Lessons in sensitivity, from YouTube

Alan Partridge, Spinal Tap and David Brent teach us how to stay in tune with others.

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

If you’re trying to woo a potential new client, displaying a woeful lack of knowledge of their company is a sure-fire way to upset them. Here Alan Partridge attempts to impress a production team working with the Irish tourist board. He clearly hasn’t done his homework: ‘Sunday, bloody Sunday,' he says, 'that really encapsulates the frustrations of a Sunday’. And he doesn’t know when to shut up. No job for him.

Sensitivity extends to your market. If you want to provide the right product, you have to know the needs of your target audience. Just as an air-force base shouldn’t book Spinal Tap for its family get together, so businesses must deliver what their customers actually want.

Staff require the same level of sensitivity too – and that doesn’t mean getting your poem book out to read to them. In fact by doing just that, David Brent shows how it shouldn't be done. It’s good to be a friend to your team, but be aware of the line and don't cross it.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

A simple cure for impostor syndrome

Opinion: It's time to stop hero-worshipping and start figuring out what greatness looks like to...

I was hired to fix Uber’s toxic culture - and I did. Here’s ...

Harvard’s Frances Frei reveals how you know when your values have gone rotten, and what...

Social responsibility may no longer be a choice

Editorial: Having securitised businesses’ loans and paid their wage bills, it’s not inconceivable the government...

What went wrong at Wirecard

And how to stop it happening to you.

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...