Highly Sensitive

A gift and a curse!

When I visited radio stations, before Covid, I noticed something surprising. In most of the creative arts, and Radio used to be in that grouping, there’s an abundance of Highly Sensitive People.

You know, the ones who feel everything more deeply, both positive and negative. They’re often more emotional, some might say explosive, and definitely more empathic than normal.

They’re often a bit difficult to “manage,” and I’m assuming that’s why I wasn’t meeting as many as I once did inside stations.

High Sensitives are an actual group that represent about 20% of the population. Brain scans have proven that HSPs have more active mirror neurons (which explains the enhanced empathy) and more activity in brain regions connected to creativity.

Most HSPs need more time to process, taking in more information than the other 80% and thinking more deeply about it. If they “feel” something’s not right, they are the ones who can point you to the fix.

They typically prefer one-on-one interactions and meaningful connections. They’re good listeners. They’re tuned into subtle emotional cues of all those around them but often seem less engaged in group settings, quiet during group meetings and exercises.

And almost every winning radio station I ever worked with had at least one of these Highly Sensitive People on their staff. Not always in the brightest lights or the biggest stages, but sort of quietly taking the pulse of everyone else they work with, and helping solve ego problems before they explode.

How about you? Are you an HSP in Radio? Do you have HSP’s working at your radio station?

They may not fit the exact mold programmers and managers have in mind when it comes to air talent, but God knows Radio could use a lot more creativity and empathy today.

Worth keeping in mind the next time you’re evaluating the talent you work with there.