The graphic above illustrates that SENSITIVITY takes place primarily in the RIGHT-BACK region of the cerebral cortex. The cortex is the thinking part of the brain. The RIGHT side associates images by feel, which gives personal significance to memories. So thinking on the right side is nonverbal, instinctive and subjective. The BACK part of the right brain creates images—sights, sounds, and body sensations—and remembers them.

The SENSITIVITY mindframe engages the senses: what you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. When dining at a restaurant, you take the time to savor the whole experience. What herbs and spices are in the sauce? How well does the beverage go with the main course? Does the restaurant have a pleasing atmosphere? What people are sitting at the other tables? What does their food look like?

SENSITIVITY is the mindframe of awareness. It enables you to:

  • Pay attention—see what there is to see, hear what there is to hear, etc.
  • Keep your mind focused in the present moment
  • React quickly and without thinking to something you sense
  • Notice small personal details about people
  • Remember delightful experiences and how you felt
  • Enjoy "creature comforts" such as good food and good music
  • Appreciate what's attractive and colorful in your surroundings
  • Stay in touch with how you feel at any given moment
  • Be motivated by a strong desire to do something
  • Have sympathy and consideration for people's feelings
  • Be compassionate for people in distress
  • Feel affection for someone close to you
  • Nurture living things—children, animals, plants
  • Seek harmony in relationships
  • Solve problems by trial and error
  • Make entries in a personal journal

SENSITIVITY is your ability to be aware of something without defining it or analyzing it. At the orchid festival in the mall, you examine the patterns on the petals. Each variety triggers a reaction of delight. You notice the earrings your friend is wearing. Your attention shifts when the light coming through the skylight changes. Later, in the parking lot, the smell of the air reminds you of rain. On the way home, you sense danger—the car in front of you is too close to the centerline. You slow down. At home, you pet your cat. He licks your hand and you feel the bond of affection. Lying in bed at night, you hear the tree frogs and crickets as separate sounds.

When using the SENSITIVITY mindframe, you're focused on what's in the here and now. Outdoors, how the breeze feels on your face is more interesting than its speed and direction. Imagine that you're at a lake with a friend, and a hawk lands in a tree just twenty feet away. A few seconds later, a smaller, scruffy hawk lands next to it. Somehow, you can tell that the second hawk is the young of the first hawk. Suddenly, they both fly away. "Wow," you say. You've never seen a first-year hawk before. But your friend had his earphones on and missed the whole event.

SENSITIVITY also includes being aware of how you feel—your gut-level reactions. Feelings such as comfort, joy, wonder, delight, pleasure and excitement are the positive reactions you feel when you get what you want, when you experience something beneficial. On the other hand, not everything in life is fun, so you also experience the full of range of negative feelings. How do you react when an unexpected problem arises? When something you value is damaged or lost? When you believe you're in danger? When you're sick or injured?

When using the SENSITIVITY mindframe, you're likely to be perceptive, curious, attentive, alive, agreeable, affectionate, sympathetic and nurturing. These attributes are especially useful in professions such as nursing, customer service, child care, beauty care, craft work, home or office decoration, housekeeping, food preparation, farming, landscaping—any work that involves a lot of detailed hands-on activities.

This is the instinctive part of your mind at work. To what degree do you employ SENSITIVITY each day? Is it one of your primary patterns?

Copyright © 2002, Performance Support Systems, Inc.