emotionally intelligent hsp’S as leaders

Building emotional intelligence in our workforce and leadership requires not only self, social, and self-management dimensions but an entire skill set on relationship management.

Focusing on just the other three does not yield better leadership, does not serve to develop and grow the capacities and potential of others, does not make you a good collaborator, communicator, conflicter, change catalyst, or allow you to influence others in positive ways.

Navigating complex interpersonal relationships, especially work relationships, are inherently more difficult than personal relationships because employees and others are vested in an agenda based on need, their need to remain employed.

Leaders who are high in sensory intelligence, (highly sensitive persons if you prefer), if they wish to be effective and enact real change, must become quite knowledgeable and skilled in a sophisticated, flexible, and nuanced application of relationship building, cultivation, and management across a wide range of people who are all at differing levels of skill, experience, and complexity of development and growth.

It is NOT enough to simply say “Okay, I’m a highly sensitive person,” and expect for the rest to somehow work itself out. One must intentionally learn, develop, and continue refining the skills of effective relationship management, over a lifetime. Being effective as a communicator, collaborator, and decision-maker asks of us that we develop some fairly advanced abilities to navigate the complex world of interpersonal relationships.

Are you spending enough time and effort on building out your relationship management skills?


luke goss appearing in film on highly sensitive men

Let’s listen to the new song entitled “Make It Right” by Luke Goss, our friend, fellow highly sensitive man and incredible actor, artist, musician, and passionate advocate for building and holding space for community so all may feel loved, valued, and be seen and heard. This song is about always having the chance to improve and make things better as long as we’re alive:


quiet leadership and high sensory intelligence people “hsp’s”

What are your preconceived notions about leaders? Do they block you from relating to leadership as more than a drive to achieve goals at ALL costs? Perhaps “quiet leadership” may feel more familiar and inviting for you if you value the people who work for and with you more, while providing them with opportunities for growth and development.

How might you be a “quiet leader?”


Empowering the Sensitive Male Soul-dr. tracy cooper

Empowering the Sensitive Male Soul is the third book that seemed apparent to me as much-needed in the world. I was, of course, aware of other books on sensory processing sensitivity in men but felt they spoke to men in a way that did not necessarily represent my lived experiences and, I intuited, the same for many other men.

I wrote this book from the mind AND heart, trusting that it could stand as a resource to help people come to an accurate and appreciative stance on what it might mean to be men high in sensory intelligence, or, if you prefer, ‘highly sensitive.”

Even now, in 2022, two years after the book’s release and I am co-creating an entire documentary film on the same topic (see The Genius of Sensitivity: Redefining Masculinity) with Will Harper, director of Sensitive-The Untold Story, the chapters in Empowering the Sensitive Male Soul feel as well-chosen and relevant as ever!

Please share πŸ˜ŠπŸ™

The Genius of Sensitivity: Redefining Masculinity film

DEPTH of processing (pattern recognition, associations with previous memories, what we know of the world, etc..), a HEART for service to our fellow human beings, and a MIND capable of rational, critical and creative thinking…

High sensory intelligence, aka, highly sensitive person, doesn’t mean you are gifted or smarter than others, it simply implies that you use the sensory information that you take in through your senses, process that information thoroughly, and use it strategically to engage with the world.

One example might be how we show up as ‘real’ people, as in the photo accompanying the attached post. Are we, as men, able to provide comfort, empathy, and/or compassion to those around who are in desperate need and do so without concerning ourselves with what ‘manly men’ do? Of course! Being a ‘man,’ beyond the cartoon he-man, ultra aggressive cliche we have been portrayed as, is about being secure in ourselves as human beings and willing to give of ourselves as parents, partners, sons, and leaders!!

Guys, however you feel about men and Sensory Processing Sensitivity, this world NEEDS us to be healers, leaders, teachers, and whole human beings who have the wisdom and courage to be more than one dimensional men led entirely by arbitrarily derived notions of what men ‘should’ be.

The Genius of Sensitivity film invites us to consider, through the candid stories told by men themselves, the possibility that men, just maybe, might also be ‘highly sensitive,’ high in sensory intelligence, or, if you prefer, simply men with the genetic trait Sensory Processing Sensitivity. Is it incredibly farfetched and counterintuitive to challenge the status quo thinking of men as incapable of real depth, feeling, or emotion? Not at all…

What role/s can these men who are half of the 20% of the world’s population with Sensory Processing Sensitivity play in bridging the gap? We’ll need to see The Genius of Sensitivity: Redefining Masculinity become a reality in its fullness to find out…

If you support this mission of raising consciousness around Sensory Processing Sensitivity in men, communicating it as a strength and a necessary component to a healthy and balanced planet, I urge you to help us in any you are able whether that means a donation, a connection, or simply sharing our posts, it all helps so much!

