Unveiling the Strengths of Highly Sensitive Leaders | Heather Dominick

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Are you a highly sensitive leader?

I recently had the pleasure of hosting an enlightening conversation with Heather Dominick, a highly sensitive and highly successful entrepreneur. We delved into the world of highly sensitive leadership, and I’m excited to share some key takeaways with you.

Understanding High Sensitivity: Heather explained that being highly sensitive means having a nervous system that processes the world differently. This includes heightened awareness of sights, smells, sounds, touch, information, energy, and emotions. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by your surroundings, you might be part of the 20% of people who are born highly sensitive.

Strengths of Highly Sensitive Leaders: We discussed the unique strengths that highly sensitive individuals bring to leadership roles. These include deep empathy, intuition, creativity, and excellent language skills. These traits allow highly sensitive leaders to connect deeply with their teams, think outside the box, and communicate their vision effectively.

The Power of Quiet and Stillness: Heather emphasized the importance of intentional quiet time for highly sensitive leaders. This time is not just for recovery, but also for deep thinking and accessing inspired ideas. It’s a practice that has been used by successful leaders throughout history.

Environmental Awareness: Highly sensitive leaders have a keen awareness of their environment. They can pick up on subtle changes and use this ability to create optimal team dynamics and client experiences.

Embracing High Sensitivity: If you resonate with the concept of high sensitivity, I encourage you to embrace it. Consider who in your team or network might be highly sensitive and leverage their unique perspectives and strengths. Remember, 1 in 5 people are highly sensitive, and by valuing individual differences, we can create a better world.

If you’re intrigued by these insights, I invite you to listen to the full podcast episode. Heather’s wisdom and experiences are truly inspiring and could be the key to unlocking your own leadership potential.


As a podcaster, I have the privilege of engaging in enlightening conversations with a variety of fascinating individuals. In a recent episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Heather Dominick, a highly sensitive and highly successful entrepreneur and leader. We delved into the concept of highly sensitive leadership, a topic that Heather is deeply passionate about. In this blog post, I’ll share some of the key insights from our conversation.

Understanding Highly Sensitive Individuals
Heather began by explaining what it means to be a highly sensitive person (HSP). According to her, HSPs have a nervous system that processes the world differently, taking in stimulation at a higher degree than others. This includes sights, smells, sounds, touch, information, energy, and emotions. Interestingly, only 20% of people are born highly sensitive.

Heather’s insights align with the work of Dr. Elaine Aron, author of “The Highly Sensitive Person.” Being highly sensitive significantly impacts how individuals experience and show up in the world. As an HSP myself, I can attest to this. We have a unique ability to read spaces and pick up on subtle cues that others might miss.

The Strengths of Highly Sensitive Leaders
Our conversation then shifted to the strengths that highly sensitive individuals bring to leadership roles. These include empathy, deep listening, creativity, visionary thinking, and effective use of language.

Empathy and Deep Listening
Empathy, defined as the ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes without judgment, is a crucial leadership strength. It allows leaders to understand their team members’ challenges and respond appropriately. Coupled with deep listening, empathy enables highly sensitive leaders to sense when something is off with someone, even if it’s not explicitly stated.

Creativity and Visionary Thinking
Creativity in leadership goes beyond traditional artistic skills. It involves thinking outside the box, accessing inspired ideas, and finding innovative solutions. Highly sensitive leaders excel in this area due to their ability to look at things differently and adapt to change.

Highly sensitive leaders also have a strong sense of purpose and can envision where they want to go. The challenge often lies in figuring out how to get there, which requires utilizing other strengths and working with their team.

Effective Use of Language
Highly sensitive leaders often excel in language skills. Whether they’re multilingual, skilled writers, or natural speakers, they can adapt their language to connect with different people and effectively communicate their vision and ideas.

The Need for Quiet and Stillness
One theme that Heather often hears from the highly sensitive entrepreneurs and leaders she mentors is the need for intentional time and space for quiet and stillness. This time is not just for soothing and recovery from feeling overwhelmed, but also for deep thinking and creativity. It’s a practice that successful leaders from the past, such as Carnegie and Rockefeller, also valued.

Paying Attention to Environmental Subtleties
Heather and I also discussed the ability of highly sensitive leaders to pay attention to environmental subtleties and create optimal team dynamics. This keen awareness of the environment, whether it’s a physical space or a virtual one, contributes to the longevity and success of their businesses.

