When the chips are down should you trust your instinct?

When you’re in a crisis should you follow your instinct? This article looks at 4 situations where you need to do just that, and gives you tips on how to improve your intuition. 

Developing your instinct

What are the types of situations where you need to rely on your intuitive intelligence? Here are 4 examples where you can harness your intuition and turn it into a concrete action plan:

  1. In a crisis:

When a rapid response is required and you haven’t enough time to go through a rational process of analysis.

  1. Rapid change:

When circumstances change rapidly, without warning.

  1. In messy situations:

When a problem or challenge is poorly constructed.

  1. In ambiguous situations:

When the factors you need to consider are hard to articulate without sounding contradictory.

To build on your innate intuition, your skills can be trained in the following ways:

Be present:

Be like a martial arts master – centre yourself mentally and disconnect from the emotions of the situation. Don’t analyse or try to understand, just quietly observe. In a crisis, this can be done in just a matter of seconds.

See the whole picture:

Become a detached observer of the situation, and embrace the big picture. See what has gone on before and recall lessons from the past. Take in different perspectives and data points, and include other people. One person’s observation can set off another and cause a chain reaction of insights.

Clarify your intention:

Be clear on what you’re trying to achieve. Bring it to the front of your mind. This provides focus and helps you zoom in on the few things that are most important.  In leadership training, we place emphasis on developing clarity of purpose. This requires deep reflection about you, where you’re headed and why.

Engage your values:

Either consciously or unconsciously, all choices and decisions are driven by what you value most. The clearer you are about the values and principles which guide you, the faster and more reliable your decision making will be.

Have a fierce resolve:

Total commitment follows when there is a feeling of certainty about the things you ‘feel are right’. Your ability to trust and execute your choices, based on that ‘flash of insight’ requires consistent alignment of intention, words and actions.  A decision means nothing unless it becomes action and is followed through without second-guessing or procrastination.

This five step process to develop your intuitive intelligence takes place at a sub-conscious level.

You can train your brain to work as an advanced pattern recognition device. In a team setting this becomes even more powerful, as you replicate what happens in the brain in a group setting.

Intuition intelligence is a skill that, once recognised and developed, can help you navigate faster through large quantities of unstructured data. However, it’s equally important not to neglect your rational side and to be diligent when gathering facts for analysis.

Like most things in life, it’s about getting the balance right. The intuitive mind can become your greatest weapon in business, if you learn how to use it confidently and accurately.

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