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Intuition at Work: Why Developing Your Gut Instincts Will Make You Better at What You Do Hardcover – December 24, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

According to Klein (Sources of Power), the key to success at work is acting on one's intuition and making quick, savvy decisions based on experience and, sometimes, just a strong gut feeling. Based on his research into corporations, the Marine Corps and teams of firefighters, the author has devised an "Intuition Skills Training" program of repeatedly practicing a series of exercises where situations are analyzed for anticipated problems and possible outcomes. A significant part of learning how to trust your instincts is evaluating information and its quality related to a certain project: is it reliable, accurate, complete or confusing? Klein's approach focuses on teamwork; for example, he discusses his work with the navy, where he helped people become "on-the-job" coaches and carry out routines at sea. While Klein's example-based style is appealing to anyone the firefighter angle alone could attract readers it will be most appreciated by training professionals. The book is not as approachable as Daniel Goleman's Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, and readers looking for quick fixes may find it slightly intimidating.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Klein, a research scientist and the founder of his own company, presents his thesis that intuition is an essential, powerful, and practical tool for decision making and not a special gift of perception or magic. Defining intuition as the way we translate our experience into action, he shows how anyone can build intuitive decision-making skills through a program of mental conditioning. The origin of this book is interesting: the U.S. Marine Corps sponsored Klein's initial research and asked his company to develop a training program that would strengthen marines' intuitive abilities. Application to other clients followed, and this book's primary purpose is apparently as a handbook for the author's training seminars. With examples and decision games, Intuition at Work provides instruction on how to build intuition, how to apply it when making decisions, and how to effectively communicate intuitive decisions. These ideas offer valuable insight that can be useful for any library patron. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Business; 1 edition (December 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385502885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385502887
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,087,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Gary Klein is a cognitive psychologist and the author of five books, including Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions and his most recent work, Seeing What Others Don't: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights. He regularly works with leaders in domains such as healthcare, military, law enforcement, petrochemical industry, social work, and business management to assist them with issues in organizational expertise and workplace insights. Dr. Klein is well known for his ability to communicate complex ideas in psychology through compelling and relatable stories from his research in expertise and decision-making. He has received praise from intellectual icon and storyteller, Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote, "No one has taught me more about the complexities and mysteries of human decision-making than Gary Klein."

Dr. Klein is widely known for changing the landscape of cognitive psychology by pioneering the Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM) movement in 1989. Until this point, psychologists used laboratory settings to study how people make decisions, with a heavy focus on human bias and error in judgment. Dr. Klein flipped the focus to conducting decision research in real world settings, studying how experts including firefighters, military battle commanders, and doctors use intuition and experience to engage in effective decision-making. As one would expect, Dr. Klein's radical new take on cognitive psychology research invited opposition from the traditional community. What is notable, however, is the respect Dr. Klein has received from psychologists and researchers whose perspectives have differed dramatically from his own. As Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman wrote in a recent article, "Gary Klein is a living example of how useful applied psychology can be when it is done well...Klein and I disagree on many things...But I am convinced that there should be more psychologists like him."

Dr. Klein currently works as a Senior Scientist at MacroCognition LLC in Dayton, Ohio and recently started a new company in 2014, ShadowBox LLC, which develops training for organizations that allows novices to think like the experts. He is also a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), and received the 2008 HFES Jack A. Kraft Innovator Award.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Kindler VINE VOICE on December 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In Innovation at Work, Gary Klein presents the interesting premise that intuition can be a learned skill rather than an innate trait that someone either does or does not have. Citing his work with the US Marine Corps, firefighters and certain business organizations, Klein lays out his theory that intuition is something to be valued, developed and leveraged. To push his thesis, he tends to beat up on analytics and metrics in decision making - so much so that people with a strong analytical bent (like me) might dismiss the thesis as rubbish. Keeping an open mind, however, makes one see that what Klein is really advocating is a blend of intuition and analytics. In fact, a number of the tools outlined by Klein to build up intuition are somewhat analytical in nature - in effect creating a situation where one can intuitively decide something today because of "pre-analysis" that had been done in the past. Although the concepts are presented more from an anecdotal perspective than from a rigorous scientific one, Klein is able to nonetheless put forth a concept that merits attention, if for no other reason that to gain a perspective on different management styles the one must deal with on a regular basis.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Drensek on October 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great follow-up to Gary Klein's previous work "Sources of Power". Where "Sources" is more about how intuition is used and his theories about it, "Intuition at Work" is more a practical guide on how to apply the theory and its implications.

Gary tries to demystify "intuition" by stating his defintion of intuition as experience put into practice. Through this defintion, Gary tries to answer the question, how does one become expert in their craft/profession through their cumulative experience, and how do they apply that experience. He gives many examples of this.

Through out the book, Gary is driving the point that intuition is a developed sense through the honing of experience into recognizable patterns for future use. This pattern recognition capability differentiates the novice or journeyman from the truly expert; examples given are the experiences of the neonatal intensive care nurses (those who can sense a problem before other nurses or the measurement equipment, the experience of the marine NCO who can sense the order of battle from subtle signs that the team leader in the middle of the exercise is totally missing. The individual usually has no idea how he/she goes about pattern recognition, hence the mystical connotation of intuition.

Deeper in the book, he gives practical advise on how the individual can develop their own expertise, and how to structure training /development experiences to foster the growth of the intuitive decision making. There is also an excellent chapter on coaching.

Though he very much bashes the analytical approach, he keeps resorting back to it to prove certain points.
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Format: Hardcover
Intuition is something everyone uses and the source of it is a bit mysterious. Gary Klein takes a scientific approach to it and when you should trust your intuition and in what circumstances that your intuition can be unreliable. He also discusses the art of decision making, strategies for making better decisions, and how the human mind goes through the decision making process. Real serious book on the art of decision making. Highly recommend this one.
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By carlos madrid on August 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Henk-Jan van der Klis on June 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Gary Klein schreef Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions, volgens Business & Strategy een van de beste managementboeken van de 20e eeuw. Klein werkt al vele jaren zeer succesvol met het concept intuïtie bij bedrijven en organisaties. Daarbij neemt hij bewust afstand van een magische/mystieke invulling van het begrijp, en pleit hij voor een doelgerichte synthese tussen ratio en intuïtie. Het boek Intuïtie in het werk is na de inleiding verdeeld in opbouwen, instandhouden en overbrengen van intuïtie.

Het opbouwen gaat volgens het herkenningsgeoriënteerd beslissingsmodel, waarin patroonherkenning, mentale modellen en aanwijzingen in een situatie handvaten bieden. De toepassing draait om oefeningen. Klein stelt er een aantal aan je voor: de premortem exercitie, probleemdetectie, omgaan met onzekerheid, inschatten van situaties, het ruimte bieden aan gerichte creativiteit en het aanpassen van en improviseren op bestaande plannen. Het in standhouden van intuïtie draait om het kunnen overbremngen van je intentie en het anderen helpen aan een sterke intuïtie. Leercultuur, cognitieve taakanalyse, coaching geven en krijgen zijn hierbij belangrijke hulpmiddelen. Klein staat vervolgens stil bij de rol van metrieken en de invloed van informatietechnologie op het gebruik van intuïtie. Klein schrijft verhelderend, biedt allerhande casebeschrijvingen en zoekt verbinding.
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