Have you ever finished reading a book and continued to think about it for days, even weeks, after? I guarantee ‘Blink - The Power of Thinking without Thinking’ by Malcolm Gladwell will have that effect on you.
I’m fascinated by the brain and how we are influenced, so I quickly got engrossed in the book and just a few days into my holiday I had it finished.
Would you believe it if I told you that you can make just as good a decision, if not better, in 3 minutes as you can from hours of research? ‘Blink’ will show you how.
‘Blink’ is about using your intuition to make judgments and decisions and understanding that sometimes we just get ‘a feeling’ about something that we can’t always explain. The book made perfect sense to me as I have come out of a number of candidate interviews and thought to myself ‘wow, that candidate is great’ but I can’t always put into words why. I just know that they have ‘it’ whatever ‘it’ is that I’m looking for. And of course, on the flip side, I sometimes don’t buy into a candidate but can’t always explain that either!
‘Blink’ goes on to give examples of times when you’re intuition can fail you, however... A bit like when a car salesman might make a judgment that the customer who just walked in looks like they can’t afford a car, so they don’t take them seriously and maybe they avoid approaching them. ‘Blink’ says that one of the top car salesmen’s ever, Bob Golomb, swears by treating customers equally regardless of their appearance, and giving fair prices to all, despite whether one customer looks like they can afford more than the other.
It sounds so incredibly simple, and you’re probably thinking that you treat everyone fairly anyway, but you wouldn’t believe how much your unconscious judgments and decisions differ from your conscious judgements and decisions. Our life experiences, things we’ve learnt and things we’ve been exposed to, like the media, for example, all play a part in our unconscious judgments, so it’s important to recognize when you can trust your unconscious.
If you’re anything like me, you find it difficult to make quick decisions. As much as I hate this bit of my character, I can’t help but overthink and I probably gather too much information when I’m making a decision. ‘Blink’ has helped me understand that too much information is more unhelpful than helpful when making decisions. I’m definitely going to take some pressure off myself and try Malcolm Gladwell’s approach to decision making, and try to trust ‘that feeling’ a bit more.
Just a little caveat for you, in the words of the highly successful military commander, Paul Van Riper, "When we talk about analytical versus intuitive decision making, neither is good or bad. What is bad is if you use either of them in an inappropriate circumstance". Of course, sometimes we absolutely need to sit down and gather information to make a proper decision, but why not try a snap judgment based on intuition when that isn’t needed?
‘Blink’ has a few mini Implicit Association Tests (IAT’s) in it, and it's fascinating how your unconscious works. If you’d like to see for yourself, go to www.implicit.harvard.edu and make sure you comment below with how you got on.
Now I have a huge network of Psychologists on LinkedIn, considering I recruit in this area, so I’d be really interested to hear from you with your view, and other similar book recommendations would be hugely appreciated! :D
Thanks for reading,