Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

The power of thinking without thinking, sales intuition, and other thinking skills - book review by Clive Miller.

This book is in league with my all time favourites. Malcolm Gladwell's style reminds me of Daniel Goleman and Robert Cialdini's work. See previous reviews of their books in the sales archive. Blink is full of real life drama and fascinating research.

In contrast with many of my articles, for example Vanishing Freewill and Sales Plans are Useless but Planning . . which are about forethought, planning, and preparation, Blink is about the human ability to make correct assessments and effective decisions based on a very small amount of information. In some of the research cited by Gladwell, it is called ‘thin-slicing’.

Undeniable evidence from the work of many scientists and psychologists indicates that people have pre conscious decision-making processes that are largely inaccessible to the conscious mind.

Slow motion video evidence, recorded by John Gottman, Paul Ekman, and others, demonstrates how people’s expressions declare their emotions with unsettlingly precision. Documenting the exact muscle movements that telegraph twenty plus distinct feelings has enabled these pioneers to compile some startling evidence of human transparency.

Right from the first pages, I found myself engrossed in the portrayal of actual events that illustrate the ability of some people to make accurate intuitive leaps of judgement that seem to demonstrate a sixth sense.

In addition to numerous and increasingly gripping stories, Gladwell writes about the research that shows how preconceived ideas, prejudices, and chance observations can render our pre conscious judgment worse than useless.

Being able to discern if a thought or feeling is the result of our near infallible pre conscious judgement or polluted by recent thinking, false beliefs, and misleading experiences is the elusive prize illuminated in this outstanding book.

It seems we don't make up our minds for the reasons we think we do and we don’t have easy access to the bit our mind that directs our thinking. Don't believe me - read Blink. If you want to connect with sales intuition or develop your unconscious thinking skills, read Blink.

ISBN 1-141-01459-8

Book Review by Clive Miller

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