I listened to “Blink”, the audio book during my travels in Utah. It was outstanding! Blink is about understanding “rapid cognition”, that vibe we have when we encounter a person, situation or object…and we pick up a “vibe” we arent sure about, we dont know why we have it, but we do.
Gladwell covers many interesting scenerios, but most importantly discusses why it happens, when it works, when it doesnt work, the relationship of time and experience to rapid cognition, and the importance of identifying key criteria for getting “rapid cognition” or what he calls “thin slicing” to work.
The first example of the book had to do with a statue being sold to a museum. The price was 10 million plus, and the museum owners called in several experts, both scientists and artists to determine its authenticity. The scientists spent 14 months measuring, taking samples, calculating, etc and determined it was authentic. The artists looked at it and within a few seconds gathered that something wasnt right….it turned out to be a fake. It is this type of “thin slicing” that blink is about- gathering the correct critical information quickly and immediately making a decision.
Gladwell is careful to point out that “rapid cognition” can also be very wrong, as well as when it is wrong. He even covers “pre-programming” when an individual can be steered to making incorrect choices and judgements based on a set of words, images or ideas presented before the choice is made.
It was interesting that I was listening to this in Utah, that I discovered a key criteria when dealing with people. It is simply: “Do they do what they say they will do?” Intelligence, creativity, appearance, sense of humor, etc all go out the window, and everyone is on an even playing field….if you meet someone who specifically says “I will do this” and they do it, repeatedly, you can “thin slice” that they are trustworthy.
If you meet someone who says they will do something, and they repeatedly do not fullfill these commitments, it is a good indictation that something isnt right. While there are always exceptions, most people who honor their word will do everything they can to notify you if they cannot keep their appointment, etc. This is especially true with brides, if they do everything they say they will, this is a very very good sign…its someone I want to work with.
I believe this to be a solid criteria in working with people.
Again, Blink was excellent- I highly recommend it. This is exactly the type of book I enjoy reading / listening to.