Embracing Highly Sensitive Leadership
If you resonate with the concept of being highly sensitive, I encourage you to embrace it and strive for success in business leadership. Consider who on your team or in your network might be highly sensitive and leverage their unique perspectives and strengths. Remember, 1 in 5 people are highly sensitive, and by embracing and valuing individual differences, we can create a better world.

To learn more about Heather and her work, you can find her book, “The Highly Sensitive Leadership Revolution,” online. Her insights are invaluable for anyone looking to understand and leverage the strengths of highly sensitive leadership.

Mentioned in this episode:


Heather Dominick: So a person who’s highly sensitive, who has chosen a path of leadership, has really chosen: one, to really be the manager of their own nervous system, and then to be able to access those top 12 strengths. And I’ll speak to you, just say top three, 4 to 5, which is that when you really have your nervous system working for you as a person who is highly sensitive, you have absolutely the strength of intuition, the strength of empathy, you are an excellent, deep listener,  you are excellent with language, and you are extremely creative.

Voice Over: This is the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast, your source for the strategies, systems, and insights you need to turn your dreams into your destiny. Every week we dive into dynamic conversations as our host, Nicole Greer, interviews leadership and business experts. They’re here to shed light on practical solutions to the challenges of personal and professional development. Now, here’s your host, a professional speaker, coach, and consultant, Nicole Greer.

Nicole: Welcome everybody to the Build of Vibrant Culture podcast. My name is Nicole Greer and they call me the Vibrant Coach.  And today I have on the show Heather Dominick. And let me tell you a little bit about her, first of all, oh my gosh, she lives in New York City and if you know Nicole Greer, that is like her dream life. So first of all, Heather’s amazing because she’s living my dream life but also Heather. Dominick is a highly sensitive and highly successful, and we’re going to find out what that means. And for more than a decade, she has trained and mentored other highly sensitive entrepreneurs and leaders so they are able to work less. Yes, you heard me, work less and they can make more of an impact and make even more income. Please welcome to the show, Heather. How are you?

Heather: Great, Nicole, thank you and I so appreciate your declaration of your love for NYC. So thank you for that.

Nicole: Yeah, I was just up there in Brooklyn, I think like four weeks ago for a wedding and I was just living my best life. I went to the Broadway show. I did the thing, I did the shopping. I do get up there every once in a while, and now I can call you and we’ll go together. So it’ll be fun.

Heather: Love that.  I would love that.

Nicole:  Awesome, awesome. Well, listen, Heather is an author and she has written a really, really great book. And if you go to the Amazon, she has all five star reviews on this book. And so that’s got to tell you a little something. And the name of her book is Different The Highly Sensitive Leadership Revolution. And if you know anything about this podcast, you probably already know that I am collecting definitions of leadership. But I think you, Heather, have a dialed in definition for a certain group of leaders. When you talk about what it means to be a highly sensitive leader.

Heather: Yes. Yes, absolutely. So first, I think it’s valuable to just talk about the phrase and definition of what it is to be a highly sensitive person.  So to be a highly sensitive person, first of all, that that phrase comes out of research from the mid 1990s. Uh, there’s one woman in particular who’s most known for her research. Her name is Doctor Elaine Aaron. She’s most known because she wrote the book The Highly Sensitive Person. In short, what it means to be a highly sensitive person is that you are born into the world with a nervous system that’s wired to take in stimulation at a much higher degree than someone who’s not highly sensitive. So that could be anything from like sights, smells, sounds, touch, but also like information, energy and emotions. And this impacts how it is that you process the world, experience a world, show up in the world. And also there’s only 20% of us who are born into the world highly sensitive. So I don’t know, before I go into talking about the leader part, you tell me, Nicole, does that sound like anybody that you know? Or maybe you yourself or I don’t know, what do you think of that definition?

Nicole: I think it’s a really cool definition. Would it also mean that, like, you can kind of like read the space or read people, you can pick up, like emotional vibes off of people?

Heather: Absolutely. Really well said. Yes, I like to think of the nervous system like an antenna. Right? So and it’s untrained that antenna is going to flood and you’re probably going to have like a very challenging experience as a person who’s highly sensitive. But when you’re trained and you really learn how to have your nervous system work for you, just like any other system in the body, right? And you learn to have it work for you, it does give you access to these incredible strengths. I’ve identified 12 top strengths that really help you to show up, um, in a really special way. And what you just described is spot on. And that is an excellent example of what makes a highly sensitive person an excellent entrepreneur and leader. If they choose.

