Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Learning to act right (43)… from intuition to thinking to intuition

Torrey Orton
Sept 30, 2014

I have always been clearly an intuitive thinker, but I am not without logic. The right thing to do springs into my awareness automatically and years of being an object of my own commands has largely worked. In a current consulting assignment I have been “making it up as I go” for three months, week to week, and I’m open with the clients (a family of 5 in one business) about the fact. One effect is that I am including them in the design of my interventions, which also ensures they are “on board with it” as this week’s make up turns into next week’s activities. For an average of six contact hours a week I generate another couple of days thinking, mostly consciously done at night, spurred into action by an intuition coming into view at 3am or so and recorded on double sized post-its on the bedside table under torch guidance.

This is an unusual experience for me. I can do conscious thinking about technical matters in training or therapy once the target / objective / direction has been intuitively formulated. In what matters to this client family, the targeting is always in doubt because I am having to do it for them and then test it each week. So, for some as yet unclear reason I am able in the dark to lie there and work slowly thru the week’s development challenge in a manner mixing intuitive and analytic. This looks like the following:

A direction for action presents itself such as getting them to appreciate each other’s life a bit. Entry level tools for this already exist – mapping a group’s history with current and past players present, if necessary. With the family all the players are present. So what to do to map it? Try it out with them on a segment of the history which is big enough to show a pattern and small enough to be graspable. What these time quanta are is a matter of importance, but can be revised as we go. What the contents of the map should be is also revisable in retrospect, as patterns and time chunks assume useful shapes. But, the choice of starting content labels (the basis for the content eliciting questions which frame the exercise of mapping) is critical to the viability of the process. The specification of desired contents has to be sharp enough to matter and loose enough to give personal wriggle room in the early stages as trust is explored and built. And, the content needs to be elaborated from events to purpose(s) so the meaning is shared as well as the ‘facts’. A sheet of butcher’s paper for each time segment (e.g. decade) may be appropriate as the data recording system, allowing all participants to record items themselves at times and the whole map to be visible as it emerges.
So, that’s what I worked thru bit by bit (there was a lot more, but...) in a slow, pick-a-brick-and-try-it-for-fit kind of building way. Intuitive grasp with mixed salad of analytic components. I’m pretty sure that I’ve only given the results not the feel of the process here, which means I’m more in the analytic than the intuitive but there ya go. One characteristic of intuition is that it is a not-to-be-summoned-by-will kind of process.

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