What is intuition?
It is far too easy to dismiss new ideas and others’ creativity, should one want to. One type that appears to be particularly at risk of being dismissed for their creativity is the ENFP.
Intuition is the process of deducing based on missing information or guessing how a pattern will develop. While intuition doesn’t have to be right, even intuition that is proven wrong can lead to learning and growth for a group or community. But intuition is easily dismissed. People who have ideas can be seen as stupid for not accepting the “obvious truth”.
Idea types can be seen as annoying or too disruptive. And in discussions, intuitives labour with many what-ifs. People are more likely to vote yes on a half-decent concrete decision than on a potentially amazing what-if. Often, a creative type will need a strong ethos, a good leader, or a good team that can help them bring their ideas into fruition.
Why do we dismiss intuitives as crazy?
To dismiss another person’s idea or thought before it is investigated, without thinking about if the idea could be true or not, is to dismiss the opportunity to learn. While employers are said to value creativity, it is often more true that people value the product of creativity. People don’t always like the creative process, and it is easy to see why. Intuitives rarely know what they are doing when they start doing it. Intuitives make a lot of changes and twists and turns on the way.
And intuitives often find it difficult to explain what they see or envision. The intuitive process requires a great deal of patience. In today’s project-based, short-term contracts, creativity may take far too long for many employers, even if ideas are worthwhile. This drives many intuitives to rush their own process as quickly as possible, even if it means that the idea becomes worse or more shallow.
Curiosity is a wonderful thing. The types that are the most at risk of being invalidated for having ideas are the ENFPs. ENFPs are frequently called crazy or weird. As explorer (EXXP) types, ENFPs often function as the messengers of good and bad news. Just as they can bring up potential they are the first to spot a negative possibility. But when the ENFP brings up this possibility they are frequently blamed for sharing what is on their mind.
When people don’t like the message, even if it is true, ENFPs sometimes may take the blame for it. This can of course lead to ENFPs not sharing important warnings in the future. Or it can lead to them only becoming more distressed, because they see that things are going in a bad direction, but they notice that people are not listening. This means an ENXX type needs to build up a strong self-confidence to let their intuitive flag truly fly.
Intuitive invalidation does not just come from sensors but also from other intuitives. Some people like their own ideas but are quick to dismiss others. Some are threatened by others’ creativity. Many intuitives want to have their ideas heard, but are also quick to dismiss others’ ideas. But luckily, standing up to invalidation is easy.
How to stop intuitive invalidation
A couple of important lessons for intuitives are these:
- Don’t act certain when you’re not. It may give you benefits early, but it will fuck you up in the long run.
- Ask for longer time early in a project (not at the end of it!) – always plan for new ideas to take longer than you anticipate.
- Create an intuitive culture where ideas are supported. Implement a “wait time” before an idea can be questioned, at least a week.
- If you don’t understand a new idea, don’t pretend to understand it: ask questions, and make sure you understand it clearly first.
- If you have a good idea, you have a duty to make sure to nurture it and let it grow up in a good environment.
In every group, just as there is an intuitive who sees something new, there is an enabler. The enabler is the true creator. The most creative person in the room is the person who will hear another person’s idea or theory and support it.
The one that supports an idea has the power to start amazing change and transformation. If you want to be a part of helping support the intuitive process, take the chance to support others. Don’t wait for others to listen to you. Be the first to listen to someone else, and just enjoy the process of change. Intuitives need to create intuitive cultures. That means intuitives must support and help each other.