Dirty Little Secret: Dealing With Quick Thinkers

Do you ever run into someone where they seem to be thinking and acting 100 miles per hour faster than you? I received two emails the other day:

Executive Client: "Rich — I don't know what to do — I feel like I'm an idiot! Every time I try to speak with some of my peers and my boss, it seems like I'm in slow motion, I know I have 20 years experience in the industry, but for some reason, they anticipate, decide, and outmaneuver me whenever I speak to them. Meetings are hell!"

Business Client: "OMG — my clients have me running rings around them for some reason! Every time I deliver something to them, they are 10 steps ahead of me requesting something else and adding 'Why didn't I do this . . . or that?'. I don't know if it's me or them. HELP!!"

Here's a dirty little secret: It's happened to me. It happens to EVERYONE. Quick thinkers are everywhere.

Here's why:

#1. They are truly gifted.

There are people out there who are really smart. They have the ability to assess the situation, determine their choices, and choose the best direction.

They are a wonder to work with and for — because they usually cut through the BS and take action. My estimate: 10% of the population.

#2. They are in the know.

Bottom line — they know more than you. They have more information, they know how people work, they know who can do what, and they've probably done this before while it's totally new to you. Or they are privy to information not disclosed to you.

You think they are better than you — but they're just a few steps ahead (and running quite fast to stay there). My estimate: 50% of the population.

#3. They are fearless.

They are supremely confident in their decision making and don't have that small trigger most people possess to stop and think about a situation.

This comes in handy during an emergency (like a car crash) where quick, fearless thinking saves the day. It is a ticking time bomb when it comes to strategic business decisions. My estimate: 20% of the population.

#4. They are faking it.

These are the hidden land mines in business.These people have low self-esteem and probably a personality disorder. They make assumptions and decisions so quickly it makes your head spin.

In addition, if you question them, their logic to back up their decision is unassailable in their eyes, while you go batty trying to understand their logic. Black is white — up is down. It's maddening.

Next time you are stymied by a quick thinker, try to diagnose who they really are.

Genius — Stick with them and do what they do. Knowledgable — Catch up to them, learn more. Fearless — Think strategically and double back. Fake — Stick to your guns if logic is on your side.


P.S. Having a hard time with a quick thinker? Let's talk.  Business and executive clients bring this subject up frequently. If you’re not a client . . . grab your spot now before the final spot for October is taken. Only one left — time is getting short!