Intuition versus rational analysis
The main alternative to the intuition-based approach is rational thinking. The rational decision making process relies mostly on logic and quantitative analysis.
You consciously analyze all the options. You formulate the main criteria for judging the expected outcomes of your options and you assign certain weights to those criteria to reflect their relative importance.
Then, based on the expected outcomes and their weights, you rate your options by their perceived utility.
Finally, you choose the option that has the highest rating. If, for some options, the expected outcomes involve uncertainty, you will also need to incorporate in your ratings the perceived probabilities of different possibilities, or even simulation.
Rational analysis still plays crucial role in many situations, especially when you have clear criteria and have to deal with extensive quantitative data, like quantitative finance.
Yet, you will likely face even more business situations where the rational decision making becomes impractical.
Intuition often is your best weapon in business
When was the last time you had a gut feeling about a particular business issue but didn’t listen to your intuition and then soon regretted your decision?
Do you frequently doubt your intuition and rely solely on empirical evidence as the basis for your decisions? If so, you may be under-utilizing one of your most powerful business weapons: your intuitive intelligence.
Those of us who work in the areas of organizational development, business management have a tendency to place a substantial amount of credence on IQ and EQ (emotional intelligence) when, in fact, intuitive intelligence (sometimes referred to as intra-personal intelligence) is a critical success factor for any business person.
“Intuition” is derived from the Latin word “intueri,” defined as “looking within.” Intuition otherwise is also defined as “the power or facility of attaining direct knowledge without evident rational thought.”
That is a tremendously powerful concept, particularly when applied to business and your personal success strategy. Having an intuitive experience is like having a conversation with truth and sourcing one’s own higher power.
Many people believe that if they are not creative, they do not possess a propensity for intuitive thinking. They assume that intuition, like creativity, is a right-brained function. However, whereas various intelligence and skills typically are relegated to the “left brain” or “right brain,” intuition is a “whole brain” function.
The part of the brain called the corpus collusum is the dense network of nerves that connect your left and right brain (the cerebral cortex); it is within the corpus collusum that higher thinking — and intuition — occurs.
According to studies the moment we enter a strange room or situation, our brains immediately begin to assess and integrate the input from all higher thinking, the input from all five senses and our entire lifetime of experience.
“Within milliseconds,” your brain analyzes the situation, compares it to your lifetime of experience, and gives you a spontaneous ‘gut level’ feeling about your environment. Either you’ve judged ‘safe’ and you feel relaxed and comfortable, or you’ve judged ‘threatened’ and you feel nervous, or on edge. All of this occurs on a non rational level as an instant ‘ah-ha’ feeling.”
Whereas employers consistently have rated communication skills as the most-desirable business asset, this appears to be changing. Top executives frequently attribute up to 80 percent of their success to intuition, and that high levels of intuitive intelligence often are found in the top tiers of organizations.
Traits often found in those with high intuitive intelligence include: an awareness of one’s personal value system, a healthy awareness of one’s own feelings, an ability for self-direction and self-management, a powerful level of self-trust, a desire for innovation, a refined knowledge of one’s strengths and weaknesses, and a high degree of self-regard.
Developing your intuitive intelligence requires work — and patience. First, be aware of the intuitive abilities you already have in your repertoire. Do you experience any of the following?
3. An inner voice
5. Déjà vu
7. A sense of “butterflies,” discomfort, or other sensation when in certain situations or around certain people
8. A sense of insightfulness
Intuitive exercises can be helpful, but put your innate sense of intuition to work for you as often as possible. For example, when faced with a significant business decision, make two lists: one outlining the facts and objective data, and the other listing your feelings and “gut” reactions to the decision. Get comfortable making the decision based on your gut instinct and see what happens — You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
As you become more comfortable with the results of your intuitive decision making, you also will learn to trust and develop your intuitive intelligence. Couple this intelligence with your intellect and EQ and you now possess the ability to quickly soar to the pinnacle of your success.
Organizations across the board must begin to take a humanistic and holistic approach to the complexities of their business issues in order to maintain a competitive advantage and grow to new levels of success.
Intuitive intelligence at its highest form of development enables the savvy business person or entrepreneur to use his or her arsenal of intellect, empirical evidence, skills, competencies and experience to intuit the correct application of these tools for the optimal outcome.