The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The supremacy of intelligence

Working together with a coachee we were investigating the potential of his choices. He was seeing two alternatives and wasn’t clear as to which to choose.

We had talked about the environment he was living and working in, he had shared his values and described some of the change he was seeking to make. And yet, it felts as if we were not progressing.

Taking a step back we looked at his decision process and his expectations.

In doing so, he started seeing how he had moved from an assumption that there would be a clear cut answer, that it has to be either-or. He was gaining an insight into the slowness of getting to a decision when it means to gain clarity.

In a way, the idea of human intelligence has become an obstacle. The belief in the supremacy of being the intelligent ones also leads to the idea that cognition needs to be perfect.

Some questions lead to unique answers. An equation brings variables together to deliver a result. Its answer is either right or wrong. But that situation is only true for the minority of questions we encounter.

For most questions we encounter in today’s world it requires much more work, testing, failing, and restarting to get to an answer we feel to be adequate. It’s work that happens through a multitude of ways to capture images and words. It’s writing, talking out loud, dreaming, sharing ideas with others, asking how others did it or what they know about it, etc. It’s combining analysis with experience. It is experimenting with answers until the puzzle falls into place.

The first step is to let go of the idea that we can analyze ourselves into the answer. Cognition is only a small part of our intelligence. Connecting it with the intelligence that is around us is a much larger part of our intelligence.

Stepping into it is part of the leap we do.

One we have to work harder to connect with these days.


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