This is going to be a post that brings forward a novel approach to use when you want to get people engaged when you are talking to them. We are all born with 5 senses that we use daily throughout our lives in order to guide us through life and make it where we are safe, happy and healthy. These five senses were given to us as gifts to help make our lives better and more enjoyable, but these 5 senses can also be used to help us relate and engage on a more positive note with the people we interact with everyday. When we meet and engage with people we generally only utilize 3 of the five senses; look, touch and hearing. I am challenging you to try and get at least 1 of the other 2 senses engaged during interactions in order to increase your chances of the person seeing things from your point of view.
Below I am not just going to go over reasons, and possible ways, to use taste and smell while interacting with people; I am going to go over look, touch and sound as well just to help reinforce how important those three are to our daily interactions. So, buckle up and hold on because here we go.
From dictionary.com they say the phrase “at first sight” is An instantaneous attraction to someone or something. For example, With Peter and Constance, it was a case of love at first sight, or When Dave saw that car, it was love at first sight. Even though you may not be wanting to “attract” someone when you talk to them you need to realize that looking sharp and professional will engage their sense of sight and will cause it to be easier to make a connection with someone. Although not the strongest of the five senses sight is the first one people generally use when they meet you; whether it is the first or the hundredth time.
The Cambridge dictionary describes touch as: to put your hand or another part of your body lightly onto and off something or someone. This is the most intimate of the five senses as it requires you to get extremely close in order to engage this sense. This sense can easily be engaged with a firm handshake, pat on the shoulder or if appropriate a hug. When you can initiate a professional touch with someone it automatically causes them to feel closer to you and more engaged/aware of what you are saying.
Merriam Webster defines the sense of sound as: the act or power of taking in sound through the ear : the sense by which a person hears. This is an easy sense to engage; because when you talk to people you are automatically engaging that sense. The problem is to not overuse the other persons sense of sound or you will be considered as dominating the conversation. You need to engage this sense very efficiently by speaking just what needs to be said an leaving at that. This will cause the person you are speaking to to feel that you not only respect their time but will also leave them wanting more.
Merriam Webster says the sense of smell is: to perceive the odor or scent of through stimuli affecting the olfactory nerves. This sense is the strongest of our 5 senses; the sense of smell can help us remember things we may not remember otherwise. This is called scent memory; everyone has them whether it be fresh cut grass reminding you of baseball season, cookies that remind you of grandma’s or a paper mill that reminds you of getting closer to the beach. Providing someone with a positive, or negative, scent memory will help them remember you and what you said long after you have parted ways. So you definitely want to make sure that you take care of yourself in order to provide people with the best possible scent memory you can; because it can trigger them to remember you when they may need you or have an opportunity for you.
Merriam Webster says the sense of taste is: the one of the special senses that is concerned with distinguishing the sweet, sour, bitter, or salty quality of a dissolved substance and is mediated by taste buds on the tongue. This is probably the toughest sense to engage in outside of a function where food is provided. It is not impossible to engage it just a little different. Some of the ways you can engage this is to talk about the other person’s favorite meals or restaurants. By doing this you are bringing up a memory and the brain can even cause the person to perceive that “taste” in their mouths, therefore causing you to engage that sense. Another way to engage this sense is to carry some sort of candy or small sweet with you to share with people; people will not generally deny the treat so therefore you can engage this in a non-offensive way.
Whenever you engage with someone you need to connect with them in the most ways possible; the above ideas on how to connect using the five senses are simply suggestions to get you to think about how you can improve your inter-personal relationships. Work on this and try to improve the ways you are engaging with people, not just with words, looks and touch but also with smell and taste and you will get more positive reactions from the people you interact with and spend time with. Step out on the ledge and give this a try.