I read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking last year, but never wrote a review on it. I really should, as it is one of my favorite reads, and supports a notion that I have treasured since reading Working with Emotional Intelligence. And that is trust your gut instinct...there is a science behind it! Very difficult concept to get people to buy into. And for good reason! Random guesses and opinions are not gut reactions. And unfortunately, way too many guesses and opinions
Gut feel works because our brains have the experiences to draw upon and the mental capabilities to process those experiences. Blink shares a number of stories where gut feel pans out, and some fascinating studies behind them. As does How Customers Think... hmmm, I don't think I wrote a review of that book either. Looks like I have some catching up to do.
Anyway, what's my point? I'm getting to that. The issue is not about trusting people's gut feel - we've all met people in our lives that "get it" and seem to just know how certain things are going to play out. The question is when to trust who. Just because person A has an inclination about topic A and a history of being right doesn't mean they will have the same track record on topic B (of course, it doesn't mean they won't be right, either).
I don't have any answers, just a problem staring my in the face of one my core tenets and a driver behind much of what I do. What do I do?
And, what have I learned I'm good at? While those that know me know that I opine as if I'm an expert on most anything, the only thing I've been good at sensing is a) recognizing talent in the workplace (I know within 5 minutes of meeting someone whether they are a star or not), b) predicting the outcome of individual football plays when I attend games in person (I pretty much know within a second of snap how the play will turn out), and c) building comprehensive product roadmaps for products (time and time again people will throw out "we should consider x" only to find I already have x documented somewhere). That's it. Pretty boring, eh?