Linking Human Capital With Strategic Intent

Decision Making Using Intuition


Decision Making Using Intuition

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”  – Albert Einstein

Rick’sTIPS explores the competencies necessary for successful leadership and provides activities to assist with the development and mastery of these skills.

Some people are practical and pragmatic; using facts and data to make decisions.  Some people are creative and intuitive; using their feelings to dictate decisions.  We describe them as left brain vs. right brain thinkers.  The fact of the matter is, we need to learn to use both.  We call people who use both sides “whole brain” thinkers.  Not to be confused with times when we say “so and so has half a brain”; that is something entirely different.  This Rick’sTIPS explores using intuition as a means of decision making.

People who are very practical and make more fact based decisions are less inclined to use intution in their decisions and interactions with others because it is more subjective than quantifiable.  Others rely only on facts to make decisions and while there is nothing wrong with that approach, it can be limiting.

Rich DeVos, the legendary cofounder of Amway Corporation talked about his observation that total dependence on facts limits the adventurous spirit which is crucial to the process of innovation and discovery. Facts alone, he believes, often end up being nothing more than a litany of reasons why an idea will not work.  In essence, they often tell us to do nothing at all.

Intuition is the spark that ignites vision, not facts.  Only when people and organizations integrate intuition along with facts and logic in the decision making process will they advance.  When we use our logical mind and focus on fact based decisions we use the analytical, rational and verbal parts of our mind.  This mind tells us how do something by using words and sentences.  The operations of critical thinking and linear analysis are components of this part of our brain.

Our intuitive mind goes beyond rational analysis; it is inspiring and nonverbal. This mind will show us how to do something by presenting pictures, symbols and metaphors.  This mind functions through creative thinking patterns, spatial relationships, and visualization.

Intuition, innovation and paradigm shifts are all interrelated processes that require an inner knowing and deeper understanding of ourselves.  Ralph Waldo Emmerson’s quote, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us”, helps to look deeper into our own ability.  The intelligence that lies within you can invent or discover different ways of approaching your daily affairs. Making a paradigm shift means discovering new and different ways of doing things as we become open to the potential for change.

Reflection – A Gateway to Intuition

In our hectic professional lives it may seem counterproductive to just stop and think, but it actually opens you up to possibilities and will eventually pay dividends in the form of quicker decision making and more effective problem solving.  Taking the time to strengthen confidence in your hunches and gut feelings will enable you to be a more well rounded and creative leader.   Learn the Questions for Reflection…

“Listen to your intuition.  It will tell you everything you need to know.”Anthony J. D’Angelo 

Suggested Actions for Consideration

  • Find ways to center and calm yourself. Intuition is difficult to achieve when you are in a tense situation, when you are stressed, when you are in turmoil or in conflict. When we are at odds or when words and emotions engulf our day to day ability to step back and think, intuition is not likely to emerge. Your intuitive ability is more apt to develop when you are still, centered and receptive.
  • Make yourself receptive. Dominate people can be close minded when they do not respect the other person, when they feel their ideas are not being considered, or when their ideas were never asked for causing a mental shut down without even realizing it.
  • Learn the art of “Projection.” It will be beneficial for you to adopt alternative ways of exploring ideas. Practice imaging, visualizing, and running things forward in your mind while exploring them using the principles of “SWOT”, (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to capture every angle.
  • Learn the art of Mind Mapping. Learn to use a schematic diagram to show options and possibilities. It includes all thoughts, ideas, feelings, qualities, details, and elements of a problem. Mind Mapping provides a systematic means for recording and encouraging the natural flow of the thinking process through a “positive feedback loop” between the brain and the process.
  • Learn to use Lateral Thinking. This is a process that focuses on seeking new ways of looking at a problem rather than proceeding by logical steps. Read more… 

Recommended Reading on Intuition:

The Intuition Workbook by Dr. Marcia Emery
Mind Mapping by Joyce Wycoff
Lateral Thinking Skills by Paul Sloane
The Six Thinking Hats by Edward DeBono
Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future by Joel Barker

I hope you found this edition of Rick’sTIPS:  Decision Making Using Intuition beneficial.

I look forward to providing you with information that makes your life more productive.

Until next time…


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