What’s Intuition Got To Do With It?
Most people don’t trust it.
You can’t touch it. You can’t see it.
But, you can feel it. It is a thought, a hunch, a feeling, a half-baked idea, a hint, a notion, or a fleeting suggestion.
It is your intuition speaking to you.
The definition of intuition is the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. Or, a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.
Intuition is what Sipe and Frick in the book, Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership, are referring to in the chapter on Foresight (as discussed in last week’s post).
It is a challenge for most people to tap into intuition in a data drive world because everything is reconciled through analysis ad nauseam.
As Sipe and Frick advise, we should use all the forecasting tools such as data gathering, analysis, and scenarios. We should research the past, run the numbers, talk to colleagues, and consult with people at all levels of the organization.
Then, we should take all of that into silence.
We should “let it marinate” and allow intuition to come forth through the relaxed mind letting the present be. More than that, we should be careful not to dismiss any thought, hunch, half-baked idea, hints, etc. for they could be the very source of the answer we seek.
Sipe and Frick give an example of the ten-minute exercise of silence arguing that silence and emptying of the mind can allow for much more to come through. Intuition can guide us to greater awareness of any situation.
How can we nurture intuition? How can we be better Servant Leaders using intuition and foresight?
- Analyze the past,
- Learn everything there is to know about the issue,
- Let the information incubate, (Let it marinate)
- Be open for breakthrough, and
- Share you insights with trusted colleagues.
In the article, The Right Ideas in All the Wrong Places, Ken Favaro and Nadim Yacteen call foresight intelligent recombination. They agree that for intelligent recombination to happen, one must create conditions where the mind can relax, deal calmly with problems, wander freely, and make new connections, rather than looking for quick answers due to stress or time deadlines.
Moreover, the authors commented that when they asked people where they get their best ideas, they rarely hear “at my desk,” “in a meeting,” or “in a brainstorming session.” More typical answers are while running, swimming, commuting, showering, cooking, sewing, or doing yard work.
Indeed, when we are relaxed, our brains can use the natural approach to creativity and intuition shows us the way.
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