The response to my post about intuition was rather dramatic. Reader Kimberley MacKenzie’s response was, “So reassuring for us who live mostly on the right!”; which seemed to be characteristic of many people’s feelings.
What’s interesting to me though is that I have yet to have anyone argue that I’m wrong. No one seems to think that intuition and other Right Brain ways of thinking are any less valuable than logic and Left Brain activities.
I agree with Sean and Ian. The article is essentially about how one develops and uses expertise.
The sergeant depicted in the article, whose affective responses led him to sense the presence of an I.E.D. before he could articulate how he knew, is typical of an expert in any field — a firefighter, physician, or program officer–whose intuitions develop through a mixture of theory, practice, and reflection on practice. It is conscious, cognitive after-the-fact reflection about the situation and what went right or wrong that hones the intuitions for the next on-the-spot judgment.
For those who want to read more about the process, Gary Klein has written much about it.
So if the author of a book on Strategic Philanthropy and a proponent of logic model based philanthropy thinks intuition is on par with logic, and no one seems to have raised any objection to this equality of thought processes, why did so many people read my post and feel that I was sticking up for something that isn’t normally valued?
If everyone agrees that emotional, intuitive, Right Brain approaches are just as important as logical, analytical, Left Brain approaches, why don’t the “Right Brain people” amongst our ranks feel that their way of thinking is not as valued as Left Brainers?