Encourage Lying? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-do-we-encourage-lying/
- Do We Promote Ignorance? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-do-we-promote-ignorance/
- Do We Promote Teamwork? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-do-we-promote-teamwork/
- Are We Adaptable? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-are-we-adaptable/
- Are We Angry? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-are-we-angry/
- Do We Treat People Fairly? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-do-we-treat-people-fairly/
- Are We Corrupt? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-corrupt/
- Is Our Sense of Duty Slipping?- https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-sense-duty-slipping/
- Do We Excuse Failure? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-do-we-excuse-failure/
- Can We Mentor? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-can-we-mentor/
- Do We Promote Respect? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-promote-disrespect/
- Are We Cowards? – https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-trends-cowards/