Just because you don’t have data doesn’t make something not true.
Just because you don’t want to know it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
And just because you’d rather not deal with it doesn’t mean it’s not an issue.
Your employee isn’t performing.
Your new product isn’t achieving the intended results.
Your colleague is undermining you.
Your Board chair is losing confidence in you.
You’re in the wrong job. (A deeper dive on that in a future post).
Are you conflicted about a decision or course of action? Are you refusing to confront something that you’re clear about but that might be difficult, messy and possibly expensive? Is there something going on – that you know for sure is going on – that you just wish weren’t true?
Even the most decisive leaders can occasionally find themselves ignoring, dismissing or avoiding things they’re either unsure about or that they’d rather not have to deal with. But those same leaders also admit that they’ve had some kind of sense about what needs to be done or decided.
You’re feeling it somewhere. The back of your neck, the pit of your stomach, that annoying hamstring muscle that tightens up for no apparent reason, the twitch in your eyelid, that pinched nerve in your lower back, that sudden case of flu-like symptoms – all examples of physical complaints I’ve heard from clients at the same time they were avoiding some challenge or reality they didn’t want to confront.
I’m talking about “intuition.”
The concept of “intuition” is something I find gets varied responses from my executive clientele. But what is intuition really?
If we consider intuition as an instinctive response based on YOUR unique combination of experience and education – does that help?
Your brain is overworked. You have other senses that can help you – that can make a contribution. Why not let them?
I’m not proposing that leaders rely solely on intuition or instinct for making major decisions. What I am saying is that I believe there is a greater role for intuition that is currently being allowed.
And I’m also proposing that if you really KNOW what to do, just do it. Avoiding something difficult won’t make it easier – not to mention you’ll feel relieved afterwards. Suspecting or sensing is much different than knowing and not doing.
For a great listen on intuition and making choices, check out this episode of Jonathan Fields’ Good Life Project podcast.