Gut feelings, hunches and... intuitive insights. Often dismissed, they are part of the human ability called ‘intuition'. You may have noticed the discomfort of your boss if you've ever asked him or her to trust you because you were certain a proposal would work out.
In my life experience, replies to an intuitive idea are usually negative or dismissive. A CEO wants to see a business case if you need funding, and they will probably not pay attention to a proposal based on a gut feeling. We find ourselves having to prove everything we say with facts to be noticed or respected.
Things are a bit different in an emergency department. Due to pressing conditions, doctors or paramedics rely on their hunches combined with any available information to try to save someone’s life. Emergency personnel must act quickly and be agile if they want to save the patient. There is no time to assemble a business case because the patient could be dead in a matter of minutes. Is urgency the determinant factor for us to be more connected to our intuition, perhaps?
Realistically, following only the facts does not always guarantee the best outcome every time. A good example of this would be the fine print of an investment portfolio agreement. The terms and conditions clearly stipulate that past returns do not guarantee future earnings. If previous facts cannot guarantee the desired outcome, why do we continue to value facts more than our ability to intuit?
When searching for thoughts from others on this topic, I found numerous articles in the prestigious Forbes magazine showing very opposite opinions, such as ‘Don’t Trust Your Gut’ and ‘Trust Your Intuition. Not Doing So Can Be Costly’.
With such opposing views, it is easy to feel confused and ignore the value that intuition can bring to our existence. However, during the research I undertook when creating the , I noticed that approximately 88% of the 2,000 people we surveyed believed that intuition had served them well in most of the important decisions of their lives.
The traditional view of management has always favoured the analytical approach over the intuitive one. While conducting research, though, I repeatedly noticed that highly successful people such as Richard Branson, Oprah and Steve Jobs preferred to follow their intuition in their personal and professional lives.
Could it be that some people are more intuitive than others? Very likely. In the same way that we all have different brains and responses to situations, it should not surprise us that we all possess varying levels of intuition, creating this dichotomy of opinions. Is it possible to develop our intuition and get better at it?
I would dare to suggest that we certainly can, and more importantly, I also propose that improving intuition is a worthy endeavour.
“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.”
At the About my Brain Institute, we believe that becoming a more intuitive leader has great value. There are specific frameworks, processes and strategies that we teach in our Programs that can help awaken this ability at work and in life. I have outlined four reasons to consider if you are not entirely convinced.
4 Reasons to activate
“the power of Your Intuition”
Reason No. 1
INTUITION IS VITAL IN DEVELOPING AN AGILE BUSINESS CULTURE
In this global economy, having a more intuitive rather than a sluggish workforce can make the difference between a thriving and agile business versus 'being out' of business. Just as being agile is necessary in the emergency room, it has almost become almost a matter of life or death in today's business world.
Educating people to recognise 'changes' in the external environment is important. Then, they can intuitively understand how these changes might impact their business, giving their organisation a significant competitive advantage.
REASON NO. 2
IMPROVING OUR GUT HEALTH MAY ENHANCE OUR INTUITION AND VICE VERSA
For starters, it makes sense that if we are talking about gut feelings we should explore how the gut functions. Recent neurobiological insights speak of the strong hard-wired connections between the gut and the brain and their complex communication system.
A clear mind has always been associated with having a healthy gut. However, our gastrointestinal system may also influence our feelings, motivations and decisions. It is very likely that by improving our gut function, reducing inflammation and eating healthier we could improve our levels of intuition.
REASON NO. 3
ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR INTUITION CAN MAKE YOU FEEL MORE CONFIDENT
In many cases, ignoring how you feel about a decision can cause a sense of discomfort or even disengagement because the facts may indicate something that your gut does not agree with. You do not look or sound as confident when this dissonance occurs. You may not always be 100% sure about what path to choose, but it feels better if you acknowledge and integrate your intuition with any available facts.
REASON NO. 4
ACCEPTING THE INTUITION OF OTHERS CAN CREATE TRUST
Even if you do not consider yourself intuitive, understanding that people around you may be more tuned to this capacity can work in your favour. Being hard to impress, always asking for more data and making employees justify every decision or idea can become overbearing and disempowering.
If you have some 'intuitive souls' around you, learn to listen to them. Be curious and ask them questions about how they feel about the matter. Not every person acts or feels the same way. Being accepting develops a trusting environment, allowing people to express their virtues.
Start Nurturing Your Intuition
Wouldn't it be great give yourself the permission to tap into this incredible ability when making your most difficult decisions at work or in life? We invite you to learn more about intuition today! What are you waiting for?
Apart from cultivating this capacity that we all inherently possess, there are many more reasons why you could consider broadening your current knowledge and immersing yourself in the teachings of i4. Our programs make people feel awakened, inspired, empowered and ready to take their leadership to a new level.
To read more about the i4 abilities check out my other 3 articles which are part of this blog series:
- Integration leads to Performance
Read Article: ‘Boosting Performance Through Better Brain & Body Integration’
- Inspiration leads to Collaboration
Read article: ‘Enhance Collaboration Through An Inspiring Self’
- Imagination leads to Innovation
Read article: ‘Triggering Innovation & The Permission To Imagine’
- Intuition leads to Agility
Explored in this article