Your Hidden Decision Making Asset: Intuition
One of my best business professors impressed on me the following, “A manger never has all the facts they want on which to base a decision.” This quote is Don Boldt’s Fourteenth Law of Management.
Leaders and business owners often do not have all the facts and data to make a perfect decision. What makes up the gap in the decision making process? That gap is filled by your intuition. If you do not practice using your intuition and trusting that part of your decision making process, you could be leaving one of your most useful tools behind.
In business, sports and almost every area of life the use of intuition in decision-making has become discounted and even scoffed at. I think that part of devaluing intuition is because it is not something that can be quantified.
Intuition is based on several factors including:
- Data/facts (incomplete)
- Knowledge of self
- Knowledge of others
How can you possibly quantify someone’s experience (life, professional or other), their ability to read trends or situational awareness? It is this very reason that you can not quantify these and other items that support intuition that make some organizations, managers or individuals want to discount it as part of the decision making process.
John Maxwell asserts that the ability to use intuition that separates the great leader from the good leader. The good leader is not going to embrace decision making using intuition as part of the process but is going to make decisions based on solely on the data, the facts. The great leader reads or absorbs countless pieces of data that cannot be put into a spreadsheet or into a probability table and then they make a decision based on what they think or feel they should do.
If you want to nurture the use of intuition into your decision making process here are three steps that you can take:
- Start Small. Make small decisions using intuition and build up your confidence using this asset. If you are not someone who makes intuitive decisions easily, that is ok. Start small, check results, make adjustments and then grow the scale of using intuition. Some people have a trusted advisor where they share the decision before taking action or making the decision public. This person is your sanity check and should provide you feed back and even challenge your decision so that you become clear on about the choice that you are about to make.
- Sell your decision. Sell your team by using active or assertive phrases. By using phrases, “I think that we should…” comes across as you having clarity and certainty in your intuitive decision than using a phrase like, “I feel maybe we should…” As a leader or business owner, you need to be confident in your decision if you expect your team to buy into the plan.
- Be still. Use quite times/situations to think about the decision and allow your mind to work over or ponder the decision. A period of being still not only allows your mind to run through countless scenarios searching for the best decision but it opens you to inspiration from outside of yourself.
Coach’s Wrap Up
While using intuition is discounted or discouraged in some areas, every great leader has moments when they used intuitive decisions to lead others to success. Instead of letting intuition be a hidden asset, leaders today need to nurture this powerful ability.
What do you do to tap into and use your intuition?