People Leadership

Don’t Take It Personally: Managing Sensitive Employees (1)

June 28, 2017

We’ve all been there. You have a tough talk with an employee, then they’re overcome with emotions and begin to cry. For some managers, this display of emotions can make a difficult situation even more uncomfortable. So what do you do with an “over-sensitive” employee?

As an employer or HR manager, you are tasked with managing a wide variety of employee personalities every day. It’s likely that you have worked with highly sensitive employees, and there are many challenges and opportunities associated with developing strong working relationships with these staff. What are the first things that come to mind when you think about a sensitive employee? Some of us might tend to create a mental list of the negative and undesirable aspects typically associated with high sensitivity. But highly sensitive people have an innate ability to show empathy, sense when others are going through difficult times, and understand the needs of others.

People who are highly sensitive have many great qualities that benefit the workplace. These employees can demonstrate empathy, sense when co-workers are facing personal challenges, and understand the need to be supported by others. Yet, when faced with criticism or unpleasant conditions, some of these workers react more sensitively and express their emotions in ways that perhaps we wouldn’t ourselves, at least in a professional setting.

As a manager or HR professional, our role is to look at our own sensitivity levels and reassess how we approach employees who are sensitive, to create more meaningful relationships. This way, in tougher situations or in difficult conversations, we can choose our words more carefully, focus on the positive, and be aware of the emotions of our employees to ensure these interactions stay constructive.

Are you looking for ways to effectively manage sensitive employees to maximize their performance, and maintain a positive working relationship with them? Download our FREE Managing Sensitive Employees Guide and try our tips.

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