“Often you have to rely on intuition.”
— Bill Gates
You and I are by design intuitive; all of us experience those gut feelings that prove accurate from time to time, harnessing our involuntary instincts is priceless.
One definition of intuition from Merriam Webster dictionary is “a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence.”
Our intuition is instinctive and deals with that which is factual. We tend to be more intuitive in familiar areas, relationships with coworkers, organizational environment, team dynamics, and customer/client relationships.
Although we cannot dictate the intuitive internal workings, we can become more sensitive to its prompt and intentional use. Stephen Covey said, “Only as we keep an open communication with our deep inner life will we have the wisdom to make effective choices.”
Intuition in Daily Living
I cannot overstate the value of having an intuitive edge in all we do in life; we all experience moments of an involuntary influx of clarity and insight such as:
The knowledge that spontaneously rises from within us.
Accurate awareness of things without forethought.
An accelerated analysis of our stored knowledge and experiences.
Intuition will often enter our thoughts suddenly though our subconscious has been processing the data for some time. Serial entrepreneur Anastasia Belyh says, “According to psychologists, intuition is an automatic feeling of immediate knowledge, understanding, or awareness that neither comes from reasoning or perception. The knowledge, understanding, or awareness appears suddenly. We cannot explain where it came from, and it usually comes with a sense of certainty that distinguishes it from making an educated guess.”
So, how can we intentionally utilize such “gut feelings” to positively influence our decision-making?
Become Comfortable With Assistance From Within
Becoming comfortable with the involuntary nature of our intuition will significantly assist our decision-making process. The adage “follow your heart” applies here; we are trusting the internal workings of our mind as it helps our conscious deliberations about the decisions we make.
Many experts in the field of psychology agree that learning to balance our intuitive awareness with our more conscious deliberations is not only motivating when problem-solving, but it can also assist us in remaining “all-in” until difficulties and challenges are successfully addressed and positive outcomes are achieved.
Being intentional with intuition enables us to put information in proper perspective.
Our intuitive sense can serve as a compass keeping us on track when seeking to understand how the pieces to the puzzle fit together.
Intuition helps us “keep the main thing the main thing” so we aren’t fixated on peripherals or distracted by too much data.
Connecting With People
“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.”
— Doug Larson
The more intuitive we are, the more balanced our communications become. When we’re quieter on the inside, we’re talking less and listening more; high intuition helps us be more empathic, thus connecting better with others.
Commenting on connecting, John C Maxwell advises, “If you want to succeed, you must learn how to connect with others. If you can connect with others at every level—one-on-one, in groups, with an audience—you have the capacity for strengthening your relationships, increasing your sense of community, generating teamwork, and multiplying your productivity.” (1)
Without question, intuitive skills positively impact our leadership effectiveness, both relationships at home and the office. Maxwell’s thoughts of leaders seeing everything through a leadership lens are valid. Whether at home, at work, or anywhere else, sharpening intuition reveals itself in countless ways.
Since our confidence is always higher when moving in our giftedness and areas where we’re most familiar, it stands to reason we’ll be most intuitive in those areas. Just as we can become more sensitive to our motivations and emotional fluctuations, we can intentionally focus on our family, friends, and team members.
“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion.”
— Steve Jobs
(1) Everyone Communicates Few Connect by John C. Maxwel