Let’s start with defining the word “intuition”. We all supposedly know this notion and apply it in common parlance but there are a lot of different stereotypes and myths related to it, which makes this word misunderstood.
Intuition can be understood differently. For some people, it is a some kind of feeling, for other people, however, it is telepathy or ability to forecast the future. Personally, I prefer the notion suggested by Antonio Damasio, professor of neuro-science. According to him, intuition is a memory of past events, automatically activated when we are about to make a decision. Our brain constantly gathers different information and analyzes them, and then it orders them in sets, searching for some dependents between them. These processes take part outside our consciousness and, somehow, between information of dependents. Intuition acts immediately, whether we want it or not. When something bothers us, our brain prompts us the answer, what they should do in a given situation. The answer is not always clear and we are not always able to hear it.
Steve Jobs used to say: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition”. Is it really worth following our intuition while making important decisions in our life?
Indeed. Intuition is very useful, therefore, it is worth listening to it, but, first of all, we have to learn how to do it properly. Intuition can help us better when we know more about a given subject. If we do not have the knowledge or experiences in a given field, it is worth consulting this issue with someone who has more subject knowledge. Such consultation awakens thinking processes and switches our brain on new tracks. I am not talking about listening to someone else’s advice and following them blindly. It is about adding new information to our brain and allowing it to look at the situation more broadly. Then, this intuitive thinking process will be more certain.
How about business? Is there a place for intuition? Does it play an important role in business decisions?
Intuition is very important and it is often used in business. I am a coach and I lead workshops in neuro-leadership, neuro-communication or searching for new solutions. I mostly work with personnel and experts and I often hear that my clients used to repeatedly base their decisions on intuition and they actually turned out to be a success. However, they often made decisions against their intuition which turned out to be a mistake. Intuitive thinking is very crucial during our workshops, when we go outside thinking schemes and search for new solutions. Innovative ideas are not always based on hard data but on a feeling that a given solution will actually work. While searching for a new road, we are never certain because we do not have the proof that a given road will turn out to be successful. We have to forecast, presume, risk. In such situation, intuition is really helpful, for it verifies the condition basing upon our past experiences. The more knowledge we have, the more certain forecast. My intuition, for instance, has a very good base.