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8 Reasons Being Highly Sensitive Is A Gift In Disguise

8 Reasons Being Highly Sensitive Is A Gift In Disguise

If you are a highly sensitive person, you may well have grown up equating this distinctly human quality to weakness. After all, such feelings can make us vulnerable to the robust demands of professional and personal existences, while there is also an external view that sensitivity is a negative emotional trait.

This way of thinking does not take into account the benefits of being a highly sensitive individual or the unique gifts that it bestows. In fact, highly sensitive people have a positive range of attributes that can enrich their lives, while also adding value to their friends and loved ones around them.

8 Gifts that Highly Sensitive People Possess

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of these unique gifts and explore the reasons why being highly sensitive can be a blessing in disguise:

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1. Highly sensitive people are in-tune with the feelings of others

Some would describe highly sensitive people as being empathetic, but their gifts extend far beyond this. In fact, they are able to identify the feelings of others and those around them, either through their expression, body language or the words that they use when communicating. Highly sensitive people can also determine tone, meaning that they are able to tell when others are sad or experiencing a negative emotion regardless of what they are talking about. Aligned with their superior listening skills, this makes them incredibly warm and approachable people.

2. Highly sensitive people have gratitude for the simple blessings in their lives

Sensitivity to others also extends to the world around us, making certain individuals acutely aware of the pain and suffering that exists in society. As a result of this, highly sensitive people are able to view the world with a superior sense of perspective, making them grateful for the small blessings that others may take for granted. From the warmth of their children’s smiles to spending time with loved ones, these blessings trigger immense feelings of joy in those with high levels of sensitivity and make their lives fulfilling.

3. Highly sensitive people are excellent parents

On a similar note, those of a highly sensitive nature also make for attentive and patient parents. After all, babies and toddlers can be particularly demanding, meaning that parents must display huge levels of selflessness in order to provide adequate care. As highly sensitive people are in touch with the needs of those around them and inclined to give their time to help others, they make for committed parents who ensure that their children are listened to, understood and given the best possible care. As children are the ultimate blessing in life, people with high sensitivity tend to be extremely appreciative of the gift of parenthood.

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4. Highly sensitive people never shy away from loss

For those who consider high levels of sensitivity as a weakness, it would be reasonable to assume that such a personality type would struggle to cope in the face of loss or tragedy. The opposite is actually true, however, whether you are sensitive and dealing with a personal loss or helping a friend to cope with tragedy in their own lives. As highly sensitive individuals are undefended and open to the nature of loss, they are less likely to shy away from this and more capable of remaining strong in the face of true sadness.

5. Highly sensitive people are extremely creative

Creativity is a huge gift, and one that can change the world around us for the better. It is also something that highly sensitive people have in abundance, at least according to psychologist Elaine Aron. She estimates that roughly 20% of the world’s popular are highly sensitive, with 70% of these heavily introverted. This trait is one of the key drivers of creativity, meaning that those of an acutely sensitive nature have a considerable capability for conceiving and acting on abstract thoughts.

6. Highly sensitive people can make more informed decisions

If you were talking to a psychologist, they would tell you that highly sensitive individuals have a far greater awareness of nuances in meaning. In laymen terms, this means that their attentiveness to detail makes them able to process large amounts of information in a thoughtful manner, leading to greater caution and more informed decision making. Because of such thought patterns and the fact that highly sensitive individuals are aware of all potential outcomes, they also make for excellent leaders.

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7. Highly sensitive people are great conversationalists

Highly sensitive people also make for great conversationalists, but not necessarily in the way that you might think. While they are certainly skilled listeners and capable of identifying with other’s feelings, their keen sense of the world around them ensures that they are highly engaged with topical issues and talking points. In short, their unique relationship with the world makes them feel as though they belong to the narratives that they share, meaning that they are rarely lost for words and often stimulated by meaningful conversations.

8. Highly sensitive people have greater sensory perception

On a final note, certain studies have revealed that highly sensitive people tend to benefit from greater levels of sensory perception. This is a true gift and a wonderful virtue, and one which can enrich our everyday lives considerably. It enables us to more easily identify subtle nuances of texture in clothing and materials, as well as fragrances, colours and the beats that underpin our favourite tunes. Such a gift creates superior visual and interactive experiences, while also allowing us to take greater joy in life’s simple pleasures.

Hopefully, understanding these traits will help you to appreciate the true value of being highly sensitive the many benefits that it offers in everyday life.

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Featured photo credit: Evan Kirby via stocksnap.io

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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