Updated: Sep 5
I have taught myself to listen. I spend a lot of my time working and living in a data-driven Sales and Marketing world.
I am constantly making business judgments largely based on observational data. Some people like to say that numbers don’t lie, whether I spend my time looking at industry revenue generation, consumable product success, the sales team's productivity, a strong SNS Marketing campaign or something else.
I have determined to not always make all of life’s most significant determinations decisions based solely on number-crunching algorithms. I know I have a cultural inclination towards data, and that is quantifiable data. I knew that some of my SNS Marketing judgments would be sometimes viewed as making judgments not based on applied analytical logic and data but what I felt was a trend at the time in the community.
Given my own cultural bias toward quantifiable data, it can be tricky to trust choices made based on my own body’s process for evaluating and understanding the information around my gut. I now trust the business and marketing pattern's that I am seeing — using what I observed in the past to predict a decision’s outcome.
My Intuition is big data for your body. It’s the result of my body’s own algorithms processing millions of data points that surround you every day. That’s why more than 40% of CEOs say they still make decisions based on intuition, despite having access to troves of empirical data.
Start by moments where there isn't enough data available
I have found myself in situations over the course of my working career when there simply wasn’t enough data available to guide me. So I had to use my "gut" to guide me. It is a collection of all those moments when I made decisions without data available at the time. I assess if that decision was sound or if I should have done something differently.
There have been times my gut pushed me to embrace other factors before I made a decision. Often, it’s worth paying attention to that feeling, especially if you’re hoping for a big payoff.
The mechanics of the “gut check”
I usually will have a trigger that will set my warning bells off. I get these bells to go off when I encounter a shifty-seeming person or a dicey situation. These little bells I know are the product of millions of years of evolution. My intuition is my body’s way of signalling danger — or lack thereof — before our rational minds can explain it.
For me, Meditation daily has assisted me enormously in allowing me to stop focusing on what other's, the news in our hyper-rational culture sometimes is saying. There needs to be a very distinct separation between this practice and what others want me to think, feel, say and do.
Without my daily reboot with a meditation practice, I know it is very difficult for me to recognize what my guts is telling me.
How to give your gut legitimacy
What I’ve learned from these experiences is that it’s not enough to learn to trust your gut — now l also help those who want to learn how to trust their guts or intuition.
Sometimes this shows them how important it is to back up their body’s “big data” with more traditionally accepted analytics. I show them how to go into meetings armed with their arsenal or track record of successfully spotting trends — teach them to also backed that up with some hard numbers.
Then over time when they begin to accumulate more and more successes. Based on working through their gut instincts against how those had panned out in profits — they then start realizing that their success was really inside them all along.
I learned that it is more important to listen to my intuition than to trust just the Numbers. I have been more successful in promoting my vision when I have trusted what I felt was happening in the wider markets and world at large.
Do you spend time honing your intuition?
I would love to know