Perception and the Client’s Experience

Perception is a result of dynamic relationships between our brains, nervous systems, emotions, and the world we encounter. Perception is about what we attend to and how we evaluate what we perceive. We all perceive different things in different ways.

Our perception is colored by our individual learning styles and sensory preferences. Our personal histories, present emotional states, expectations, and perspectives determine the meaning of what we encounter.

While one person may enjoy music or scent in a bodywork session, a sensitive will find the sensory input overwhelming. One person will find a salesperson’s attention helpful and another person may find it intrusive.

Personal history causes a small space to feel cozy to one person and claustrophobic for another person haunted by birth trauma. Sensory processing preferences causes one person to find a power point presentation fascinating, while another person who thinks in pictures finds the images distracting.

Cultural expectations cause a Northwesterner to find a New Yorker’s directness pushy and rude. A New Yorker finds the service in the south slow, while a southerner finds the dining experience leisurely.

How your message is received depends on the background and emotional state of the recipient, the sensory and temperamental preferences of that person, and the emotional, visual, and kinesthetic experience he or she has of your message.

Consideration of client perception requires that you

  • identify the specific perspectives of those you serve,
  • review the auditory, visual and kinesthetic nature of your message,
  • edit and maintain the qualities of the professional environment,
  • solicit feedback about the quality of the service you provide.