Blink: Malcolm Gladwell

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is another interesting book from Gladwell.  In its pages he looks at the phenomenon of intuition and arrives at an interesting conclusion.

Intuition is not some psychic talent that arises from the depths of our mind.

It is the result of long hours of repetition and complete immersion in an environment, skill of behaviour that is constrained by particular rules and principles.

Harnessing the power of intuition can give you a distinct advantage in a world where flexibility is essential.  After reading this book, you’ll never think about thinking in the same way again.

The key points from the book include:

  • Knowing something in a split second is one of the most powerful skills we have.
  • A snap judgement can often prove more effective than a considered decision.
  • By focusing on narrow slices of experience we can read complex systems in the ‘Blink’ of an eye.
  • Thin slicing is Gladwell’s theory that the first 2 seconds of an encounter will determine how you will respond or the likely outcome.
  • For 80% of instances, a snapshot provides all the information that is needed.

Although Gladwell’s argument is well supported with expert experience and examples, the theory seems to only hold true when you are dealing with true experts.

Complete immersion in the environment or experience is essential for results of up to 80% accuracy.

The rest of us are probably less accurate with our intuition, but that doesn’t make it a poor tool, only something that needs to be supported by other evidence and consideration.

Dare to Aspire

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