Pitfalls of Intelligence..

Purnima varadrajan - ln

It is rather stupid, but it is a fact, intelligence in human beings has its own pitfalls. It is said the difference between intelligence and stupidity is that intelligence has its limits. Some of the very common and accepted drawbacks (remember not pitfalls) is like forgetting simple things in life from car keys to first names of people. Things like these have become a natural habit (?!). I want to talk about the pitfalls..lets see the top three. Why these appear in my list because it impacts, others, surroundings, performance directly or indirectly.

1. I know it all syndrome

The zen calls it the full cup syndrome. Imagine a cup full of your favourite drink. And some one tries to pour more into it? Of course it overflows. The same happens with the intelligent mind. Take any topic the intelligent minds know it all. There was a time when even I used to assume it is ok to be like that, it is ok not to waste time on something you know well (again assumed by the intelligent brains!). But slowly the realization came in that it has its impact on the 1. The one pouring into your cup 2. The atmosphere 3. The reaction 4. The performance 5. The relationships. And much more. That day I learnt my lesson, one of the early lessons of entrepreneur ship. I remember the day when I used to go around trying to talk to the veterans (the intelligent brains) about what I dream to do and why. I realised only the first sentence of what I said went through.. the rest was already known. Only when you are the receiving end you know the impact.. but the fact is, we humans do not apply the same rule or yard stick when we are giving. Lets now remember the last time one staff cames out with a new idea or some exciting information ..does the intelligent brain drift after the first sentence? Remember how many times we cut people’s enthusiasm with “I know it yet you can go on..” kind of statements. Remember how time we fill in the blanks because we know it and do not have the patience for the other person to finish? Over a period of time our input channels switch off when we are in a “I know it all” scenario, we can’t see what’s behind a wall, we can’t touch people at a distance, we can’t hear what people try to say, we don’t read mails fully, we don’t read books end to end…

2. You should know it all syndrome:

this is again a dangerous one. Intelligent brains has a lot of temporary information stored , organised and can do a Ctrl F to get any of it any time. The intelligent brains always gives, a headline and expects the world to fill up the entire content. And unfortunately after receiving the content will compare with that available inside the brain and give out responses, calling it feedback. I had a manager who once gave topics to the content writer to draft the article for publishing. After all the efforts he modified every word, saying it should have been like this, I expected it to be that… my question is then why the hell you don’t say it before? This is “you should have known” syndrome. This happens all the time.. just like we switch off listening and we cut off talking.. limit the lines when conveying a message. Somehow the intelligent brains think loud and assumes that the entire world is listening.

3. Legacy code syndrome:

The intelligent brain has a very powerful storage space. It remembers every individual, the incident and what not. So these legacy codes remain accessible every time. So the minute we meet a new person or be in a situation.. the comparison begins. The legacy codes are matched..”10 years back.. same to same..”. The intelligent brains most of the time concludes the match and finalises the expectation. The story does not end here.. the brain predicts each future event based on the legacy code and as a normal habit accepts only those which matches.. others get either ignored or discarded. Look at the damage this is doing… frequently overlook critically important details, get existing details wrong and add details that weren’t present at all. Lets agree on one point its not bad or its not wrong.. but its outdated.. it’s a legacy code. Update your codes. But again for the intelligent brains, the pattern of thought and behaviour has become conditioned, it can be very difficult to reprogram. The first step out of these pitfalls is the realization of the impact being caused.. the slowly but for sure, the more listening, the more understanding, the open talking, the re-conditioning, the upgrading of code all happens. It is said that the difference between intelligence and stupidity is that genius has its limits. All said it is better to have intelligence around with all its limitations. What is your top 3 pitfalls of intelligence?


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