In NLP, sensory acuity enables the practitioner to stop ‘mind reading’ and start to have more accuracy in calibrating (determining by criteria, not guessing) what the body language (including facial muscles and tones of voices) is telling them.
Obviously this is crucial in any person to person interaction and will enhance any chance of knowing that person deeply or working on a substantial level with them.
Sensory acuity can also be referred to as sensory awareness and is a fundamental pillar of NLP.
For any NLP technique to work effectively, the NLP Practitioner needs NLP rapport and sensory acuity to connect with the client and notice subtle shifts in the physiology which provides clues on where the client is within the process of change.
When you are asking questions to understand the issue the client wants to work with, sensory acuity will enable you to notice when you find the area to begin working on. Your client will communicate through their physiology and using sensory acuity you can respond accordingly, facilitating a journey for the client.
The essence of sensory acuity is the ability to recognise what is fact and what is perception.
For example, you may look at someone with their arms folded and say they are bored. When in fact they may be cold.
Sensory acuity is the ability to be acutely aware of the detail in front of you, for example: mouth turned up or down, changes in skin tone, where the client is breathing from or changes in breathing.
Making a conclusion that someone is cold would not hold up in court, whereas saying the facts such as: they folded their arms, would be considered a fact.
When you master sensory acuity you are aware of the facts and start to notice changes in the facts at various points of the conversation interpreting key points and learning about your client at a deeper level.