In 1994 opportunities began coming to me at a rate I hadn’t previously experienced. I didn’t know why I was experiencing this good fortune; I was just enjoying the ride.
I began to get some clues when people said to me “You don’t think like other people do. You really view the world differently than other people do.” While I sensed that was true, I still didn’t understand how or why.
In 2006 a man I was coaching suddenly began getting job offers for more money. His relationships with his wife and kids, which were already strong, grew stronger. He was also an elder in his church. He gained so much influence with the elder board that they approached him to become their administrative pastor.
As I observed the dramatic change he was experiencing, in all aspects of his life, I couldn’t help but wonder “What has made the difference?” As I reviewed the coaching sessions, I thought that I’d coached him on seven skills. Closer scrutiny indicated that these were actually seven steps to developing one skill – the skill of counter-intuitive thinking. He, too, was having people tell him “You don’t think like other people do.”
What is counter-intuitive thinking? It’s thinking that is contrary to what our human nature suggests. Let me give you a quick example. A botanist, working with a purple and white African violet, wants to enhance the purple color. He modifies the white gene to make it recessive. The next time the plant blooms, the flowers are all white. The plant compensated for its loss. In order to enhance the purple color he had to diminish the purple gene. That’s counter-intuitive!
All of my work is based on this concept of counter-intuitive thinking. It helps me help my clients see opportunities they wouldn't otherwise see and craft simple, inexpensive and easy-to-implement solutions to the problems they face.