Nicole: Mmm, that’s fantastic. Well then you talked about the highly sensitive person. So let’s apply it to leadership. So, how do we take what you’ve already shared and apply it to the fact that somebody might want to be, well, to me, being a leader and being an entrepreneur, it’s the same thing. Maybe it’s just that one, I’m leading my own charge, my own business, but let’s apply it.

Heather: Absolutely. So a person who’s highly sensitive, who has chosen a path of leadership, has really chosen one, to really be the manager of their own nervous system and then to be able to access those top 12 strengths. And I’ll speak to just say top three, 4 to 5, which is that when you really have your nervous system working for you as a person who’s highly sensitive, you have absolutely the strength of intuition, the strength of empathy. You are an excellent deep listener. You are excellent with language and you are extremely creative. So those are just six of the top 12. But as I start to list those out, you can start to connect the dots to how that type of person would make an excellent leader to really be dialed in to the people that they’re serving, the people who are working along with them for them, and service to a mission, and to really be able to be in that space of what’s referred to and a lot of different types of leadership studies as power with in support of power within.  So a person who’s highly sensitive, who is choosing to lead in one’s business and one’s work, one’s life is absolutely going to be able to use those strengths to be a catalyst for change.

Nicole: Oh, and what the world needs now is some change. That’s what I know.

Heather: I agree.

Nicole: So I only captured five, I missed one. I have intuition, empathy, listener using language and creativity.

Heather: I only listed five so I’ll throw another one in there. We’re also deep feelers.

Nicole: Okay. Can we do all 12?

Heather: Okay, so top 12 highly sensitive strengths: intuitive, empathic, creative, visionary, deep listener, deep feeler, deep thinker, deeply spiritual, excellent with language, deep belief in justice, detail oriented, and acute awareness of subtleties from environment to other people’s needs.

Nicole: Okay. Fantastic. Right. Well, you know, just to be very plain, this person sounds very nice.

Heather:  [laughing] Yeah.

Nicole: Like, I, I want to know these leaders. Right? They seem nice. Okay. Like somebody you want to hang out with and be friends with. That’s fantastic. Okay. All right. So we have our top 12 strengths. And so hello, listeners, do you have many of these? Are you thinking that’s me, that’s me, that’s me, that’s me. And so that sets you apart, makes you different and makes you an amazing leader. All right. So I want to talk about some of these. So when you talk about intuition which was the one that came to me, you know, how do I know if I have this, this strength of intuition, what am I able to do and how does it show up in the leadership space?

Heather: Yes, absolutely. So intuition is really the ability to perceive information just beats ahead of when that information is being relayed. So there’s actually research that comes out of the Heartmath Institute that proves scientifically that what the Heartmath Institute refers to as the heart brain. So literally the heart as a muscle, as its own brain is anywhere between 3 to 6 seconds faster than the head brain.  And so the heart is going to have quicker access to be able to again interpret information or situations more quickly than the head is able to start to make sense or put together the dots of information situations. And that research also shows that that heart brain is what we register as intuition. So when you have that experience of you’re like, oh, I just know this, right? And you might not yet be able to intellectually again, like connect the dots to why you know that, but you know it, you feel it. And as a highly sensitive person and a highly sensitive leader specifically, you learn to trust it and act on it.

Nicole: Yeah. And and I love that. And as you’re talking about it, you know, I don’t know if this has anything to do with it, but I personally have had times where like, I’ll hear something, I’ll be in a situation and like my heart will kind of tighten just a little quick, you know, tighten or something. And so whenever I get that, I’m like, well, pay attention. This is important. I don’t, like you say, like I’m not sure why yet, but like, whoa.

Heather: A beautiful example, right? And then just from the physiological aspect, like what you’re describing is that that heart brain, our hearts are directly connected to the nervous system. It’s part of the running of the nervous system. Which is also why when someone says, oh, I just feel it in my gut, right? So it’s because that information, those neural pathways are firing off between the heart to the nervous system, to the other systems in the body, such as the digestive system.

Nicole: That’s fantastic. Okay. So many of you are out there going, oh my gosh, I’ve got that one. I feel with my gut all the time where I have that little heart thing going. All right. So the first strength of someone who has this leadership style, which is called,I want to get this exactly right. It’s somebody who is a highly sensitive leader, okay, and we’re talking about the book that Heather Dominick has written called Different. All right, the second thing we have is empathy, and so what the world needs now is somebody who could be empathetic, right. So talk a little bit about what empathy is. I think that’s one of those words, Heather, that like, we hear it all the time. What exactly is empathy? And then how do I exercise it as a leadership trait?

