I recently took a personality inventory conducted by a leadership development team called Professional Dynametrics Programs (PDP). I was extremely impressed by their workshop and personality tool for measuring and defining strengths. (Our presenter was a former football pro, Phil Olsen. I used to watch him play for LA and Denver!)
OK, back to intuition. My profile was a good fit with who I am, a nice change from previous surveys which came across as a random mixture of Chinese fortune cookies. The PDP survey indicated that my default is intuition when making decisions. If you’ve read the book “Blink,” you’ll know that there’s power for good and evil in the blink of an eye. But when you factor in experience, a teacher’s intuition makes a lot of sense. It is still possible to come to the wrong conclusions by both reasoning or intuition. But I would bet that my success as a teacher of kids with behavior and emotional disabilities has a lot to do with sizing up situations so rapidly that my responses were more proactive than reactive. That’s not to say I didn’t mess up, but that kind of role was a good fit for my personality. See that looong dip in the graph below?
Researchers have attempted to determine if a sense of “with-it-ness” can be taught and learned. As a longtime mentor, I have seen that teachers can definitely improve that almost intangible quality of intuition with the potential to improve multitasking, guiding large groups of kids, and making good judgments quickly.