I’m a big believer in using logic and intuition for better business. From website analytics to buyer behavior, we entrepreneurs have more data than ever at our fingertips to make effective business decisions. However, the most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that making it big in business takes both your mind and going with your gut. In fact, 40% of CEOs say that they still make intuitive decisions despite their access to in-depth business data.
Your intuition can give you the answer when you don’t have enough information, or when you’ve been given the wrong information. But what exactly does it mean to go with your gut, or use your intuition? How can you get better at using your intuition to make big decisions when you’re not sure what to do?
In this article, I’ll tell you how honing this skill can help you make better business decisions and change how you feel about listening to your gut.
When we think of ‘intuition’ – we usually think of a woo-woo, no-logic psychic premonition or a feeling that we have but often ignore. But, if you look into how intuition is defined, you might be surprised.
Francis Cholle in Psychology Today defined intuition as, “a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and subconscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason.” Cholle says that the best possible decisions for ourselves, our businesses, and our families require us to weigh both logic and intuition.
This definition is interesting because it suggests that we should view intuition as a part of processing logic and that it’s an important part of how we process information and make decisions.
How cool is that?
By viewing intuition and decision-making this way, we don’t have to reject scientific logic to benefit from our instincts. We can honor both, and make use of these tools to make decisions, become influential leaders, and find internal balance.
When to Use Intuition in Your Business
Researcher and Associate Professor Laura Huang found that business owners who make more successful decisions based on their intuition recognize that their gut feeling is informed by objective and subjective information already available. They also understand that gut feeling is not quick, impulsive, and emotional. They see it as something that is cultivated, nuanced, and based on experience.
Of course, intuition shouldn’t always take the lead. She says if you have data and analysis available and applicable, rely on those instead of intuition.
Intuition is best when the decision and outcomes are unclear, no matter how much information you have available. That could mean something like deciding on a bold new direction for business or going out on a limb with an innovative idea. Her research showed that intuition is best used when business owners need to make difficult or high-risk decisions where additional information won’t make the choice easier.
By following our intuition, she suggests that we can become more efficient and effective at making bold decisions without getting bogged down in trying to make the perfect choice through data and analytics.
Tips to Improve Your Intuition
Now that we have this better understanding of intuition, let’s talk about how we can become more attuned with it.
First, we should recognize when our intuition is speaking to us. We often refer to intuition as a ‘gut feeling’ – but it can also show up as thoughts, a flash of ideas, goosebumps, and in other subtle ways. It can feel like a deep sense of knowing or certainty. I’ve even had friends say that ideas and solutions have popped into their heads listening to song lyrics!
You can work to deepen your connection with your intuition through developing a spiritual practice. Meditation is a great way to get in touch with parts of your mind that are quieter and harder to reach. Journaling is another way to let your subconscious mind flow and reveal deeper thoughts and feelings.
Finally, work to cultivate a sense of trust in yourself and your decisions. Trusting your intuition in part is about trusting yourself and the direction you want to go in. The good news, I’ve found, is that trusting your intuition gets easier over time as practice using it successfully.
Overall, your intuition is a powerful decision-making tool that should be respected as a partner to logic. By relying on your gut feeling when making difficult decisions, you can align your logic and intuition powerfully and boldly.
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