Heather: Yes. It’s a word that’s really being tossed around these days isn’t it? So I mean, in short, perhaps, you know, we’ve all heard the phrase like your ability to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes. And I would say that’s like a pretty good, you know, down home definition of empathy. Even if or especially when someone is different than you are, you’re able to literally be able to have a sense of that other person’s experience, right? So their thoughts, their feelings, and, you know, maybe even belief systems, and you’re able to do that without judgment. And so for us, as highly sensitive leaders, we’re really able to use our nervous system again, thinking of it like an antenna, right? To really be able to pick up on any types of subtleties when it comes to just body language or any other aspects of physicality, use of words,  connecting into that strength of deep listening to really be able to again, put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes, minus that personal element of, you know, judgment or any other type of degradation for just the fact that person’s experience might be different than your own.

Nicole: And I will tell you, I think that empathy is probably one of the greatest leadership strengths that you can have, because it will make you highly relatable to your team members. And I think it is a very special leader who will sit and listen to you and not judge you. So I think that’s great. Now, you know, people need feedback and people need help being the best that they can be, but if you can understand why they’re challenged in the first place, you will win them over. And then you give them the feedback and then they try to do something more or whatever it is you’re trying to get them to do. So I think empathy is beautiful. Okay. And, you know, and again, I think that probably people have had this experience just like, you know, like Heather is just not herself today. What’s up? 

Heather: Yeah. 

Nicole: Where somebody else just might walk right past Heather. “Hey, Heather.”

Heather:  Yes, yes, it’s a great example. And I really hear, like, both the strength of intuition and empathy. Right?  Being used in that moment of being able to sense, oh, something’s off here and then connect it to that person and their individual experience.

Nicole:  Yeah. That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. Okay. So we’re going through the top 12 strengths of a highly sensitive leader because you know Heather’s trying to start a highly sensitive leader revolution here. So let’s talk a little bit about creativity. Highly sensitive leaders got huge creative juices.

Heather: Yes, this is one of my favorites, especially because I always like to speak to that being creative or having that strength of creativity isn’t just about your stereotypical association of being creative within the arts, right? But instead, especially when it comes to being an entrepreneur and a leader, that strength of creativity is really available to serve and support innovation. Being able to access inspired ideas and really be able to create or access out of the box solutions. And just thinking in general. So as a highly sensitive who has access to this strength is literally like, oh, we can look at things differently. We don’t have to be locked down into formulaic approaches. You know, systems that have seen their day, or inability to be able to shift, change pivot as needed. Which, you know, is absolutely a part of the times that we’re working and living through these days, for sure.

Nicole:   Yeah. I think thinking outside the box is absolutely huge. So creativity and again, she said, this doesn’t mean that you’re good at crafting necessarily. It’s all about strategy and thinking new things and coming up with new ideas. All right. So we have, our first thing is intuition, empathy, creativity. Are you checking in with yourself? Are you a highly sensitive leader? We’ll see. The next one is they are visionary. And we talk about casting a vision all the time. But, Heather, I find a lot of leaders are challenged with this. You know, they’re great at tactic. They’re great at to-do lists. They’re great at making the budget or the PNL scene. But I think casting a vision is a huge skill set. Talk a little bit about that.

Heather: Absolutely. I’m so appreciating going through the strengths actually, in this order, in this way, as part of this conversation, because I’m hearing how it really demonstrates the connection. Right? So you get to that strength of visionary and it is going to be kind of fused right, with that intuition, with that empathy, you know, with the other strengths, including creativity. And what I often find with highly sensitive entrepreneurs and leaders is that they can really have a sense of where their purpose is meant to go in a big way, where they often kind of get stuck or blocked.  It’s like, okay, well, how do we get there? Right? And then that just calls on some of the other strengths and the ways that you work with team. But because of again, that kind of again, think of it like that open wide antenna. Right? The highly sensitive is really dialed in to that bigger picture. And that is that strength of visionary.

Nicole: And, I think, you know, I’m certified in this thing called the Strengthsfinder.. I’m sure you’ve heard of it before. But the Strengthsfinder out there everybody and call me if you need one. But, here’s the thing about Strengthsfinder is they have an actual one of the 38 strengths is futurist. And that is my number one. And so, so I’m sitting here thinking, okay, I got that one to, visionary. And that is just the ability like I, you know, like when I sit with a client, I’m like, oh, I know what they could do, or I sit with a company and I’m like, oh my gosh, they should be doing this.

