Fast and slow

Yesterday, we shared 3 normal biases affecting all of us. One of the other major findings from Kahneman and Tversky’s work was that there are two primary ways for our brains to work. This is covered deeply in the book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’.

They referred to these two ways as System 1 and System 2. System 1 is the fast, automatic and intuitive brain. System 2 is the slower, analytical and reasoning brain. What they found was that most of the time System 1 dominated System 2 thinking. So when we think we’re being rational and really thinking things through, we’re still beholden to our deep-rooted views. It takes great, deliberate effort to overcome this. And, importantly, under pressure and stress, System 2 disappears completely and we’re left defenceless to overcome any views that we already have. It’s important to understand this when we’re learning new skills or trying to change our habits, behaviors or ways of working.

A good way to start to overcome this is to create time and space to reflect regularly on your work or something else you’re trying to change. And even better is to do it with teammates in a constructive retrospective workshop.


Design a reflective practice for yourself and your team that will enable you to step back from the day to day pressure and stress on a weekly basis.

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