Think about all of the schlock films that are made each year and the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on entertainment that does nothing to advance mission critical issues like providing a timeless resource men may find and use as a portal through which they may pass on their way to allowing and accepting sensitivity within themselves as a strength and asset to themselves and to the world. Just a tiny fraction of the average mass market film budget would allow The Genius of Sensitivity: Redefining Masculinity to be made, marketed and distributed, and to live out in the public sphere as Sensitive-The Untold Story has now since 2015!

Donation link: (ALL donations go directly to the ongoing production of The Genius of Sensitivity: Redefining Masculinity)


Only LOVE to you all…

“Finding Your Passion” Is an Ineffective Way to Live Your Life, Say Scientists


A future isn’t decided by a set path; rather, it’s shaped by a series of choices and hard work.”

Everyone who has followed my work through the years should recognize by now that I subscribe to the growth mindset and advocate for ever-expanding potential over a lifetime. There is a reason for that, especially with high sensation seeking HSPs. Namely, that we HSS/HSPs have an extra ‘drive’ if you will, that fuels our curiosity, creativity directed toward self-actualization and growth, and a boundless need to reinvent ourselves. HSPs, in my experience, share a similar openness to new ways of thinking and curiosity but the need to reinvent is not as prominent in their words or actions.

For those who subscribe to a growth mindset, the notion of ‘finding one’s passion’ rings hollow because it can see limiting and predestined. A growth mindset, and I DO encourage you to explore this way of being, thinks of passion as intrinsically linked with interest, wonder, awe, and inspiration! Even joy…

Motivation to continue pursuing an interest also waxes and wanes, but if it is something we feel a deep resonance with and return to on our own for no reason other than to learn more, to apply it to something, or for the joy of engaging with it, motivation comes on its own and is a natural part of growth over a lifetime. I like to call them ‘fascinations,’ a term that should be quite familiar to HSS/HSPs 😊

If you are a high sensation seeking HSP, it is likely you identify right away with the growth mindset because it is a way of being for you! Embrace it and enjoy the ride…


How do Highly Sensitive Individuals Maintain their Well being?

In Western cultures, lay perceptions and norms around wellbeing tend to emphasize being socially outgoing and high-arousal positive emotions, but not all people experience wellbeing in this way.

This study explores what highly sensitive people do to maintain their wellbeing.



Well being and high sensory intelligence people, aka, highly sensitive people, is a perennial topic of interest, since many people with the innate trait Sensory Processing Sensitivity struggle with the realization of a sustainable sense of well being.

This particular study is quite limited due to only one participant being male, common for all studies and events, because men are culturally conditioned, through extreme familial and peer pressures to conform to societal norms of the masculine role. Sensitivity is still, sadly, a ‘hard sell’ to many men, thus, one male participant who will admit he is sensitive, even anonymously!

The cultivation of well being follows a similar track for men, but much depends on the early childhood environment, and I would add the overall environment beyond childhood since negative, traumatic, or unsupportive environments are especially bad for sensitives throughout life. If a sensitive man, or woman, accumulated those adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), well being may look very different as a concept, and in practice, with safety concerns and fear of change occupying prominent positions in terms of what well being represents and coloring many life choices.

That aside, we know from sociology that the experience of gender is the single largest dividing line between how we may differ in perceptions and eventual choices like well being. In my work advocating for raising consciousness in high sensory intelligence people, well being and self-care have always been a focus that has been necessary to revisit time and again. Well being, in practice, depending on who one is speaking to, can seem like an optional practice they get around to once in awhile but struggle with in life due to no serious or dedicated efforts to realign one’s life with one’s needs.

Well being for sensitives, must be cultivated through a strong and sustainable self-care practice that holistically addresses boundaries, anger and emotions, diet, exercise, AND sleep, relationships, career, spiritual development, and moving well beyond simply maintaining to one of flourishing and, as our friend Scott Barry Kaufman describes, transcendence.


Redefining Masculinity: The Role of Highly Sensitive Men – w/ Bill Allen



Happy to share this new podcast from The Sensitive Man. Bill Allen shares insights from his two books on men who may be high in sensory processing sensitivity, as well as reflections on masculinity.

#highsensoryintelligence #sensoryprocessingsensitivity #masculinity #thegeniusofsensitivity

Thrill: The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person-Dr. tracy cooper

Thrill: The High Sensation Seeking Highly Sensitive Person is THE book written for the 1/3 of the sensitive population who are also high in another trait, sensation seeking. If you would like to understand how two strong traits, both with high heritability, can exist in one individual, Thrill is THE book for you!

I wrote Thrill to fill a need in the research and in the popular literature. Identifying as a HSS/HSP myself, I knew there needed to be a relatable book that others could use as a resource, as a source of inspiration, and to let the world know that we exist and have so much to offer!

Learning what the two traits look like, how they interact, and how we might work to balance the needs of both, while simply being the HSS/HSPs we are is what Thrill seeks to do. Additionally, you will find real stories written by real HSS/HSPs who contributed so graciously to the study that underpins this book and that adds to the sense of connection and community I seek to infuse all of my work with.

Check it out for yourself…