Intuition: an essential but sometimes elusive skill

What gives some business leaders the uncanny ability to make the right decisions? Is it something that you can acquire or learn or is it just a feeling that you act on? What role does intuition play in your business?

Henry Cloud said: “Intuition is knowing without knowing how you know. Intuition is your “gut response.” The most successful and high calibre leaders listen to their intuition.” and Alexis Carrel said: “All great men are gifted with intuition. They know without reasoning or analysis, what they need to know.”

In my opinion, intuition is an extraordinary skill which is based on our value systems combined with our experiences which is constructed over a period of time. In other words, your intuition is continually developing if you allow it to. It is not an intellectual thing per se, but rather a heart feeling. This “feeling” allows you to see what others may have missed and also helps you make decisions that are best for your business. Of course, decisions should never be made on feelings alone, but using your intuition as a part of evaluating your next course of action can help you make better decisions.

I believe everyone has intuition, but we often ignore our intuition as we are distracted by the many things going on around us. Some people might also scoff that which they don’t understand or cannot explain in a purely rational way.

If you believe that intuition is important in your business and life, how can you focus on it or refine it?

  1. Evaluate your value system.

What are you values based on? How were they shaped? Do you need to re-evaluate your values?

  1. Evaluate your previous experiences.

What worked? What didn’t work? How did you intuitively feel about each experience as you were going through them? Did you know in advance whether or not they would work (or not work?)

  1. Take a step back.

When you face a situation, don’t only focus on facts. Don’t focus on all the distractions or how you think you should respond. Rather think how you feel about the whole situation, person you meet with, or decision at that moment.

  1. Keep a journal.

Take time (once a day is great) in which you reflect on what you have encountered during the day and how you feel about things. Writing things down helps you solidify and clarify- your thoughts.

  1. Practice intuition.

Just like any skill, intuition is refined with practice. The more you listen to your intuition, the easier it becomes to be aware of it and to use it.