Gut Check

Gut Check

“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.”~ Frank Capra

Gut Check

Intuitive thought is given a bad rap in a data-driven world. We can’t take our peers through a spreadsheet quantifying “that gut feeling” we have about a particular decision point. To say you’re relying on intuition feels like an excuse for the unprepared, but your history with gut instinct tells a different story. How many times after taking a test did you look at the results and think, “I knew I should have gone with C”? Your first instinct was to pick one answer, but you over analyzed the choices inevitably picking the wrong one. “I should have gone with my gut,” is the near-audible response when you see the red marks on the test.

According to a 2007 study conducted by the University College London, there’s something to gut instinct. Participants in the study were asked to identify a rotated symbol in a field of 650 identical symbols. Those that quickly decided which symbols were rotated were more accurate than those who examined the screen closely. The only explanation researchers could postulate was that snap decisions were a result of participants’ subconscious pointing to the rotated symbol. 

Our brains, after all, perform more functions than we’re aware of. Millions of autonomic functions are handled without our conscious knowledge every day. Is it so difficult to believe that the lifetime of stored memories and experiences congeal into a gut instinct without the painstaking conscious decision-making process?

We often exercise the “trust but verify” motto within our business practices, so hold your intuition accountable. Track those times you go against your gut feeling and monitor the outcomes. If the trend leans toward your intuitive decisions being correct, perhaps you should listen to your gut more often

Consider this …

1. How trustworthy is your own gut instinct?

2. In what types of circumstances are you prone to get strong vibes or gut instincts?

3. How can you favor your gut instincts while also holding yourself accountable for quality decisi n-making?

For more, check out The Top Performer’s Field Guide, The Innovator’s Field Guide, or visit www.JeffStandridge.com.

(Originally published in Top Performer’s Field Guide)

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