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Fingerspitzengefühl, Jawohl!

Dr. Chet Richards gives a concise and practical explanation of the intuitive strategic-tactical skill, Fingerspitzengefühl.

Developing the touch

Ibis raised an interesting question in one of his comments:  If Fingerspitzengefühl can be taught, why do so few people have it?

Two points:  First, Fingerspitzengefühl is a skill, so although most people can get better at it, some are going to get a lot better.

Second, it’s a strange kind of skill, not for performing complicated or even dangerous tasks mystically well, but for sensing what is going on among groups of people in conflict and then influencing what happens.

….The first problem in learning Fingerspitzengefühl is that you can’t learn it by yourself.  You have to have at least two groups of people to practice with – your team and some opponents.  And to develop this skill, you have to practice a lot, because people, unlike clubs, don’t obey laws as simple as f=m•a.  And you have to practice influencing your own team – call that “leadership” – while also influencing the opposition – call that “strategy.”  And you have to learn it in increasingly unstructured and even threatening situations, under varying time constraints. This is the concept behind Vandergriff’s adaptive leader methodology, which I’ve referred to before….

Read the whole thing here.


My thoughts on fingerspitzengefuhl.

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