If you’ve read The Tipping Point then you’ll know all about Gladwell’s gift for making the factual riveting. In the same way that a good stand up comedian can focus on something we see everyday and make it hilarious, so Gladwell can take seemingly random observations and present them in a way that makes your head spin.
In Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Gladwell looks at the way we make decisions and comes up with some pretty astonishing insights. He introduces the concept of ‘thin slicing’ and explains how snippets of conversations are often all we need to form opinions about people and their relationships that are usually not that wide of the mark.
I am particularly grateful to this book because it was where I first read about ‘cultural micro rhythms’ and their effect upon our perception of others and it was from this that I finally understood why my sales approach actually works.
All that said the chapter that makes this book essential reading at the moment is the one called ‘The Warren Harding Error.’ It explains how the man now recognised as being the worst ever US President was elected to the post. As I suspect that Harding is about to lose his title, we might want to consider the way in which crazy decisions are seemingly being made on a global scale at the moment and why people appear so happy to choose appearance over substance.
I took Blink off my shelf in order to write this but I have decided to treat myself and read it again. That’s about as high a recommendation as I can give.

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