Heather: Yes, exactly, exactly. It’s a beautiful description of that strength. I definitely share that as well. And I love the Strengthfinder. I use that with my team continuously. I’ve never met a number one, it’s a futuristic or future…futuristic.?

Nicole:  Yeah.

Heather: Futuristic. I’ve never met a number one futuristic. So I’m super happy to know that. 

Nicole: Yeah, but then our problem is, is like being the present, you know? So all all these strengths have a little corresponding, you know, like be careful, don’t spend your whole time in the future, you know, enjoy what’s going on right now. All right. So, we’ve got this whole thing of visionary. Then the next thing is being a great listener. Now, before we even get into this, I just want everybody to stop and pause and think about the people that you work with. I know you love them, but like, there’s one person on your team, probably, that really listens to you and is really taking it all in. The rest of them are like trying to get a word in. And so my assumption is, is that the deep listener is first to listen and then to speak instead of speak. Right?

Heather:  100%. Yes. And probably that person is highly sensitive whether they know it or not. And I appreciate that you said the one person, because that just points to that 20 versus 80%. Right? 

Nicole: Right. 

Heather: But you’re exactly right. The highly sensitive is going to listen first. And again, when you have the highly sensitive who’s really worked to train their nervous system to be able to access these strengths, they know then how to be able to listen to the people on their team, and then to be able to use other strengths to identify like, okay, now here are the actions that need to be taken and which actions are best taken by which members of the team based on those things, like individual strengths, a highly sensitive is going to be able to see that, and they’re not going to get flooded, right, by taking in everything that they’re listening to, but they’re able to process and strategize simultaneously as they deeply listen.

Voice Over:  Are you ready to build your vibrant culture? Bring Nicole Greer to speak to your leadership team, conference, or organization to help them with their strategies, systems, and smarts to increase clarity, accountability, energy, and results. Your organization will get lit from within. Email her at nicole@vibrantculture.com and be sure to check out Nicole’s TEDx talk at vibrantculture.com

Nicole:  Yeah, when I went through my coach training, one of the things that they told me and you know, I don’t think that this is my naturally one of my things. I think I’m more of a talker than a listener, if I have to be honest with myself. Hello, I have a podcast. So you know this thing about listening, the master coach said, you know, don’t just listen to the words, listen between the words for feelings and values and principles. And I was like, huh? It was, it was huge for me.

Heather:  Yes, I say that all the time that as highly sensitive entrepreneurs and leaders, we have the ability to listen between the lines.  That’s what I say. We will hear all those things that you listed. It’s like we can’t not.

Nicole: Right. Oh my gosh. So good. Okay, so the next strength we have on here is if I’m listening then I’m probably feeling deeply what people are saying. So talk a little bit about deep feeling.

Heather: Yes. So that deep feeling is definitely going to inform or work in tandem with that strength of empathy. Right? Also, most likely that strength of intuition and really support the leader and being able to have a deep relator connection to the person or people that they’re talking to, that they’re leading and that they’re serving. So it is a kind of, let’s say, like another aspect or a sub of that ability to listen between the lines. You’re not just only hearing intellectually, right, but you’re also hearing emotionally.

Nicole: Mm, that’s fantastic. And then the next strength is deep thinking. So I’m guessing this ability to listen, to bring in the empathy, the intuition, have that deep feeling.  Now I’m thinking at a much deeper level and gosh, instead of being on the surface, how valuable could that be? So talk a little bit about deep thinking.

Heather:  Yes, absolutely. So in my practicum research with the highly sensitive entrepreneurs and leaders that I’ve mentored for over a decade now, one of the themes that I hear often is, I need some time and space intentionally, as part of either my day or my weekly schedule, where I can just be quiet.

Nicole: Mmm.

Heather: And I can be still. Now a highly sensitive who again is untrained. They’re going to take that kind of time to like, soothe and recover because they’re feeling very flooded and they’re feeling very overwhelmed by the impact of the world. But the highly sensitive leader who has supported themselves and being able to operate from their strengths, they’re going to take that type of time and they’re going to use it purposefully. So I always make that connection like back to, you know, like an oldie but goodie of Think andGrow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Nicole: Oh yeah.

Heather: And the stories that he tells, right of like, you know, the, the big industry leaders from the turn of the last century and how it was actually common practice, right, for somebody like Carnegie or Rockefeller to literally like go into a room, pull down the shades, go dark, go quiet. And so I don’t know if those men were highly sensitive or not, but that’s always the connection that I make to a highly sensitive’s ability to really use deep thinking, to then again, go into creativity, right? To go into visionary, to go into being able to access creative solutions, inspired ideas. What needs to change with the team, with the systems, with the operations? What do we want to do so that we’re, you know, reaching our numbers more quickly or whatever it might be from, again, more of that strength, strategy, perspective.

