Your #1 Threat: Your Own Brain

Obviously we all use our brains, and one thing we do especially well is pattern matching. We’re great at seeing, recognising and acting on patterns in the world – and that gives us valuable insights, judgement, and wisdom.

A lot of what we call intuition comes from pattern matching – even if it’s subconscious. For example, you get a routine e-mail from a landlord about their property. It looks like a fairly simple e-mail, just reporting on an interaction with one of your team members. But you know she’s upset. There’s nothing obvious in the e-mail, but subconsciously you spot something there that’s different from her normal e-mails – in other words, something that doesn’t match her usual pattern.

Or you’re making a presentation to your team, and you stop for questions. You look around the room, and even before somebody raises their hand, you know they’re going to ask a question. You call on them, and they are amazed – because perhaps they hadn’t even decided yet to ask the question! But you spotted something in their posture, a micro-expression on their face, or a tiny change that crossed your subconscious mind and registered as a pattern.

Pattern matching is valuable because it fast-tracks our decision making. If we drive a different car for the first time, we get the hang of it quickly because most of the features are exactly the same. If we eat at a new restaurant, we broadly recognise most of the items on the menu, even if we’ve never seen exactly those items before. When we get a new client and start managing their property, we have a pretty good idea what they need to know about working with us.

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This is an extract from an article I published in Elite Property Manager, the leading magazine for property managers in Australia.
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