By: Rashid Hussein Shariff

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It’s been quite a while since I spoke to my former classmate.Tonight she’s calling from Germany. Immediately,Imaginations of Berlin wall conjure up,and as expected,my mouth is executing as fast as my thoughts are formed are formed.Call it “Thinking aloud”.The next thing i know,I’m spewing historical facts of Berlin wall and how it was destroyed in 1989.At this juncture,a sigh -pregnant with boredom- is heaved on the other end.Alas! I am talking to a ‘practical’ human being living in 2nd April 2016.This and many other instances,remind me about two kinds of people:The ‘intuitive’ and the ‘practical’.Some of us are at the extreme end of either personalities while others oscillate in between.

So who’s this ‘intuitive’ person? She’s the kind who looks beyond the facts.In fact,she gives meaning to everything she sees.While you see a finger nail,she sees Keratin, and if you’re keen enough she doesn’t mind bombarding you with information on the chemical structure of the amino acids that make up Keratin.I proudly identify myself in this category,though with time i have learn’t to bite my tongue when talking to a ‘practical’ character,as is the case tonight.At this point, our conversation hovers around the German car industry,we talk about the pristine design of the Mercedez Maybach .Meanwhile, my mind randomly picks a principle of design ‘form follows function’ from an archive of industrial design literature that i have,thus so far,read.But with grace i swallow it back as quickly as it came.Of course,for the sake of a lively conversation with my ‘practical’ friend,on the other side of the phone.In a nutshell,these ‘intuitive’ types like to see the big picture,they trust impressions,symbols and metaphors more than what they actually experience.They’re fond of leaping between ideas and possibilities when solving a problem.They are dreamers who see possibilities that sometime exceed their ability to turn them into reality.These are ‘intuitives’.

On the opposite end,are people like my friend.Unlike their intuitive counterparts who would imagine the pixels making up the screen.To the, the screen is just that:A screen! They’re concerned with what is actual,present, current and real.A very efficient way of losing their attention in a conversation;is by ranting theories-explaining why things are the way they are.They trust experience more than they trust words and symbols.They start with facts then form a bigger picture.They pay so much attention to facts that they miss new possibilities.Be actual,be real. That’s how you appeal to these kinds when communicating with them.

Either way,I don’t intend to say which is better.As a matter of fact these personalities can work seamlessly while occasionally complementing the other.At any given time the intuitive will see the bigger picture within a project and thus provide direction through plans and strategies while the ‘practical’ asses and operationalize those plans..


A freelance writer, journalist, poet and blogger venturing mainly in social and community issues, study and analysis of behaviour and life, and the plight of the under-dogs in the society. 'I feed on human stories.'

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