Why Leaders Should Trust and Cultivate Their Intuition

In this data-driven world, it’s easy to dismiss the importance of trusting your intuition; however, not all decisions can be based on logic and stats alone. There are times when leaders need to make complex decisions, and all choices will come with pros and cons. During moments like this when you sometimes can’t go by the book, it pays to know how to listen to what your gut instinct is telling you. 

Here are 2 important reasons why you should trust your intuition:

1. Intuition is a useful step in decision-making. 

Contrary to popular belief, intuition doesn’t come from a magical, mysterious inner source. Today, there are cognitive scientists who see intuition as a response shaped by past experiences and knowledge gained from these experiences.

In an article from Scientific American, Gerd Gigerenzer, a scientist of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, is named as someone who views intuition as a form of unconscious intelligence.

Intuitive decisions can be based on heuristics—simple rules of thumb. Heuristics filter out vast amounts of information and thus limit how much needs to be processed. While such rules of thumb may be applied consciously, usually we simply follow them without being aware of it. While heuristics are not foolproof, Gigerenzer points out that they can be based on reliable information while leaving out unnecessary information. 

Dr. Helen Fisher, anthropologist and human attraction expert, also believes that intuition is a form of unconscious reasoning that is rooted in the way our brains collect and store information. She advises that we should trust our intuition when we’re doing something we are experienced in. 

As she puts it in a Huffpost article: “Intuition is really learned expertise in disguise. So if you’ve played tennis your whole life, go with your instinct on the court instead of thinking through each stroke.”

2. Intuitive leaders are the most successful.

In the business world, one the most famous leaders who succeeded by following his instinct is Henry Ford. People might think of him as crazy for doubling his employees’ wages during the falling demand for his cars and high worker turnover, but trusting his instinct paid off big time. Productivity nearly doubled, turnover dropped and demand for Ford cars increased because the company’s own workers could now afford their cars.

Intuitive leaders are the most successful because their approach to solutions is more holistic. Sometimes it isn’t enough to have all the right data. On paper, everything can look good, but something might feel off. When you take time to tap into your intuition, you are able to hear the voice of caution more clearly. When you listen to yourself and take necessary action, it often results in a better outcome. 

3 Ways to Cultivate Your Intuition

1. Be true to yourself.

If you want to train your intuition to work for you, you must be true to yourself. It is only when we become our authentic selves that we can act on our values and not on the expectations of others. We lead not only with our heads but also with our hearts and intuition. 

2. Cultivate empathy.

To strengthen your intuition, you must also cultivate empathy. Highly intuitive leaders are empaths. They are the ones who see if someone on their team may seem okay from the outside but are actually struggling on the inside. Trusting your intuition is a great asset in human leadership.

3. Slow down and listen.

Lastly, don’t forget to slow down. Take time to listen to your voice within. As you tap into your intuition more, you become more attuned to it. 

Your intuition is an incredible gift that can help you find creative solutions, make sounder judgments and decisions, and act swiftly. It’s there for a reason: as a constant reminder to trust yourself!

In love and respect,

Hilary Corna

Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


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