Gut Instinct: Is it Real?
As I shook his hand, the hair on the back of my neck literally stood on end.
He was a respected member of the community: an elected school board trustee who had served intermittently for eight years. He was visiting various civic groups to promote a school bond. The wife of a city council member walked him through the crowded room and introduced him to an array of political activists where he seemed well-received. In my growing sense of unease, I remarked to another woman, “There’s something creepy about that guy.” She expressed surprise and said that he seemed nice enough.
A month or so later, the same man was arrested and charged with prostitution and trading legal services for sex. He resigned from the school board in disgrace and soon disappeared from the public eye.
So what was it that made me dislike him so much at that first meeting? Gut instinct? Intuition?
Although an imperfect metric, the kinds of nonverbal cues we receive during a face-to-face meeting often can tell us much more than a resume or a campaign mailer.
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