Maximize Your Senses

I recently spoke to a group of physicians in Florida about EQ. For a group of human beings most familiar with the human body and all its physiological conditions, there certainly appeared to be a desire to learn more about how to connect with each other and fellow staff members to deal with the constant chaos and stress inherent in a clinic or hospital.

It’s difficult to intellectualize much with such a smart and talented group; staying away from subjective data or imperatives is key. There is not much room for abstract or philosophical arguments. So I chose to harp on maximizing our five senses to enhance our self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy (three components of EQ).

When smart people are confronted with interpersonal challenges with other human beings, both instinctively and by training, the methodology often used is rational and logical. They try to use their intellect to rationalize the right response and can legitimize just about any response. What they miss is that people are not looking for nor do they need a logical response… especially from top-of-the-food-chain physicians.

People want empathy, they yearn to be listed to, and they desire to feel like they’re okay for feeling what they feel (not weak or inferior because they show emotion or want it shown in return.) One physician asked me what I would recommend for her to do. I suggested they optimize their senses. We have five of them which we all take for granted. How about we: listen harder (instead of listening to respond), see all the non-verbals being expressed (instead of just the obvious ones), touch others a little longer and at the right time (a longer hand shake, a hug, a tap on the back), feel our own emotions longer (instead of rushing through the day ignoring them), and so on. This resonated very well with the group.

This week, sharpen your senses–focus on one sense each day this week. There are five days in the week–use each day and see if you can hear better, see better, feel/touch better, smell better, and taste better. As you do this, use the results to see if you can sense a change in your body that is not intellectual and allow that state of being to interact with others.

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