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Stop Shunning Your Intuition

Friday, June 8th, 2018

By Ashley Laabs

The contemporary business world encourages people to make decisions based on measurable data, and rewards them for their measurable achievements. But even as we consume an overwhelming amount of data, we don’t necessarily feel better prepared to make good decisions. There is still a lingering feeling of anxiety, and the fear that there is one right answer we are supposed to find. Our reliance on data and experts and tools has become so exhausting because we have lost our most important form of intelligence in the process: intuition. By looking for answers solely from the outside world instead of looking within, we invalidate our innermost voice.

Intuition is that “gut feeling” we tend to regret ignoring after we have gone another way. But if you practice listening enough, it is there to help guide you toward the right decisions in your business. Learning to listen to your gut is a deceivingly difficult process, mostly because it is so easy to let our egos and emotions get in the way.

The amazing power of using intuition as part of the decision making process is that it picks up where our emotions and egos leave off. Our egos are designed to keep us safe, often instilling the fear of change that so many people are nagged by as they try to move their businesses forward. Emotions are usually temporary, reflecting an ever changing landscape of wants. It’s easy to see how relying on either of these can lead to poor decision making. But our intuition is the voice of our values and experience, unswayed by what is scary or what sounds good right now, but more concerned with providing solutions that resonate with who we are. In the face of uncertainty, it allows us to make profound and ground-breaking decisions.

In business, such a “touchy feely” concept can be easily written off, but the reasoning usually has more to do with the fact that people aren’t practiced enough at knowing how and when to use their intuition to their advantage. Here are a few suggestions for exercising intuition in your decision making:

  • Don’t make decisions based on intuition alone. Overconfidence in your intuition can be as dangerous as not using it at all. It can be a powerful part of a structured decision making process, but the process should also include an understanding of the situation, possible outcomes and alternatives.
  • Do communicate your reasoning with others. Being in touch with your intuition doesn’t mean that others will blindly agree with you. While your intuition will usually be backed up by either data or professional experience, tying your solutions to personal experience or the values of the company can also be powerful.
  • Do take your time. Making wise decisions isn’t always a speedy process, and hearing the voice of your intuition isn’t either. Absorb the information you have and take time to reflect, separating out the unhelpful distractions.
  • Do know when your intuition is best applied. Intuition is a strong tool for interpersonal issues, identifying areas that require improvement, and for managing uncertainty when you can’t eliminate it.

As you tackle the endless journey of evolving and growing your business, remember to practice using your most unique and powerful tool in decision making. You’ll find that your intuition can be very helpful in extinguishing the data-induced anxiety of not knowing where to start.


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