We all learned of the five senses in preschool and kindergarten, and have our own opinions about the sixth sense – the things that are perceived beyond the five senses, yet are just as real for many people.
But for those who are consider themselves ‘people-people’, there’s a seventh sense, an added sense that helps them quickly read and assess and connect with people who touch them in-person, online, or over e-mail. Most of these people-people have met thousands of people in their lives, have met a wide range of people in their lives, and have had deep and broad experiences, some good, some not-so-good.
Having this Seventh Sense helps people to quickly evaluate how well he or she might connect with others, how they fit into their framework, perspective and life at the moment. Indeed, it is invaluable to know quickly and confidently whether to connect with new people or relate more deeply with those already in our network.
Whether or not you consider yourself a people-person, if you’re interested in how to better that Seventh Sense in yourself, below are some tips for doing so.
- Know, respect and communicate your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you bring to the table will help you see how you fit in with others, and how others fit in with you.
- Know your purpose, values and mission. Knowing what you stand for, what you do and why will help you frame your view of your world and your network.
- Recognize that it’s always about the people. Make the people who are important to you feel like they matter.
- Listen at the deepest level to those that matter most. Connecting with those that matter will help you see with more clarity who the most relevant people are in your network and why.
- Trust your gut. If you feel squeamish or queasy or uneasy when you sense someone around you, disengage or make evasive maneuvers. You may or may not be right in the end – but it would save you time and heart ache if you’re right and act accordingly.
- Assume positive intent, unless you know otherwise. Give people the benefit of the doubt, but respond appropriately if they prove they are not what they say or appear.
- Act quickly and decisively when you get that gut feeling. There’s time for the left brain to consider why you wanted to respond in the way you did.
- Be curious and open to the uncomfortable. People who stretch your perception of what’s real, what’s right and what’s known may make you feel uncomfortable. Embracing those that do is a doorway to a wider view of the world.
- Share what you have with trust and generosity. Trust that those in your network will use it well and pay it forward. It helps the right people to gravitate to your circle.
- Live and learn. Follow the above guidelines and live and learn based on your personal experiences.
What are your thoughts about developing that Seventh Sense?