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Intuition – Friend or Foe?

When was the last time you attended a management or leadership course that had a module dedicated to ‘Trusting your Intuition’? I’ve certainly never come across one – intuition is typically seen as one of those ‘fluffy’ soft-skills subjects best left to the realm of personal and spiritual development.

But what’s the cost of not developing your intuition, and being aware of when it’s working either for or against you?

Here’s an example of the potential cost. According to a recent survey conducted across 553 line managers in the UK, and 1,002 workers: The research found that nearly four in 10 line managers rely mainly on gut feel when making personnel-related decisions, but a major factor in their making the wrong one was the mistaken belief that they really knew their staff. Almost half of staff actively distrust their line managers’ decision-making instincts in relation to both their own and colleagues’ futures, while three quarters of managers admit that they would change their verdicts if given their time again.*

The above study is focused exclusively on the impact of using ‘gut-feel’ in relation to people-related decisions. In this case the managers’ ‘gut feel’ was a foe – not just because it led to the wrong decisions, but because it wasn’t challenged. As long as intuitive feelings remain unconscious, there is not just a huge capacity for error in judgement, but equally a huge opportunity to miss out on the possibility for greater insight, a more ‘holistic’ view in systems thinking, and more ‘flow’. In other words, intuition can be a friend as well as a foe.

On May 15th I’m running a workshop in London dedicated to ‘Working with Intuition’. In collaboration with Edgewalker Group International, this one day experiential workshop will give you the tools to ‘tune in’, discover how your intuition speaks to you, how to use it safely in decision making, and how to communicate effectively when using intuition as a guide. Click here for more info – it will be a powerful way to explore this little understood business issue in depth.

And if you want a fascinating insight into the power of what Malcolm Gladwell (author of ‘The Tipping Point’) calls ‘thin-slicing’, I cannot recommend highly enough his last book ‘Blink’; examining the power of ‘snap judgements’ – when they work, and when they don’t. And more importantly, why.

*For details of the above survey, see: http://www.hrzone.co.uk/topic/staff-distrustful-line-managers-instincts/101122

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