THE BLOG
05/15/2014 04:30 pm ET Updated Jul 14, 2014

High Sensitivity: Hidden Treasure for Organizations

Highly sensitive managers and employees can provide crucial competitive advantages for organizations.

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The business world is still about higher, faster, better. Especially in leading positions, strong-willed and highly resilient individuals are required that can make quick decisions. This comes with a price for leaders, employees and organizations: in the long run, stress factors can cumulate, resulting in reduced problem solving competence and creativity as well as wrong decisions. Particularly exposed to this kind of stress are highly sensitive leaders and team members. However, highly sensitive persons (also referred to as HSPs) can provide competitive advantages to organizations.

Persons with high sensory-processing sensitivity -- to use the correct scientific term -- have abilities that can lead to remarkably higher quality in areas such as customer orientation, teamwork, innovation and communication. About 15-20 percent of the population is highly sensitive.

A pioneer in scientifically examining the phenomenon was US-psychologist Elaine N. Aron, who published her findings in her book The Highly Sensitive Person in 1997. Ever since, the awareness for the topic and its potential for the business world has steadily increased.

People with a higher level of sensitivity often have better intuition, tend to be more creative and empathetic and often have better problem solving competence, compared to other people. Moreover, they are usually highly reliable, can perceive more details and better see the bigger picture in complex situations.

Because they have a more intense perception, people with this special skill set are also helpful forerunners when it comes to implementing change. They can support teams and organizations in making well-considered decisions rather than hasty ones. Especially in positions where a high amount of creativity and empathy or a strong solution-focus are required, these individuals can really make a difference.

Allowing highly sensitive persons to tap into their full potential can be the basis for achieving necessary competitive advantages in the business world.

Read more about high sensitivity in the workplace: www.gelmi-consulting.com