Peter Johnson & PiM

Insights Discovery & Deeper Discovery Licensed Practitioners

Appreciating our senses

As we start to ease a little from the initial impact of C-19 it is so delightful to embrace the early summer more fully. The days are longer, the temperature has risen to more summery levels.

I woke early one morning and strayed into the garden to enjoy an early coffee, in the solitude, before the day had got into full swing. The normal noises of our busy world yet to start.

Like many I have been spending significantly more time on my computer, with hours engaged on conference calls and meetings. One mammoth session was for 3 days of learning, run from America, so a time shift was needed to my day; starting later and not finishing until the early hours UK time.

It did mean that there was no flights, hotels to deal with, the hustle and bustle of travel, nor the inevitable jet-lag. So in many ways a very successful use of time - certainly less environmental impact too. Sadly no opportunity to mix with other people; share stories over a coffee, or work on our plans together - so some compromises.

In the grand scale of what has been happening across the world that was a small price to pay. It is amazing that not many years ago this type of virtual event would have been impossible. For many it would have been inconceivable - the stuff of fiction.

Our world spins on a new axis.

So on this day it was special to appreciate what we have - the first things that I noticed as I went into the garden was the fresh, almost chill of the early morning air; the second was the intense smell of jasmine. It is a very modest plant in size, and the flowers are small too, yet it certainly made up for this with the impact it was making.

I sat and enjoyed the start of the day, the wonderful scent hanging intoxicatingly in the air. The birds busy chirping away.

As I enjoyed my coffee, I relaxed and held the moment, realising that I was under no pressure to rush onto the next thing. Something that I always find strange….there is always much I want to do.

As I relaxed, and let a little space come into my early day, I reflected on some of the virtual calls from the past weeks; the way many people have been working, and even socialising, through the lockdown period. Yes, one can see the people in the meeting, usually very clearly, one can also hear them too. So it is an effective way to conduct many meetings and conversations that would otherwise have required a journey and venue.

Certainly I am aware from what others have said that many of the conversations have been ‘transactional’ - get the job done and move onto the next.

Speaking with some clients it is clear they lurch from one virtual meeting to the next to the next, with no time between them, their diaries get stacked full. Hardly surprising as many organisations are having a horrible time with huge slumps in income, whilst for others the reverse is true and that causing strains for the people involved too.

As I pondered my ‘lot’ I soon realised that whilst I am keen to make a difference and get things done, the ‘relationship’ is also important, and always has been. I am not a transactional type of person, I much prefer to develop a longer term relationship with the people I have dealings with.

And yes, whilst seeing and hearing them is great, especially in these times when travel and in-person meetings are not possible. I do miss the external noise, the taste so often shared, even if just the coffee. And certainly I do miss the ‘smell’ of business.

So with the scent of the small flower reminding me so wonderfully we are sensory beings, and part of being human is using our 5 senses. I would go so far as to say it helps with our decision making too - then add in the 6th sense, that so often surfaces when we are with others with that little 'space', I can understand why the ‘virtual world’ can feel so transactional.

Now those last thoughts have got me thinking!

My best wishes,