Good trainers successfully vary the exercises and format of their workshops to address multiple learning styles and most have long used music as part of their repertoire as a way to shape the environment. But in a webinar I attended, the facilitator suggested a new tool I hadn’t considered: smell.

Specifically, she suggested utilizing oranges – not just in training, but for their calming presence overall. The smell of oranges reduces anxiety and peeling one makes great sense during a program on mindfulness or stress management.

Think of how you can activate the sense of smell in shaping your learning or work environment. For your next workshop, could you bring a wax-melter or diffuser just as you bring music? Could you regularly have fresh flowers as part of your home office set-up? What about a simple candle at the receptionist’s desk to emit a light scent that distinguishes the mood of your office when people enter? Or even the smell of freshly-brewed coffee, popping corn or fresh baked goods?

We have five senses but often overlook smell and touch. Add some new resources to your tool kit and begin to use scent with intentionality.

Webinar:  by Debi Grebenik of Alia, 5-28-20


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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