Everybody experiences the world differently, approaches tasks differently and often sees solutions from entirely different angles. We always assume that this is purely to do with our characters – our inherited or learned attributes which gives the world a different colour for every pair of eyes. ‘Different strokes for different folks’ as the saying goes. But the way we view, feel or react is not entirely due to inherited genes, nor is it a sum of our experiences. No, the way we interpret our world is uniquely lodged in the interactive play between our life journey and our senses.

What is Sensory Intelligence?

Our sensory response are unique to who we are, in other words the same sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures will be an entirely distinct experience for every individual. Sensory intelligence refers to the way our individual perceptions colour our world and give each of us different sensations of our surroundings – our likes and dislikes and different points of view. The way you adapt to your environment depends on the way your brain responds to sensory input.

However, depending on the way you suppress this natural function in order to adapt to other people, or attempt to rearrange your environment to align more comfortably with your preferences, conflict can arise.

Sensory Intelligence and the workplace
It is therefore understandable that sensory differences can create antagonism between people – and no more so than in the workforce. Understanding this undertow of emotion and its effects is vital to improving relationships, calming dissention and bringing greater productivity and job satisfaction to the workplace. If you know what upsets you and why, you can work to fix it. Likewise, if your colleague drives you nuts you can find common ground to discuss differences and find ways that will suit both of you in altering the environment so that your individual sets of sensory input can find compromise and satisfaction. For instance, if your colleague prefers a lot of light and you hate it, you can agree to swop desks and tilt the blinds so that both of you can feel more comfortable.

Sensory Intelligence and your career

But it is not only the physical environment that needs to be balanced to your inner ‘being’ so to speak – it is also vitally important to understand how your senses function in your particular sphere when making a career choice. If you fully understand what drives you, what pleases you – and most importantly – what makes you the most comfortable, then you are going to choose a vocation that will have, hopefully, all of your senses responding positively to the work, the engagement and the environment.

People who are unhappy at work have invariably not given much attention to what their inner sensory world craves, and have simply immersed themselves in a vocation that is expected or close to home, or well-paid or easy to do, and so on. None of these reasons for working are likely to make you happy if your five senses are not aligned with your choice.

How to choose a career using sensory intelligence

If our sensory intelligence is the key to experiencing life more fully through our senses, rather than merely through the analytical processes of our mind, then it’s our key to understanding ourselves on a far more aware and fundamental level. Our analytical mind makes decisions based on practical reality but our sensory mind deals with the undertow of feelings which affect everything – the way we perceive that practical reality and how we react to it emotionally.

In the chaos of the modern working world, we have to decide what motivates us and what makes us happy. And a good time to investigate this is before we embark on a career. Knowing our individual profile of sensory evaluation will help us to choose more carefully with regard to the type of environment we prefer to work in, what type of work will suit us better, and the kind of people we would more easily get along with.

So if you’re an outdoors type, accountancy would hardly be good. If you’re a people person then a research lab would drive you to distraction. If you’re a creative person think very carefully about the stress levels you’re capable of handling; are you driven by stress, hustle and bustle – or do you prefer a more tranquil environment to produce your best work?

But once you have evaluated your sensory profile – and you have considered career options with regard to the type of work you would prefer – there is one very important career factor you must consider – and that is the employer for whom you may find yourself working. To enhance welfare and productivity, you need to look not only at your prospective career path, but equally carefully at prospective employers. Choose those who:

  • invest in employees’ health and wellbeing
  • understand the connection between individuality and long-term profits
  • believe in recognising and harnessing individual operational styles and working methods to create great teams
  • investigate and apply the latest in innovative training for employees to ensure better understanding and more cohesive team spirit
  • utilise assessment tools to optimise workspace, stress management, increased performance and job satisfaction
  • truly value people and promote a strong learning and development culture.

By implementing practical strategies based on neuroscience, we can change the way we work, learn and live to become more balanced and productive. At Sensory Intelligence, we promote self-understanding and assist individuals to incorporate wellness strategies to be more healthy and balanced. Sensory intelligence helps you to make the right decisions at home, at work, in relationships and in career development. It’s about making people happier.

Find out more about us at: www.sensoryintelligence.co.za