In a series of theme evenings at The Association for Coaching, the theme on 3 October 2013 was:


 Senses in coaching
…to get out of the frame of reference

Between us and the world are our senses. They are our gateways to the reality around us. Not that this always provides an adequate representation of that reality (just put a stick in the water, it looks broken, but it isn’t). The fact that there is apparently no better information supply than through the senses, is evident from the fact that these are universal. All animal species (including humans) have eyes, ears, noses, taste buds, touch and balance senses, although there are differences in the degree of sensitivity and range of application. For example, a mole is practically blind, an eagle extremely far-sighted, cats may be able to see very well at dusk, but they are colour-blind during the day, and some birds and butterflies can distinguish shades of colour that are literally unimaginable to humans.

With our senses we perceive our environment, as well or as poorly as they are developed, and this happens even unconsciously. Under hypnosis we remember images we were not aware of, under anaesthesia we keep hearing what the surgeons say to each other (so be careful) and smells can take us back to our childhood, to a holiday or whatever. As human beings are primarily visual (the sight) and auditory (the hearing), this theme evening focuses on our olfactory capabilities. Why is it so difficult to identify smells, even though we often recognise them years later? How do odours influence our behaviour and what significance do they have for our social behaviour? And how can this be used in the relationship between coach and coachee?

Based on Verborgen verleider, Piet Vroon et al, 1994

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