Updated: May 26
What motivates people the most is determined by how they feel, not what they think or believe. A highly sensitive PM who hasn't learned their self-care tools yet can be hugely affected by their feelings. But the good news is that their potential for motivation and commitment to a job can also be huge. And their heightened inspiration can result in some great ideas and solutions to complicated problems.
A Highly Sensitive Project Manager's (HSPM) relationship with their manager and higher-ups will be reflected in the quality of their work. Most importantly, if a PM's direct manager is supportive and approachable, the sensitive PM will commit themselves to their jobs and teams as a true servant leader would, and it would come very naturally to them. They would put their very best into everything they touch.
But if that relationship is toxic or even somewhat sour, the HSPM will begin to focus on the wrong things, procrastinate, and could ultimately become complacent or bitter.
If we consider that every human being has a unique inner universe, it becomes easier to allow for the differences and awkwardness the HSPM may sometimes display.
If every person (stakeholder) is a universe unto him/herself, then there are multiple factors and elements influencing their motivations, needs, well-being and performance.
If we include the role of the HSPM as possessing an additional paradigm of perspective that could be leveraged with good results, we may find more managers applying this knowledge to their management skill set. In time we would be helping to move society and the economy into a new dimension of leadership.
And we really need fresh, new leadership, and more decent human beings, globally. Leadership that is not greedy, not fearful, aggressively competitive, egotistical, narcissistic, and/or living in the lack mentality. We need leadership that really allows us to create effective solutions to global issues which also fuel the economy. And fortunately our HSPMs can help us get there, if we listen to them.
I'm not suggesting coddling the HSPM, not at all. They need to work with their unique self-care toolkit diligently to fulfill their potentials, like everyone else.
But if their manager is unhelpful, critical, and/or passive agressive, it will take frequent self-reminders to ground out negative energy just to get the job done. And if the discord is evident in the team at large, we might be dealing with an entire community of co-workers who are not working cohesively or as effectively as they could be.
...if the discord is evident in the team at large, we might be dealing with an entire community of co-workers who are not working cohesively or as effectively as they could be.
Fortunately, if the group is lucky enough to have a wise leader on board, the toxic dynamic can be corrected with a number of exercises and measures.The wise leader is tapping into their own ability for compassion and empathy. When they are skilled at it, they are able to improve the motivation of the team members.
A person will only change when their heart is ready, no matter how hard they think about the change they are trying to make. What ultimately enables a company to succeed for the long-term is the overall work ethic of its employees. Work ethic stems from motivation, which in turn stems from the heart. And since everyone is unique, we all have a unique sense of ethics.
So how do leaders improve the overall work ethic of an organization? They understand what motivates people.
And what motivates people the most is determined by how they feel, not what they think or believe.
Do you have a constructive opinion, comment or question you'd like to share? Feel free to add it to the comment section of this blog.
And thanks for reading! My writing is based on my own experiences. I am not a psychologist. But I have had to wrestle with sensitivity my entire life and career. I am inclined toward behavioral sciences. I have taken a lot of mental notes and watched a wide variety of dynamics play out in my direct and indirect teams. I now feel moved to write about what I've learned.
I finally feel like I'm at a place where I am happy with who I am, and confident in my ability to access my place of compassion if I'm faced with an interpersonal challenge. I hope I will be able to live up to my own expectations in life, but if I don't, I will at least be able to say I tried.
Speaking from the heart,