Developing Your “Gut Instincts”Trust Your Gut Image

How many times have you had a feeling in your “gut” that you were right about something or that something just wasn’t right? Did you follow it?

Intuition is sometimes called our “higher wisdom” or “intelligence of the heart”. It is knowledge or cognition gained without any rational, intellectual thought or effort.

Harvard business professor, Daniel Isenberg studied a group of leaders in major corporations for the use of intuition on the job. He spent days with them observing as they worked, interviewing them and having them perform various exercises designed to figure out what made them successful.

Isenberg discovered five different ways successful leaders use intuition:

  1. To help sense when a problem exists.
  2. To rapidly perform well-learned behavior patterns.
  3. To synthesize isolated bits of data and experience into an integrated picture.
  4. To check on the results of rational analysis. They search until they match their gut feeling with their intellect.
  5. To bypass in-depth analysis and come up with a quick solution.

Everyone has intuition at their core. It helps and guides us. But, most people have it buried deep inside and may actively repress it.

The more you choose your rational thought patterns over your intuition, the harder it is to tap into your gut instincts. Most people place tremendous effort into developing their intellectual mind but push aside their intuitive one.

Brainwriting is a way to solve problems using intuition.

In Thinkertoys—A Handbook of Business Creativity, the author Michael Michalko outlines the method for brainwriting as a simple process.

Begin with a quiet spot and get relaxed. Write out your particular challenge and concentrate on it for a few minutes. Write down some pertinent questions about the challenge such as: What should I do? What is in my or the organization’s best interest? What are other alternatives? What alternative is preferred?

Then, wait for an answer. It may come as a voice in your mind, or it may seem that you are communicating with someone else. Write whatever comes to you. Don’t analyze or think. Keep asking internal questions and writing down the responses. Take your time. When the responses stop, look at what you have written, your answer might be there.

The way to develop intuition is to become more aware of it in your life. In a survey done by The Creative Group, 46% of managers said they rely on intuition “very much” when hiring employees. There are many circumstances at home and at work where we are using our intuition on a regular basis.

As you develop and tap into intuition, experts find that you will increase your positive energy and self-confidence both of which lead to easier decision making.

“Listen to your intuition. It will tell you everything you need to know.”

Anthony D. Angelo