Intuition in Business

by Angela O’Connell and Pat Naylor

The benefits of using intuition

We all know more than we can explain... however, in management we are often forced to make and explain decisions in ways that exclude everything except explicit logic.

Andrew Price

Tapping into your intuition will help you to come up with ideas that are not just good, but great, and get the best out of your relationships with others. Below are just some of the benefits that can come from developing your intuition.

  • Knowing when to trust someone: have you ever found that you really knew you should have trusted someone, but something stopped you? Or have you ignored your intuition and trusted someone when you shouldn’t have, although you knew that alarm bells were ringing?
  • Employing the right person: when interviewing someone, we often know immediately if someone will or will not fit into our organisation. Your intuition will show you where to focus your questions so that you do indeed take on the right person. (But beware of trusting to intuition alone: you need to plan interviews rigorously and ask all the appropriate questions. Many employers come unstuck through priding themselves unjustifiably on their abilities in this line, employing people on the basis of liking rather than their actual capacity to do the job!)
  • Understanding what customers really want: if we followed our intuition about what our customers really want, could we bypass a lot of expensive steps in getting a product to market?
  • Taking difficult decisions: intuition can give us more precision in our thinking so we can get to the solution more quickly and confidently.
  • Nurturing creativity in your team and with others: accepting someone else’s intuition is like making a leap in the dark, but if you show a person that you trust their intuition, this will encourage them to come up with yet more creative ideas for your business.
  • Explaining your ideas to others: if you understand where your own intuitive thought has come from, it is much easier to explain to other people why you think it will work.
  • Deciding whether to take a tempting job offer: one of our course delegates had first-hand experience of not listening to her intuition on this one until it was almost too late to say ‘Although it is a great job with a fantastic package, I finally understand why my gut feeling is saying no.’
  • Identifying why something is too good to be true: with skilful questioning, you can find out exactly why this is the case.
  • Knowing when to take a line of questioning further: when something niggles at us to keep asking questions and delve deeper, it is usually our intuition spotting something that our conscious brain hasn’t noticed.
  • Deciding to go with the tried and tested or try something new: our intuition will nudge us in the direction it thinks we should go; we just need to be alert to its communication.

... for control freaks!

Some highly logical, analytical, left-brain thinkers may resist the idea of accessing their subconscious and developing their intuition. Perhaps you might think it verges on the touchy-feely and illogical?

If you have inhibitions along these lines, think of it this way: it’s not so much a matter of developing your intuition as of gaining full access to it and to the creative right side of your brain. If you can do this – using both sides of your brain – you will effectively be increasing your brain capacity and empowering yourself to make better, more fully informed decisions.