Friday, April 13, 2012

Blind-Testing: Sensory Choice

I was watching tonight’s episode of ‘The Voice’. A panel of four celebrity-singers-as-judges determines who progresses to the next stage of a singing audition. They have their backs to the performer – they facing the audience and each other – and decide (by way of pressing an ‘I accept’ button) if they wish to adopt the singer onto their team. If there are two judges who vie for the singer, the latter will have to decide whom to accept as their coach. The coach will groom them of the next stage of the competition.

I appreciate the approach: blind-tasting or blind-testing. You have to focus solely on the voice, and perhaps be swayed by the audience’s reaction. Other than that, it is left to the judge’s gut feel and intuition. Sometimes, the judges display genuine regret for not opting to 'turn around' and woo the singer over to their side. 

How often do you make choices based on your visual input? In other words, you base your choice on looks, appearance and first impressions; superficial qualities at most times. How far do you look beyond the embellished resume, grooming and charming smile? If you were to have a conversation via instant messaging, Skype or over-the-telephone, how would you select a candidate to join you on your team?

Gregory Burns is an athlete who inspires. He is an artist, Olympian and Ironman triathlon finisher. He has set five world records. He will be speaking next week in Singapore as part of a presentation by inspirational people.

Some time ago, I wrote a piece on the pre-race checklist. Here is another take by triathlon coach, Simon Ward.

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