40+FAB Blog

Instinctively knowing

I am sure you have come across people who seemed to instinctively know what to do, whether it was how to lead, communicate, solve a problem, or generally be charming and personable. We usually conclude that they were blessed to be born with such qualities, but we must ask ourselves, is that really true?

Is there such a thing as instinctively knowing when it comes to behaviour that yields outstanding results? Look at it this way, the best way we learn is by example and practice, and sometimes we are not so aware that we are learning by these means. Take for instance John whose father was a professional speaker, his high school friends thought he was such a great communicator, and John couldn’t tell them why. He seemed to instinctively know how to capture his classmates attention in conversation. Was John born with the gift? No he wasn’t. John had observed, mirrored and practiced his fathers methods of communication for most of his life without consciously realising it. Those who learn in such a manner are said to be operating instinctively.

But, lets take the case of Sam who had to go through a series of communication classes to learn principles of communication and practice these principle with fellow students. After about 5 years of using these techniques, people who met him always said he was such a natural speaker. They thought he spoke instinctively. Instinctive reactions are really a result of what one has learned and not how they have learnt it.

Whatever will come instinctively to you has to be learnt and practiced until you can do it without even thinking, So whether someone appears to have sat in a classroom to learn it, or they have learnt it in other not so obvious ways, the underlying fact is that they all learnt it, internalised it and now operate instinctively.