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Sensory Acuity


Sensory Acuity

Sensory acuity goes beyond sharpening your eye sight. It's a phrase mostly used in NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) and describes how being aware of your surroundings with all your senses can impact your leadership and communication skills, among other things.

Effective non-verbal pacing can help resolve conflict 

When was the last time you paid attention to your body language, and that of the person you were talking with?

We're all generally involved, if not trapped, in our own little worlds. That's perfectly fine and normal. But when you're talking with others and actually want to make sure a correct and effective transmission of message is achieved, little things like posture have a big impact.

Situation: someone is coming at you yelling and arms flailing.

Try and resist the urge to also make yourself appear bigger. Standing up straighter and planting your feet in a wider stance indicates you're ready to engage, showing your strength.

Solution: drop your speaking volume to a reasonable level, open your arms and let them hang loosely by your sides, indicating willingness to communicate. This message will register subconsciously with the other person, and ideally they'll eventually try and match your stance and volume.

As with everything, practice makes perfect. Next time you enter a room, I invite you to try and pay attention to your surroundings. Check out how everyone is relating to one another. See the art on the wall. Is that wastepaper basket overflowing? How does the upholstery feel? What smells emanate from the kitchens?

In MBTI language, I would correlate this skill of being aware of one's surroundings with the Extraverted Sensing preference. If you are an ESxP type, it will be your dominant function and may therefore come quite easily to you. Others like IxxJ and ExxJ may need more practice. Still, the effort will be worth it, just consider how the awareness of another person's state of mind can benefit your mutual understanding. :-)

Image by Christopher Octa, Flickr, Creative Commons License.


What's behind it all?

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What's behind it all?

While I'm away on holiday in the Black Forest in Germany to celebrate my friend's wedding, I invite you to enjoy another post by Danielle LaPorte, her take on what we're really doing. In NLP, this practice can be compared to a technique called reframing. I try to employ it wherever I can, not in order to "talk things pretty," but because it feels better to focus on the positive and the end-goal than the negative of a situation or its challenges.

what’s the ‘big real’ of what you’re doing?

Do you know the story about the two stone cutters? When asked what he's doing, the first man replies, "I'm cutting this stone into bricks." When the second laborer is asked what he's doing, he replies, "I'm building a temple."

How much do we do in a day with our nose to the grindstone? Myopic, focused, making a list and checking it twice. Done. Done. And done.

But what have we done? Really?

There is a Big Real behind everything we do. Sometimes it's a negative Big Real. Sometimes it's a positive Big Real.

I'm not posting to my blog. I'm evoking the truth. I'm not working on my book proposal to have it to my agent by Sept 1. I'm writing a book that could spark people into true action, and it's burning inside me, and people want it and they want it bad. I'm not cleaning my house, I'm making it a Zen temple in which I can hear myself think and we can cozy up. (Okay, I'm just jokin' with that one. Vacuuming is vacuuming and it sucks hard. Pun. I know, I just caught it.) But you get my point.

What's became rote or banal for you that is really part of a great dream or vision or bad plot that you really don't want to be participating in? Working overtime? How about: making sure you're getting to Miami for your next holiday to flame your mojo? Hauling your ass out of bed for a run? How about: connecting with the power of your body and tapping into your creative thinking? Cutting people's hair? How about: your salon is a place where people heal and are heard and have their beauty nurtured. Waiting on tables: How about: you're learning and teaching loving kindness. Filing papers for your boss? Maybe the Big Real there is that you're helping a do-no-good company make no-good money while your own genius wilts on the vine?

Look up. Zoom back from the tasks and see the holy weaving of your time and love and action. Make it matter. Because it does.

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