At its very best, the meaningful study of the human personality is tantalising, elusive and transitory in nature. Success in the quest is important because, coupled with its understanding comes a veritable raft of benefits at many levels, including:
♦ In business, the ability to be able to preselect the highest calibre of personnel, with the ultimate benefit of being able to maximise on-the-job efficiencies, output, and the interaction between individuals.
♦ In everyday life, an improvement in the levels of understanding between individuals and groups.
♦ The recognition of innate, undeveloped individual brilliance, especially where this has been missed, and therefore underestimated or misunderstood.
Sadly, there appears to be a marked tendency amongst many of us, often related to restricted life experience, and when we don’t understand something, to dismiss it as either being weird or fraudulent.
That is why being different – too small, too big, too ugly, or any one of a myriad of perceived aberrations, and then jumping to conclusions, can make it hard to find the real diamonds that should be sparkling, amongst us. That is why it can be fascinating to take a new look around us, to see if we are the special people categorized as Groks, or somebody we know.
What is Grok? To grok is to share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity. Author Robert A. Heinlein coined the term in his best-selling 1961 book in a Strange Land. In Heinlein’s view, grokking is the intermingling of intelligence that necessarily affects both the observer and the observed. From the novel:
Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthly assumptions) as colour means to a blind man.
What we are trying to say here, is that Grok type thinking is the ability for someone to arrive at rapid (lightning speed!) meaningful CORRECT conclusions, moving from A to Z without having to either work on, or even necessarily understand any of the intervening steps most of us expect. (A,B,C……W,X,Y). In common parlance, this special ability is called WOW-power – “Wisdom Without Words”.
The pedestrian mind can normally not come close to being able to comprehend this startling ability. A very good example occurred at a US High School a number of years ago, where a student who consistently flunked his math examinations, even though he was always able provide the correct end answers. The problem though, at least in the view of the teachers involved, is that he could not show the steps he had gone through. His stumbling block, the teachers were only schooled in the conventional, stereotyped methods used to solve problems of this nature. The end result was that they consistently failed him, because they concluded that he must have been cheating.
The outcome could have been tragic, because his consistent failure at this level prevented him from proceeding to college. But Jim had Savvy, and so, in spite of his perceived lack of math ability, he went on to become a very proficient computer analyst! What was his secret? Quite simply, it lies in his thinking style, which in his case was overwhelmingly Conceptual – that is his thinking style was predominantly ascribed to his tendency to using the power of mental imagery.
This thinking style is particularly fascinating, and different from the “norm”, because computer analysts are “normally” both analytical and structural in their thinking processes – are they not? How do we then go about recognising these really special people amongst us….”The Groks” for their special and potentially valuable talents, which may otherwise be lost? Is the route we need to follow via science? For a special skill or art to qualify as a science it is necessary for them to fulfil 3 essential criteria:
It must establish, and then acquire a relevant, valid body of observations It must derive principles based on these observations, tailored to the unique qualities of the skills in question Have a high success rate in making accurate deductions
Graphology – Handwriting Analysis – adequately fits these parameters. So, based on that conclusion, I have extrapolated and refined the determination of personality styles, and in this case Thinking Styles using the immense power offered by Handwriting Analysis. The approach to arriving at a person’s thinking style has, in the past, tended to be somewhat stereotyped, i.e. Analytical people are Left Brained and Creative people are Right Brained. Recent work done by Dr Geil Browning, in her ground breaking book: “Emergenetics” gave me the clues I had been searching for, where she concluded that there are 4 basic thinking styles:
♦ Left Brain: Analytical & Structural
♦ Right Brain: Social and Conceptual
Based on that, it is simple to determine that the variations in Thinking Styles can run to 15 different permutations and combinations. For example, completely Analytical, or completely Structural, and so on. Then a combination of Analytical and Structural, Structural and Social, etc. Quite simply though, by analysing a person’s handwriting, their predominant personality attributes can easily be determined.
This then very quickly leads to the ability to be able to find the potential Groks in our midst, and then nurture their innate talent, and give them the place they deserve in our society. The diagram below shows the personality profile of just ONE of these very special people. The message is, we should not be making presumptions about a person’s abilities or potential without making an in-depth analysis. In that way we will avoid missing the latent sources of real talent in our midst.