Nicole: Yeah and when you brought up Napoleon Hill, I start to lose my mind because if y’all have not read Think and Grow Rich, would you please do Nicole Greer a favor and go on YouTube? The whole book is like talked into a YouTube video. You can find,  you can listen to it for free. And it is so good. And there are workbooks and all sorts of things. And you’ve just got to get that book and the other story in there, or it’s not really a story, but like it’s advice where he said he walked in the woods like every single day, right?

Heather: Yeah.  Right. So where did all that get lost? Right? And so much of modern leadership. But again, a highly sensitive that’s going to be their natural tendency, their place, their just, their go to. Now most highly sensitives again, where they’ve tried to kind of deny the fact that they are highly sensitive, have cut themselves off. But when they again, really start to own it and claim it, they’re like, oh, they just take right off. Like, yes, okay. Like I’ll use this time in this way and it gives me access to this and then back to like what you shared at the beginning of the podcast. That’s what allows you to actually be able to get more done in less time. So yeah.

Nicole: Yeah, yeah. Okay. Fantastic stuff. All right. The next thing we have on here is they’re very good at using language.

Heather: Mhm. Yes. Now this is probably a good place to definitely speak to that. Not every highly sensitive person is like a clone of like these 12 strengths. Right? They’re showing up in different ways for different people. Because even though those of us who are highly sensitive, we share being highly sensitive, we are still our own individual people, persons,have our own histories, etc. So that ability to be good with language, it’s been super fascinating for me over the last decade to watch the ways that it shows up for different members of the business miracles community. Literally, like we have some members, they speak like five, six languages. It’s not even a question, but we have other members who like they’re just excellent with writing, right? Or they’re just beautiful natural speakers. Or they have the ability to just be able to adjust and adapt, the way that they speak, words that they use depending on the person who’s in front of them. So those are just some examples of the variety of how that strength shows up. Yet I have not met one highly sensitive entrepreneur or leader again, who’s chosen the path of really learning how to operate from their strengths. Who doesn’t have some form of ability with being excellent with language. And I mean, that’s just no surprise, no accident.

Nicole: Yeah, and when I think about that one, I’m like, and then you can communicate the vision.

Heather:  That’s right.

Nicole: You can communicate the creative idea you have.

Heather: Exactly. Yes. Yeah. Sometimes be the communicator. Right? For somebody else in their vision who doesn’t necessarily have that specific or, you know, unique strength. So it can really serve and support, you know, another leader and being able to deliver to their team. Yeah.

Nicole:  Yeah that’s fantastic. All right. So we’re going through the top 12 strengths of a highly sensitive leader. And so far I think I have a few of them but maybe a little work to do. Uh, don’t we all. The next one is deeply spiritual. So I do have this one. And so talk to me a little bit about deeply spiritual. When you were talking about this person, you know, can pulls themselves away to be quiet. Right? I was like, you know, well, I have a really good morning ritual where I have what is called “quiet time”. And so I, you know, I sit quietly, I read fabulous things that put my brain in right order. I actually close my eyes for an extended period of time and try to focus, so I think this one is really important. I think it calms down the nervous system.

Heather: You’re exactly right. 

Nicole:  Yeah.

Heather:  That’s exactly right. Yes, so it’s just a very natural place for a highly sensitive person to go to for exactly that reason. Now, again, it can be used counter to the strengths, right? If you’re in more of that shadow place, you probably would turn to practices such as what you described to try to soothe. But again, uh, highly sensitive leader is going to recognize that they are spiritual by nature and that those types of practices that you just shared, for example, are a priority, right? That it is a must. It’s not a second, third or fourth tier, but it is a first tier priority for exactly as you said, it just supports with that calming of the nervous system.  Again, going back, thinking about it like an antenna. Right? So as like you’re able to connect up, then you’re also able to ground down. And that is extremely supportive when it comes to leadership. And a highly sensitive leader also will not shy away from inviting others into that space, you know, either with them or for themselves. It’s not separate necessarily from the way they operate their team, the way that they work with their clients. Fill in the blank. 

Nicole:  Yeh and I’m also thinking about the French phrase esprit de corps, you know, and I’m wondering if this leader, just kind of has that ability to pull everybody together, you know, to have the spirit of the heart.

