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November 6, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

Discovering How Your Senses Determine Your Effectiveness as a Person, Partner & Parent


Today we are with the author of the book "The Sense Connection" & noted psycho-therapist and early childhood development expert Natalie Robinson Garfield.

Interview Content:

Eric: Let's start right into the book The Sense Connection & its subtitle " Discovering How Your 5 Senses Determine Your Effectiveness as a Person, Partner & Parent" - - please touch on one of the senses & mention briefly how that one could determine your effectiveness as a partner.

Natalie: It isn't that one sense determines your effectiveness, it is that knowing which is your dominant sense and what is your least dominant are, and discovering and determining the other persons, whether it is a partner or a child whichever it may be. It can even be the person who you get your coffee from at the corner store. It is really getting to know the hierarchy and the match or mismatch. So it isn't one sense in the concept of, Oh yes, I am more visual. Let me just backtrack a little bit to describe the senses. The acronym is K-A-T-O-V. K = Kinesthetic - those are people who take in the world through moving through the world, through space. A = Auditory - These are people who take in the world predominantly through sound. T = Tactile - Those are people who take in the world through touch, through feeling, that's both feeling on the outside of your body and feelings on the inside of your body. When people say, Oh, she's so sensitive or he's so touchy meaning thin skinned, those are usually TACTILE people. O = Olfactory Taste - those go together. I have a colleague friend who wakes up in the morning and says, hmmm, what should I have for dinner, that is a taste person - high Olfactory Taste. I myself am highly visual, I don't think about dinner in the morning, I think about dinner when I see something that appeals to me. V = Visual - people who take in the world through their eyes. You can usually tell people who are visual because their appearance is important to them. So they look particularly in a way, not necessarily to your taste but they have a particular look. Their home has a particular visual ambiance. Colors and things matching and how things look are important to them. So those are the 5 senses and as it would be in terms of partners we tend to attract and hook up with in the long term sense of the word - opposites. So people who are high kinesthetically tend to attract who are low kinesthetically and often high visually.

Eric: Why do we find ourselves so compatible with some people yet so out of sync with others? I could even say in relation to my current situation that I am definitely out of sync with my neighbors right now.

Natalie: Usually it has to do with the senses. So you quote, take in the world or see the world in a different way than they do. By taking the test, the test by the way is on the web site, the web site is The test is also in the book, but it is also on the web site so you can take it immediately. You can determine what your high and what your low is, and if you have someone willing to take the test, you can give them the test and determine what they are. Without the test, you can kind of guess. There are ways to guess what the person is. By observing them carefully in all different ways, what are their strengths and what are their weaknesses. One of the points in the book that I make is if you got to a party what do you do? Do you move around the room and kind of get a sense of the room? You are probably kinesthetic. Do you get close to the music or are you already kind of weaving and bobbing to the music, you are perhaps high auditory and kinesthetic. If you are getting a sense of the room how it feels to you, if it feels like a warm place, if it feels uncomfortable, you are probably tactile. If you go immediately to the food, you are probably olfactory taste. If you sit down and just look around you are probably visual. So I don't know if you party with your neighbors, but that is a way to tell what they are.

Eric: 3. Why do some relationships – personal and professional – start smooth but develop friction?

Natalie: They start smooth because there is an interest that humans have in what they don't have. In other words, I am visual and very low kinesthetically, I am attracted and interested in someone that is high kinesthetically. What I believe unconsciously of course, is that they are also high visually. And that belief is a false belief. So, they are going to be interested in me if I am low in what they are high in, there is sort of, without getting too enmeshed in a touchy subject, the propagation of the species, if you will, is contingent on it being improved and improved and improved through the generations. So putting together two different sense modes creates a progeny that is probably better than we are, better than the two partners are, in any event that is the attraction. It isn't until we spend time with that person and it's ok, the kinesthetic person says hey, lets go for a run, and I say, let's sit down and read.

Eric: Mention briefly how the results of the Sense Mode Profile Test works as it addresses hierarchy, strengths, weaknesses and degrees of personality.

Natalie: The test is really meant to wake you up to the concept. It's based on the Meyers-Briggs test but it is far inferior to that test. The benefit of it is that when you take a Meyers-Briggs or any of those really well standardized test, you get a lot of information. However when you walk out of your testing situation and you are going to have dinner with your partner or you are going to a block party with your neighbors, or any interaction you can't remember all the details. This is meant to be simple, the test is kind of fun, it's a little goofy even because it's not hard to remember whether you are a K, or an A, or a T, O or a V; it's very easy. And the information once you get the percentages of what you are, the information starts to pour into you, from you, to you - that's a funny way to say it perhaps...of course I am a visual, of course I am an auditory. So it's meant to be workable usable and it is very practical. 

Eric: And lastly - what would you say in regards to parenting in dealing with a very rebellious child in relation to the sense connection.

Natalie: The first and foremost thing is is to figure out what sense hierarchy they are and you are. Let's say the child is kinesthetic and let's say you as the parent are visual. You immediately want to change your language to cater to the child's language because that is a mismatch. You need to talk their language. I know for myself in raising two kids, my son would say please test me on my spelling and I would say OK, sit down and he would be walking around the room. I would say sit down, sit down, you can't be tested if you are walking around. He would eventually obey but he would be jiggling the pencil and jiggling his leg and I would say but you need to sit still. But no, that isn't true, what he needed to do was to move around in order to learn and to take it in. So, you cater to the child, so you change your language and you change your activities so if you prior to this had been saying lets go to a museum or lets go to an art gallery, or lets go look at the leaves change color, that's all in a visual persons repertoire. But that child may want to hit golf balls, play baseball - move - move around. It's worth while as a parent to cater to your child's sense mode. What will happen is, they will start to ease down, in a strident way that they are proving themselves to be who they are which is what teenage time is all about.

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Note: The views expressed do not necessarily relect the opinions or beliefs of the show host or it's owners.

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