Celebrating sensitivity

People with a high attention to detail or years of experience may seem to be negative, disruptive, “no-go”’people that stand in the way of progress and disrupt innovation. But have super powers and you should celebrate them.

A Tricky Day

I had a really tricky day a few weeks ago. A number of things had happened in quick succession that had caused me to have a bit of a moment. In this moment I felt incredibly alien, like my brain works SO differently to everyone else’s. Despite the morning being spent with my wife and some of my best friends – people that know each other very well – I was left feeling like no one understood me.

And the main reason for this – the main way in which my brain seems to work differently – is that changes of plan, or new ideas, cause a cascade of thoughts and questions that need to be resolved before I can become excited about something.

Probably some of this is learned behaviour or habit, but I also put this down to having the character trait of “High sensitivity“.

To others observing, or expecting a response from me, this probably appears as negativity or aloofness or cynicism or needless anxiety (I won’t pretend – sometimes I get anxious if too much of this stuff happens at once).

By why is it seen this way? Why is this sensitivity not seen as positive?

Literally, all I do…

Yesterday a bunch of tweets went around that started “Literally all I do as a…”

It’s hard to say for sure where it started, but I traced it back to an attorney:

I’m sure it spun off in all sorts of directions, but there was parenting:

And Feline care:

And it ended up coming to me via UX Design:

and content design:

(Though the strategist made me laugh too!)

And these are funny. But they made me think of how saying “no” or asking awkward questions is so often seen as negative.

All these people, in their jobs, are applying their education, experience, wisdom of years, and attention to detail to Doing The Right Thing.

There’s a (mis)quote about how if a job takes me 30 minutes, it because of the ten years of training and experience I have; you pay for the ten years, not the 30 minutes.

But is it also true that a person’s job might be telling you not to do something at all. Or that to do that 30 minute job actually requires 2 days of preparatory work doing other things in order to do it correctly.

AND…this application of skill and experience will probably protect you. From hackers; from legal action; from causing harm; from losing money; or from bad business decisions.

Our “no” might seem like a block in your path. But, from the right person, it’s valuable insight into what you should be doing.

We Are Creative!

Often these skilled and experienced people are creative and want to find a way.

Despite my seeming reluctance when you throw something new at me, I love new ideas. I preach creativity. I have umpteen stupid side projects that I tinker with.

But when you put creative things out into the real world you do have to consider the consequences.

People that help you to do that are like gold dust. They may seem awkward to others in their teams. They may need to be gently nudged away from their pickiness at times. But they are valuable assets. Their insight should be celebrated and embraced. We should do this more.

So go cheer on the pedant on your team today.

Literally all *I* do…

I suppose I should chip in then, in jest and in solidarity.

Literally all I do…as a software and website developer:

  • Really?!
  • And how will this look/work on mobile?
  • Do you have a privacy policy for that form?
  • That slider probably isn’t a good idea.
  • And on mobile?
  • Seriously, have you tested it on your phone?
  • That won’t work
  • Really?!
  • And what if the title wraps on to two lines?
  • Do you really need that?
  • And what about on a portrait tablet?
  • How will you get consent for GDPR?
  • Really?!
  • YAY! We launched it!