Keepers trait #9 – Sensitivity

T101209-N-2943B-001his may seem like an unusual or even inappropriate trait and I want to be clear from this first sentence that I am NOT suggesting sensitivity in the emotional or psychological sense.  A sensitive associate is not to be confused with a touchy one. I do not mean someone who is easily set off, offended, or who must be handled with extreme care.

A sensitive employee is one who can discern and respond to subtlety. They “get it” quickly and clearly.

My father taught me, and I passed it on to my own children, that the way to make yourself invaluable to an employer is to quickly discover what is important to them and never disappoint them.  Find out their hot buttons and do everything you can to avoid pushing them. Instead, if they have areas and issues they prefer over others, meet them.

Sensitive employees do just that.

Sensitive employees and associates are:

  • Highly tuned in to the workplace. They can sense the mood of the moment and know how to respond to it.
  • Highly tuned in to the feelings of others and exercise great care never to offend, abuse, or ignore anyone on the team. This goes for managers and leaders too.
  • Comfortable working alone.
  • Respectful of the boundaries of others. They never intrude without an invitation or a compelling reason.
  • Particularly useful in service industries like restaurants, concierge services, and here’s a surprise, sales. Now you might think a sensitive person would be handicapped in sales because of the presence of rejection. But my sales model is not one of pressure, but of collaboration. In my last sales job I explained to all my clients that I was not intent on selling them anything but I was intent on helping them make the best selection for their particular needs.  (I was in the top 5% of sales for the region by the way.) We have all endured insensitive sales people who persisted on pursuing a script even though it did not match the setting. Telemarketers seem to be script-bound. Sensitive servers and salepersons can anticipate the needs of others before being told.
  • Capable of coming up with great ideas because they usually process information deeper. Sensitive people are usually inclined to creativity, have an inclination towards the arts.
  • Usually highly intelligent and possess great, active, vibrant imaginations. They are particularly good at finding a way where there is no way.
  • Know what your values are and match them.

There are downsides of course. Overly sensitive people can be moody, can be more inclined to self-medicate, and can be a bit hesitant to volunteer for fear of rejection. But, taken in balance, and used within the context I have set, this trait is an asset to the team.

Keeper trait #9 is appropriate skills and temperament. See you in a few days. I have been notified by my hosting service that they are moving my websites to faster servers so there might be slight and incremental outages in the service but it will be finished soon. Thanks for your patience.

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