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Intuition at Work

by Frances Coombes(more info)

listed in psychospiritual, originally published in issue 118 - December 2005

Practise Getting Intuitive
  • Before finalizing any decision, ask yourself: “How do I really feel about this?” Ask colleagues how they feel about what they are about to do. Self-disclosure about your own feelings will help colleagues loosen up before describing the often taboo subject of feelings when making a business decision;
  • Pay close attention to your own first impressions and initial feelings when faced with a new situation. Catch your first impressions and begin to recognize the difference between: a gut reaction in the pit of your stomach, or feeling the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. Record the type of events that follow these feelings;
  • Write down your intuitive impressions and keep track of the results. Once you realize how accurate your intuitions are, you will pay more attention to the results.

When it comes to identifying opportunities and knowing when to act on them, paying close attention to our intuition can be the secret that gives people a winning edge. Intuition is not a substitute for analytic thinking, but it can be complementary, providing leaps of imagination, gut feelings, or flashes of insight into strategies and timing of actions.

Successful negotiators tend to weigh up a situation logically but they also listen to their hunches. When American hotel owner and multimillionaire Donald Trump bid for his first hotel, he crossed out the amount he'd intended to offer and instead wrote down a figure that flashed in his head. When the bids were opened his winning offer was within $400 of his nearest rival.

We are all Intuitive

We all use intuition to some degree, but it is not generally recognized as an ability that can be taught. As an Intuition Trainer, I believe we can all learn to tune in more fully to our intuitive thoughts and feelings. With intuition you know 'what' has happened before you know 'why'. We make our assessment of a situation or of an individual without substantiating facts or basis, which subsequently proves to have been the right thing to do. We can't explain how we know; it is an inner awareness that is outside the realm of logical thinking. So we talk about having a 'hunch' or a 'gut feeling'.

Humans experience life through five senses: what we see, hear, smell, feel and taste. Each person perceives the world and reality differently, according to how we absorb information, organize it into meaningful patterns and filter it in a way that is meaningful to us. Primitive man, whose lifestyle and physical survival depended on instinctive knowing and the ability to tune into animal behaviour patterns, weather and other subtle changes, was more attuned to picking up subliminal messages. In order to stay alive he depended on following his hunches. Civilization conditions us to rely on our five tangible senses and so our intuition is often suppressed. As we go through the education system we are taught to rely on logic and analytical thinking for results, and so intuitive feelings may be dampened or lost as reasoning skills take over. However, at times of high emotional intensity heightened sensory awareness often kicks in.

Anthony's Experience

Anthony, a participant on one of my intuition workshops, was a prison officer at a northern jail. His first words to me were: "I don't really believe in precognition or second sight, but something happened when I was 14 and I still can't explain it".

As a teenager Anthony didn't get on with his stepfather Jeff and they had many angry scenes. Anthony said: "My step-dad came into my bedroom one morning, shouting for me to get up for school. He got angry and ranted at me, then he suddenly got a headache and took to his bed. My mother came downstairs and said I had given Jeff a headache and I should run and get the doctor.

"As the doctor examined Jeff upstairs my mind was in turmoil. I felt sick about the row and frightened and confused. Suddenly I felt a rush of light and energy go through me and then a feeling of utter calm and tranquility and in that instant I knew Jeff was dead.

"I sat on the sofa in complete calm. A few minutes later my mother came downstairs and said Jeff had died. I still think about it, because he was only 37 and pretty fit. To this day I still don't know how I knew the moment of his passing."

Accepting Inner Awareness

As Anthony learned to combine intuition and creative thought processes with more conventional techniques, he became less concerned with analyzing 'how' he knew that Jeff had died, and began to accept his intuition as an inner awareness that is outside the realm of logical knowing. Anthony also realized that he used intuition daily in his job, and had gotten hunches and flashes of insight which had actually saved him from danger.

Ignoring Intuition at Work

Erica, a Marketing Manager, decided to hone her intuitive thinking after a product launch disaster. She says: "I discovered afterwards that several people had felt uneasy about the product. None of us had spoken up, because it belonged to a successful range of products and there was no logical reason to think it would bomb so badly." Erica now believes that to make team decisions without encouraging people to put forward their gut reactions is to ignore a vast amount of non-analytic information that can make the difference between success and failure.

Intuitive methods will achieve similar results as other facilitation methods and during the process people gain confidence in their own ability to use intuition when making decisions and solving problems.

Intuition is based on Insight

However, there are aspects of intuition that conflict with some companies' hierarchical structures and need for certainty when planning future projects. These are:
• Intuitive skill is not based on formal education or years of experience, it has to do with insight and awareness. So anyone in the company may have an insight into the direction the company should take and how to handle a specific situation;
• Intuitive knowing is not analytic, so we may know 'what' to do, long before we know 'why' we are doing it;
• Intuition is unpredictable, and the information and guidance received may be outside the boundaries the company has set. Intuitive information can be developed and incorporated into the decision-making process, but it will never conform to company rules and regulations.

Learning to wait for the right time to act, allowing key factors to emerge and changing course in midstream, are all intuitive activities.

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About Frances Coombes

Frances Coombes offers one-to-one therapeutic coaching in North West London and on Skype.  She is a NLP Master Practitioner and Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapist and runs life coaching groups in London and on Skype.  She teaches NLP at The City Lit in Central London.  She runs goal setting and REBT coaching groups for vulnerable people for inner London authorities and charities.  

Her NEW book is Motivate Yourself and Reach Your Goals, pub, November 2013, Hodder Headline.  For extract visit www.francescoombes.com To inquire or book personal development courses contact Frances on Tel: 07818 896 795;   admin@francescoombes.com 

 

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