Harnessing the Power of Intuition to Inform Your Business Decision-Making

Picture of Gina Blitstein Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

Harnessing the Power of Intuition to Inform Your Business Decision-Making

As a business owner, boss, leader of people… you make important decisions all day long. What process do you employ to determine things like your company’s processes, direction, financial commitments? Surely you base such decisions upon all the facts and data available to you, in addition to the knowledge you’ve learned along the way - your experience. But what about decisions that are more enigmatic - those that don’t have a clear cut, easily-assessed answer? What other element is at your disposal that can be called upon for those hard-to-call decisions? The answer is your intuition.

You may think that intuition is not a factual, provable thing - and you’d be right. We’re very much conditioned to think that the only part of our brain that bears any weight - especially where business is concerned - is the cognitive, logical, problem-solving half. There’s no allowance for “gut feelings” when it comes to moving ahead with assurance with an eye toward progress and growth. But facts don’t always tell the whole story, nor do they represent all the information available. Relying on factual information isn’t always the recipe for making sound decisions, either. That’s why it’s important to give intuition it’s proper respect as a powerful (if overlooked and under-appreciated) tool in your decision-making kit.

Among other definitions, Merriam-Webster dictionary says that intuition is, “the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference.”

Intuition is based more upon feeling than fact but those feelings don’t live in a vacuum. Our feelings are informed by our experience. They develop and change over time along with our intellect. As we gather more business acumen, our intuition gets sharper, more attuned and reliable. It’s not a lesser, but a different type of knowing - one that can prove tremendously important in sound decision-making.

Tapping into your intuitive side can provide important new information that can help tip the scales in one direction or another when faced with those “close call” decisions. It can inform a situation with an emotional component. It can also fill in a gap in intel when there’s simply an “unknowable” factor. If you think you don’t have intuition, consider times when you may have had a strong feeling about a decision - and disregarded it as irrelevant. Did you end up regretting not listening to your gut instinct?

As mentioned earlier, we often lose touch with our intuition as we barrel through our professional life; this crucial element of our psyche takes a back seat to the cognitive part. You may have to make an effort to re-integrate your intuition into your decision-making processes. And if you are already in touch with your intuitive side, it will serve you well to hone your access to it.

Here are some tips to coax your intuition out of hiding:

Listen for it. If it’s been a while since you listened to it, you’ll want to make a point to pay particular attention to how you feel about a decision. Tuning in to your intuition is a habit, so it will take practice. Check in with your intuition on a regular basis and each time you’re facing a decision. Remember, feelings can change; intuition can be fluid, even about the same subject.

Trust it. Avoid downplaying the power of the intel intuition can provide. Recognize that your feelings have something important to say. They’re not “just” feelings - they’re potent, unique insight, worthy of being included in the decision-making equation.

Listen to it. Consider and weigh your intuitive intel as you would any other piece of information you’re using to come to a decision. Awareness of and trust in your intuition are meaningless if you don’t act upon it - or at least consider it in the final analysis. The insight your intuition provides can imbue your decisions with a deeper level of wisdom.

Intuition is a powerful source of information. Strong leaders make sound decisions. Make yours better by employing your intuition.

How can your intuition help you run your business better?

Read other Gina articles