Managing Highly Sensitive Persons at Work
Have you come across people who think and feel deeply? Among the various individuals we come across, some are termed ‘Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs)’. In our population, about 20% inherit a more sensitized central nervous system that processes information more deeply and experiences intense emotions.
It’s almost like they visualize the world through a magnifying lens, where they spot subtleties or changes much faster than others and respond strongly. However, these traits are often misunderstood as being highly emotional or overanxious.
Though excessive stimuli overwhelm HSPs, managers still rate them as the best performers in the workplace. In this piece, we explain to you their inherent traits and ways to manage them.
Traits of HSPs
– HSPs are attuned to picking environmental clues more quickly than the rest. In simple words they notice things that others miss. With an endlessly active mind they piece together situations like a jigsaw puzzle and even minutest moves don’t go unnoticed to arrive at the top of details.
– As lateral thinkers they easily connect to the big picture and visualize numerous possibilities to reach there. Their rich sensory perceptions enable them to spot gaps for innovation not seen by others.
– HSPs can easily pick positive or negative emotions of another and sense their mood or feelings. Their presence itself acts as a magnet for others’ energies.
– Naturally intuitive and observant HSPs get the pulse of what’s happening around. Blessed with high empathy and awareness of others’ thinking patterns and body cues they respond adeptly to situations.
– Overall HSPs are doting, encouraging and committed individuals who value meaning in life. They are also meticulous and hardworking in all they do.
Managing HSPs If you look closer, you may find someone to be an HSP in your organization having these gifted qualities. Here are a few tips to manage HSPs at work.
- Provide a calm environment – HSPs get flabbergasted by large crowds and loud noises. Chaos and clutter, back-to-back meetings and events can stress them. Despite the annoyance they rarely display a meltdown at work and instead seclude in a lonely space for recharge. So be understanding of the factors that affect them.
- Don’t force opinions – The personalities of HSPs are hard-wired with their own thinking that values justice, that is why dogmatism is something they never take. With far-sighted dealings and clear intentions they prefer to stay away from condescending or narcissistic individuals.
- Don’t micromanage – Checking on HSPs repeatedly will be perceived as a lack of trust and make them feel uncomfortable. The trust factor goes well with them and they flair in a high-trust, low-control environment. Offer them leeway to execute tasks and they’ll surprise you with outcomes.
- Allow coping time – HSPs align into routines and plans at work. While you can’t always prevent last-minute changes, give them as much notice as possible to accept the new and recover their composure.
By accepting HSPs for who they are and properly channelizing their qualities, managers can turn them into top contributors and organizational assets.
Alvina Clara, Content Writer, emQube