Heather: Exactly. So gorgeous, so beautifully said. And why does that need to be separate from business or leadership? It doesn’t.

Nicole: It can’t be. 

Heather:  Right? But there’s so many people who actually it’s just not natural for them. Right? Or they intentionally look to be able to compartmentalize that type of connection.

Nicole:  Mmhmm, yeah. All right. So good. All right then the next one is deep justice. And as, as I hear the word justice, all the circles I run around in Heather, I run around a lot of HR circles. There’s this whole thing of, you know, DEI, right? And so diversity, equity and inclusion, which I think is coming out of some folks’ deep need for justice. So, talk a little bit about that, you know, doing the right thing, making sure the right thing is done.

Heather:  Yes, absolutely. So, again, just this beautiful chain of connection that we’re making here between the top 12 strengths, it’s kind of impossible, right, to like, have that strength of intuition or have that strength of empathy, or to be able to be a deep listener, a deep thinker, a deep feeler, and then not also have that deep belief in justice, right? Uh, a real true embodiment when it comes to that DEI. And you for sure know better than I because like you said, you’re in those circles more than I am. But I think we can probably agree that, unfortunately, often though, the intent is in the, you know, best place. It can often get intellectualized, right? But for a highly sensitive they’re going to really take in that commitment to DEI and really wanting to ensure that equality, that equanimity, you know, again, amongst people that they’re working with or people that they’re in service to.

Nicole: And the I, to me seems like maybe that would be the also, the sweet spot of the highly sensitive leader is to make sure everybody feels part of the team like nobody’s left out, No Child Left Behind kind of mentality.

Heather:  I mean, that’s an excellent point because a highly sensitive leader is going to have the ability to take a group of people who, you know, have, you know, various backgrounds, right, or differing strengths or, you know, maybe even differing ideas about how something is supposed to be brought across the finish line, and they’re going to have that ability to be that go between and support those different points of view and being able to more easily access and, and be able to see and hear what somebody else is thinking, needing, envisioning, etc.

Nicole:  Yeah. That’s awesome. Beautiful. All right. And I gotta be honest, the last one I wrote down acute and I didn’t get the final word. So you get to fill in the blanks. 

Heather:  Yes, so that’s really about having an ability to pick up on subtleties. Right? So acute subtleties like whether in an environment or with others. So that was just one of the kind of instinctual examples that you gave at the beginning of our conversation, that a person who’s highly sensitive is going to be able to, like, walk into a room and be like, oh, we need to kind of like shift this or moved that, or, you know, put that person next to this person and they’ll be able to really just naturally pick up on that. I think one of the things that I always find so interesting, I mean, definitely for myself, but, you know, other highly sensitives that I watch, like they can walk into a room and they’ll be like, oh, the lights need to go up, the lights need to go down.  That music’s too high, you know, just even like little things like that you know, or going out to, like, for a meal at a restaurant if I’m with a group of clients that I serve, it’s like, do not sit us underneath the speaker, it’s just not going to work, you know, like, so anything.

Nicole:  We want to talk to each other, believe it or not.

Heather: So you know, anything from those kind of like environmental subtleties to, again, the ability to, to really identify like, oh, you know, these two people really they need to be sat next to each other like they’re really going to, you know, work well together as a team. But maybe let’s actually move that person over here and, you know, different types of dynamic aspects that will really make a difference in order for, again, whatever that, you know, end goal is for a specific project, etc.

Nicole: Yeah and as you’re talking about that, I’m having a little flashback to last week. I was close to you. I didn’t get all the way to New York City, but I got to southern New Jersey and I spoke at the Southern New Jersey Society for Human Resource Management meeting, and my plane got in early, and so literally I sat in the space for like four hours before I was supposed to speak. So I was just sitting there working away, you know, and two of the women that are in that group got there like an hour and a half early, and the table had already been set by the folks on the banquet team in this particular space. But they went around and like moved every little fork and, and then when I noticed that they had acute awareness of subtleties, I was like, I’m not messing with putting my folder anywhere. So then I asked the ladies, like, what should I do with my handouts? What should I do with my folders? And they’re like, oh, I don’t know. You know, like they had a whole 20 minute thing about where to put my folder, you know? But like when I think about that, they were just wanting the folks that are coming to this meeting to have the best experience.

Heather: Yes. Yeah.

Nicole: That they could have.

Heather:  That’s such a great example. You know, it’s so interesting because my hairstylist is also highly sensitive, and he read my book and he was like, oh my gosh, like, now this all makes so much sense. 

Nicole: Right. 

