Not everyone is suited to be a funeral director or even work as a professional in the death industry. Professions such as embalmers, morticians, cemetery workers, or hearst drivers often have a special trait in order to work with bereaved families and assist in the final preparations of a loved one's final celebration of life.
The follow are some important personality traits that someone should possess and might be helpful if you are planning on getting into this industry. It is essential to possess some or more of the following characteristics:
Empathy and Compassion
This is a basic trait and must come from a sincere and genuine heart. Compassion enables you to feel with the family who has just lost their loved one and feel sympathy towards them during their time of loss. By possessing empathy, you are able to put yourself in their situation and allow yourself to see things from their perspective. This in turn, provides the family with reassurance and genuine care, which is always appreciated.
Inner Peace and Calm
You need to be able to remain at peace and calm while being around others who may not be. Often grieving families are chaotic and emotional which can lead to a string of emotions that require a calm and peaceful person. You must not be easily panicked or become provoked to anger and must maintain a strength and calm for others. You must not take offense to any type of criticism or harsh language or words from the bereaved family. It's essential to be clear headed and if need be, be the pillar of strength the family may need at this time.
Being dependable is a must and keeps the reputation of the business you represent in a positive light. Timing is key when it comes to funeral services and the family will be relying on you to assist them and guide them into what decisions need to be made. Your future business depends on this essential trait so make sure you make this a priority.
A Friendly and Confident Nature
The professional needs to be able to feel comfortable working with any type of personality and the general public. Possessing friendliness and confidence during a highly emotional time for others is a key trait. Families will be looking to you for answers and guidance, so its important that you present yourself confidently and able to answer questions that may arise.
Tact and Diplomacy
Often during times of grief, private or personal information may be shared by the family. Your discretion of such matters in handling the utmost details of privacy is essential. You will gain the trust of the families and will be a valuable ally to them during their grieving period. Handle all matters of the heart as tactful and diplomatic as possible.
Attention to Detail
There are many things and details you will need to tend to. Make sure you do not overlook even the smallest of details. You attention to them will be visible to the grieving family and will benefit you or your business as a whole. If you are not able to remember, then ensure you are a good note taker and make lists of every item and even those that were not discussed.
The importance of possessing as many of these traits as possible cannot be stressed enough. Your success in the industry will depend on it. Of course, the type of work you do in regards to the funeral service will also dictate how many of the above items are a priority for you. A funeral director who deals with the family very closely will need to practice all of the above, while a driver or assistant may not. Regardless of the job, it is always good practice to cultivate such traits in your daily living so when it carries over into your work life, it will be a natural transition.