5 Senses – II

5sensesI shared the TED video on the 5 senses lasat week even though I have blogged about the 5 senses in the past. I have been arguing for many years how underutilized our senses are, mostly because we simply have been using them from the time we were born but never been actually trained to optimize them or to comprehend the extent of their relevance to our emotions and the substantive experiences of our lives. The video and I both hold that the greater all 5 senses are engaged, the more meaningful an expereince is and the higher the probability it will be retained in our memory.

The implications of this are not just for our personal lives. Think of all the day-to-day activities you perform, meetings you have, calls you make, emails you write, and home activities you perform with your family. Working professionals constantly have an audience and if you are in a position where you want that audience, whether it is a spouse or a business customer, to remember you, then an approach that proactively appeals to the audience’s 5 senses will likely get you there.

I have blogged about office spaces previously and how uninspiring most of them are. What makes them boring is their lack of appeal to any of the senses. As a leader, home or work, you want the eyes of the people around you to fall, intentionally or unintentionally, on inspiring images. You want them to hear sounds of collaboration and positive dialogues. You want them to feel like it is a safe place worth taking risks. And so on and so forth.

Take a walk into your home, your personal office at work and your entire office floor or building. Just walk through it. Take inventory of what you see, hear, feel, smell and touch. Is any of it inspiring to you? If so great. If not, then how can you expect it to be for everyone else? Take inventory of your meetings, emails, and all other activities in the same way. Are they inspiring to you? Do they make you want to bring out your best? So, what can you do? Draw a graph just as in the TED video and plot the graph for the each activity you are engaged in. Think of ways you can enhance all the experiences by simply increasing the low-utilized senses in the activities. I assure you that you will be astonished at how much more exciting life can suddenly become.


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