Sensory Intelligence®: Our senses and perception – how we can change our world

Posted: 20 May, 2016

By: Annemarie Lombard

Section: Corporate


“A ‘normal’ person is the sort of person that might be designed by a committee.
You know, each person puts in a pretty color and it comes out gray.”
~ Alan Sherman


Individuality and conformity
Every person is an individual. This is the one clear thing we know about ourselves. We are each a product of a unique genetic imprint and our experiences. So we’ve all got to be different, right? And yet so many aspects of modern society are built on the basis of our conformity. You don’t have to look very far to see the effects – schooling demands it, so does just about every corporation, municipality, government and religion. We are the same, we say. We must all be treated the same, behave the same and experience the world in the same way.

Well, Sensory Intelligence® tells us this just isn’t so! What we have achieved with our misguided ideas of ‘sameness’ has resulted in more people visiting a psychiatrist’s couch than ever before. In schools, intelligence is measured by IQ tests – which may simply measure the way one person’s brain may deal with a problem but does not touch on another person’s ability to appreciate artistry, empathy and the human condition. Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) has become a major area of research on how we interact and connect with other human beings – and the importance of this kind of daily relationship cannot be emphasised enough.

You are what you see, touch, taste, hear, smell and perceive

But neither logic nor emotion clearly describe how each one of us individually absorbs and assimilates the world around us. In fact, how do we do this? How do we experience our world and make sense of what we feel? We have only five senses to do this: sight, sound, taste, hearing and smell. From this our brain creates an interactive experience and formulates our perceptions. And research has shown that this combination of senses and perception is fundamentally different for every human being.

We do truly have a sixth sense that is more than ingenuity and intuition; it’s a unique map of who we are, how we will react in any given environment or situation. The way we individually use our senses to perceive the world creates great diversity – and along with that the vast array of opinions that so often create dissension, conflict and unhappiness. It’s why one person will want the air-con on zero while another is unhappy unless the temperature brings out a sweat. One person will love curry that takes out the back of the throat while another is rushing for ice water after one taste. It’s why we have colour preferences, scent preferences and why some need plenty of light when working and others find too much light literally painful.

The point is we can’t really help it. We can’t change our specific neurological patterns that make up who we are as individuals. But what we can change is our understanding of why one person feels differently to another. Learning this is the key to greater harmony in the workplace, better performance and more effective communication in an increasingly busy world.

The value of our senses in teaching and corporate training

What if, through greater understanding of how your brain processes sensory messages, you could improve your concentration, performance and wellbeing? What if we could change the way we work, learn and live to become more balanced and productive? Who wouldn’t want to do this?

Research has shown that the brain prefers active, not passive, learning. When the brain is engaged with the senses and physical stimulation there is an increase in intellectual performance, memory, attention span, emotional engagement and focus. It has been found that in any learning situation, movement creates increased brain connectivity which enhances higher level problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Understanding how the senses contribute to learning helps us control sensory overload and stress and assists with the design of more ergonomically efficient environments. In tandem with this, assessing every individual’s sensory system helps to improve a range of working situations, from team management to open-plan office dynamics.

The key to change

  • Most training and recruitment procedures deal with the cognitive, upper brain level, ignoring the vital importance of the five basic senses and how we use these to process our world experiences and become who we are.
  • Sensory Intelligence® Consulting is unique in that we provide neuroscience and researched methodology to optimise people and space, both within classrooms and working environments.
  • Our training courses and e-assessment products provide simple, yet powerful insights, resulting in a better understanding of each other in order to work together more cohesively and produce successful outcomes.


Please find out more about us at:

Who has benefited

Sensory Quiz™
Sensory Matrix™
Senses on Call™
Social media
Sensory Intelligence®