Why use intuition? In our uncertain, rapidly changing, culturally complex world, with information bombardment, the ability to make quick decisions leading to desired results is crucial. The capacity to quickly size up a situation and recognize the best course of action without analyzing is intuition. That rapid, 2 second decision making can be life- and business- saving, providing a competitive edge, as Malcolm Gladwell wrote in Blink, and gave firefighters as an example. Now, more than ever!
Consider when things have not gone well and the cause may have been not following intuition or failing to communicate it.
In a blink: quickly check in with your intuition, then communicate it for results.
“What does your gut tell you?” I asked an executive coaching client recently as they weighed alternatives regarding a potential business pivot due to uncertainty. As I listened to them explore the potential impacts of these choices, I thought they intuitively knew the answer. Their exploring the choices and impact along with a gut check and my external perspective helped them confidently make their decision.
Recently promoted leaders I coach who have been used to thoroughly researching before finding solutions discover they need to learn to rely on intuition to make decisions more quickly. Complexity theory invites us to continually scan the system to pick up patterns beginning to emerge in order to keep our competitive edge.
I shared my intuition with one such leader: “I get the sense you are carrying a lot of weight on your shoulders,” and then checked in to see if that fit for her. It did, and we explored ways she could alleviate that weight, which included speeding up her decision making by relying more on her own intuition, as well as increasing delegation. She reported not only greater effectiveness and ease at work; she said our coaching led to her cancelling her back surgery, an unexpected benefit! As she let go of the weight she was carrying as a leader, she no longer experienced the back pain that had led to scheduling the back surgery.
I train and mentor coaches (since 2003) to communicate their intuition to help their clients quickly get to the “heart of the matter,” the core. How? By noticing cues-physiological, emotional, cultural, spiritual and patterns based on experience. “Detecting patterns from random noise,” as Penny Mavor’s study states or as Gladwell does in Blink, through “thin-slicing”-unconsciously filtering through an overwhelming number of variables for the very few relevant factors based on very narrow slices of experience.
In other words, intuition guides us in which information to pay attention to. It answers questions like “What is going on? Which way to go?” It can help “cut to the chase,” and prevent “missing the boat.”
Successful leaders and coaches demonstrate the importance of recognizing and communicating intuition to keep your competitive edge. Even if you are a minority voice in a meeting, speaking your intuition can contribute to avoiding costly mistakes
How are you directly communicating your intuition? It takes courage to speak your intuition. Formerly undervalued or dismissed, intuitive intelligence is now recognized and encouraged in organizations that desire that competitive edge.
I invite you to:
- Let go of your fear of not having analyzed all the data, not being 100% sure before making a decision.
- Learn to trust and communicate your intuition.
- Start from a centered, focused, mindful, present state with a “quiet mind” and letting go of overthinking and fear. (how to center video on my website, supported by research)
- Experiment with your intuition to build your confidence. Examples: keep an intuition journal: write down when you notice and communicate it, and the impact. Test it by guessing when your phone rings or buzzes who it might be.
“Blink“: check in with your intuition, then communicate it for positive, even business-and life-saving Results.
Invitations: Please share your examples of how you are recognizing and communicating your intuition to keep your competitive edge.
You are invited to apply for an Unlock Potential Strategy session to discover how:
- Discover how our Executive, Leadership and Team Coaching with cutting edge Cultural Intelligence and a centered, intuitive approach can help you, your team, and organization keep a competitive edge.
- Our Culturally Intelligent Mentor Coaching + Certificate Program can expand your coaching business, better serve your clients, and gain confidence in not only your Coaching Competencies but also your Cultural Intelligence. “Meant to be!” participants say after they begin our program, guided by their intuition.
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Update of July 14, 2015 and February 14, 2019 blogs
I’m a big fan on Gladwell’s “Blink”, so I enjoyed reading your post here supporting new leaders to learn to trust their intuition. I remember when I first took on a true leadership role and how nervous I was to make quick decisions. The guidance you provide here is invaluable.
Thank you, Nanette. I am confident your remarks will be encouraging to new leaders.
I don’t know that I do much speaking to my intuition. I normally just listen to it and let it guide me. What I have learned is that quick decisions builds and sustains momentum.
Thanks for your comment, Lawrence Andre. Congratulations on listening to and letting your intuition guide you. This blog points to speaking FROM intuition. (not to) In other words, share it with others so the group, organization, or system will benefit. Thanks for calling attention to this distinction.