Deep sensing interviews are one of the tools highlighted in the Sensing phase of Theory U, where we begin to see how we see the world. Once we become aware of our seeing, then we have the opportunity to focus our attention in more intentional ways.
The beauty of a deep sensing interview, when it is designed well, is that it takes the interviewee on a tangential or divergent journey to where you want to go which is usually the current situation you are wanting to inquire into. When we take the direct route to where we want to go, we often get the first off-the-top of the head responses which also often are the responses aligned with role or positon in the team, organization or system. It can be a good, helpful reflection and, often so much more is possible.
Deep sensing interviews take people out of their heads and invite them to embody the conversation or enquiry which takes them to a different place, allowing them to see their own experience and their own questions in new light. They also help to build trust which is advantageous if you are embarking on any initiative requiring trust, openness and alignment.
There are four key phases to a deep sensing interview. They are:
- what was your path to here
- why here, why now
- what is here – issues and challenges that have led to this inquiry
- imagining the future
Deep sensing interviews are a powerful tool that can be used to help deepen relationships, deepen a field of inquiry, shift the shape of a team, organization or system.
Related: Theory U