“Man is like a puzzle – made up of many parts in different dimensions, which only a skilled artist with strong intuition can put together and create different pictures from, which in the end all together become who he is.”
What is intuition?
The truth is that intuition is very difficult to define, and great thinkers and philosophers have written books and articles about it. I will try to explain here briefly what intuition is for me, and how I use it in meetings with people.
Intuition is an unmediated perception of things, an immediate understanding of something without study and consideration. Intuition is considered an original and independent source of knowledge, since it is designed to explain only types of knowledge that other sources do not provide.
In his book “Think, Slow and Fast” Prof. Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics, describes human thinking as a collaboration between two completely different technologies. The brain is seen as a mechanism, a system designed to take care of your affairs, understand what is happening around you, deal with unexpected situations, make decisions and plan for the future. Kahneman calls the first technology “System 1”. It works behind the scenes, unconsciously, automatically, and its use requires no effort and is usually not under voluntary control. “If I show you a picture of an angry girl, you will recognize her mood in a split second. It will be as clear to you as the color of her hair. You will even know in what tone she will speak. This is something that only System 1 can do,” explains Kahneman. System 1 is also solely responsible for what we call intuition. In fact, it is intuition.
One of the features of this system is the ability to organize our knowledge in many such ‘trees of association’, where every word, every person, every action and name of a color are connected to an extensive network of concepts. The purpose of these networks is to prepare you for the future. And so, when a certain situation is encountered, it constitutes a hint for prediction and provides the expert with access to information that was stored in memory, and it is the information that provides the answer.
The second technology Kahneman calls “System 2”, and it is conscious thinking, the sequence of thoughts that flows through our head. It is a very slow system and can only perform one operation at a time, and even then it requires control and effort.
How is this related to my field of work?
In my field of work I observe, take in every detail of a person and use intuition to extract information, to predict possibilities, to draw conclusions and to create connections, just like in a puzzle, from a database based on experience and knowledge acquired during life. This technique is called “cold reading”.