Bonding Using Your Senses

Back in grade school, we were taught the five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. Well, it turns out that many of us tend to lean more toward one of those senses in our perception of the world.

Some people are very visual, some deal more in the auditory or sound, and still others are mostly what we’d call kinesthetic: more oriented toward touching and feeling.

five senses seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting

The five senses

A simple thing you can do to bond with someone is listen to the way he or she phrases things in terms of senses, and use those same words or synonyms in response.

“Look,” your friend might say to you, “I see what you’re saying, but what I’m picturing is something different.” Your friend is quite likely visual.

If someone you want to bond with says, “Listen, I hear you, but this sounds like it just won’t work,” you’re probably dealing with an auditory person.

You don’t want to spend so much time or effort detecting sensory terminology that you miss the point of the conversation, but responding in kind can be very valuable in making better relationships, whether business or personal. We like what is like us, and we feel more comfortable with someone who is similar.

So, if someone says, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” try replying, “Yes, that looks good on my calendar.”

If you hear, “Talk to you later,” you might respond, “Sounds good.”

For a phrase like, “We’ll connect another time,” consider using, “Okay, stay in touch.”

It will make the person you’re dealing with feel more heard and understood.

Frances O’Brien

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