Heather:  But one of the things he was sharing with me is that, like, he can walk into his salon and he just knows, like, oh, if something is out of place, right? Or if something needs to be shifted or moved like you’re describing. And the way that he says it, which I really agree with, is he says, I can’t not see it. 

Nicole: Yeah. 

Heather:  And I was like, that is it? And he said, now most people would walk into the salon and they wouldn’t know.  He’s like, but they feel the environment that’s created. And I was like, yep, that’s it. That’s what a highly sensitive leader does. So you’re going to enjoy or have, you know, like a more welcoming experience in this salon as a customer or the client. You don’t need to know why, but he has intentionally used his highly sensitive leadership strengths to create this space, which contributes, right, to clients returning ,right, longevity of business. All of it.

Nicole: Yeah and don’t we all want to go to that salon ,right, where it feels special, right? You know, okay, that is fantastic. And, you know, just two more words bubbled up. I’ll just throw them out there. Um, is like aesthetics, like some people are just good at making sure the aesthetics or the nuances of whatever is happening, you know, like that could even show up on a spreadsheet. You know what I mean? Like an Excel spreadsheet. You’re like, well, we could do this and add this and do this, and that spreadsheet would be so much more easy to read. 

Heather: Yes.

Nicole: Or to digest, you know what I mean? So it’s not just about the salon. It could be your Excel spreadsheet.

Heather:  For sure. Absolutely translates to a virtual environment.

Nicole: 100%. All right. Well, we have been talking with Heather Dominick. She is the author of Different The Highly Sensitive Leadership Revolution. And she started to try to start a revolution. And so we’re starting right here on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast, where we’ve gone through the top 12 strengths of these highly sensitive leaders. And so I’m curious if you are one, if you would leave a comment below what you related to, what were the strengths that you have? Do you think you’re in this category? Number one also, would you go down and push the like button that only takes one hot second? People just do that, to help a girl out, help Heather out, help me out. And finally, I’d just like to ask you one final question. You know, I bet people are like, wait, don’t stop talking about this. I’m curious what would be one little nugget that you would leave everybody with?

Heather:  Yes, for sure. So if you’ve been listening and you have a sense that you might be a highly sensitive person, and you also recognize that you already are or desire to be successful in business as a leader, follow that thread. Don’t try to squash it and pretend that it’s not part of who you are. And if you’ve been listening and you have a sense of like this is not me at all, my invitation would be who on your team or in your world might be because we are 1 in 5, we are 20%. And the more that as leaders, highly sensitive or not, that we’re calling on all the individual perspectives, all the individual strengths, there’s just going to be just so much more ease with forward movement and overall betterment for the entire world. That’s what I have to say.

Nicole: And they all said Amen. Okay. And so the other thing I would say about what she just said is, you know, you need to leverage this highly sensitive leader. You know, she said, if you’re not this person, that’s not me. You might have a unicorn on your team that you could really put to work. Um, and, you know, maybe you could read the book. You could have your, what you perceive maybe as a highly sensitive leader, you know, like, hey, I went and bought this book and do you think this is you? And just kind of see where that takes you? This could be a strategy that you could leverage for your leadership team.

Heather:  Absolutely. So well said. So appreciate that. Thank you. 

Nicole:  Yeah, you’re welcome. All right, so if you want to find Heather, here’s what you do. You go to www.businessmiracles.com. And then also of course you can go over to the Amazon and you can type in “Different by Heather Dominick”  and the book will pop right up and you can get that purchased and anything else you’d like to point people to Heather so that they could find you?

Heather: I would say that’s beautiful. That’s it. Everything is there at businessmiracles.com, including an assessment that you can take. If you want to go straight to the assessment then it’s myhsetype.com that’ll let you know if you are a somewhat super or super uber highly sensitive entrepreneur or leader.

Nicole:  That’s fantastic. And of course she’s over on the LinkedIn. Go check her out over on the LinkedIn, type in her name and business miracles. She’ll come right to the top of your feed. All right, Heather, it’s been such a pleasure to have you on the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. Thank you so much.

Heather: Likewise. Thank you Nicole. Beautiful conversation.

Voice Over: Thank you for joining us on this episode of the Build a Vibrant Culture podcast. If you found value in today’s episode, please take a moment to leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform. Your feedback helps us improve and reach more like minded listeners. Remember, the journey to building a vibrant culture never stops. Stay inspired. Keep nurturing your vibrant culture and we can’t wait to reconnect with you on the next exciting episode of Build a Vibrant Culture podcast.

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