5 Ways Intuitive Leaders Make Their Organizations Better
In last week’s blog post, I dug into the idea of intuition as it applies to leaders. To me, intuition is one of the most important factors for excellent leadership. In fact, I have identified it as one of my Eight Pillars of Grounded Leadership.
I think we can all agree that intuition is important for both work and life. We can’t always rely on logic and-or reason, especially if we don’t have all the available data to discern the right decision. And sometimes there simply is not enough time to engage in deep problem-solving tactics. This is, traditionally, where intuition comes in – as a method to use when other, more “reliable” methods of problem solving and leadership are unavailable.
Here’s the thing: Intuition is not a tool to use when you have run out of other options; it is an essential, necessary element of your leadership toolkit that you should learn to utilize at all times. In other words, intuition is not something you use when you have no other data to factor in to your decisions – it is a powerful asset that you should use in concert with all of your other attributes.
The Trouble with Intuition
So, if intuition is so powerful and essential for leadership, why is it still looked down upon in favor of hard facts, data and statistics? We all know that intuition exists and that it is useful, yet many of us are reluctant to put faith in intuition, especially when so much is on the line, organizationally speaking. Why is that the case?
The thing with intuition is that it is impossible to measure or quantify. It’s nebulous and difficult to describe. It rejects our attempts to make sense of it using words or numbers; therefore, it is easy to dismiss. Our world is defined by concrete, measurable terms, so when the concept of intuition is introduced into a situation, people naturally become skeptical.
Thankfully, scientists and researchers are beginning to understand intuition better. And it turns out that intuition is actually a complex biological process that we are just beginning to understand. Modern researchers have begun to do what was once thought impossible: they have started to find ways to actually measure intuition.
In the past, studies of intuition have relied upon biased, opinionated answers from questionnaires given to test subjects. Researchers could not measure any quantifiable data in the old studies, so they left it up to the people they studied to provide the data. Naturally, studying intuition in this way was next to impossible. Every subject described intuition and its impact in different ways. There was no way to standardize or isolate the process, so the concept remained relatively mysterious.
A study conducted by the University of New South Wales in Australia, and published in the journal Psychological Science, demonstrated that researchers could, in fact, measure intuition meaningfully, allowing them to compare and contrast it with analytical reasoning in study subjects. They found that intuition is a largely unconscious process that takes information into account that otherwise would not be considered by the conscious brain. Subjects who were able to tap into their intuition made better decisions, particularly when they were able to use intuition alongside more traditional problem-solving tools like logic and reasoning.
Importantly, the study also found that intuition is something that people can improve over time. People often need time to learn how to trust their intuition. Others need time and space to simply recognize their intuition when it appears. But with effort and practice, people have demonstrated that they can grow and improve their intuition. This is great news for leaders like you!
The Reasons to Grow Your Intuition
Last week I mentioned a few of the main reasons why leaders ought to tap into their intuition. To recap, I highlighted how intuition can make you more aware and more visionary as a leader. I also wrote about how intuition can help you sense when things are about to go awry, as well as how it can help you establish stronger, more meaningful connections.
Those are reasons enough to develop your intuition as a leader, but there are even more!
Still skeptical about what your intuition can do for your leadership? Check out these intuition benefits for leaders:
#1 – Taking the Right Amount of Time
When leaders integrate their intuition into the decision-making process, they become better able to make timely decisions. They don’t rush. But they don’t take an agonizing amount of time to decide things, either. They sort through the available data. They check in with what their guts are telling them. And they trust the decisions they make. This keeps things moving at a healthy pace within their respective organizations.
#2 – A Stronger Sense of Dedication
Dedication to the role of leadership is one of the most important attributes you can have. When your people see you as a passionate, dedicated leader, they are inspired to become more engaged and productive. Unfortunately, many leaders lose their dedication and passion in the process of becoming more analytical and data-oriented. This is not very inspiring!
Leaders who balance their rationale and logic with intuition keep their passion intact as they lead. They do not lose their innate sense of dedication to excellence. They are literally “all-in” on their leadership, meaning that their entire selves – mentally, emotionally and physically – are present as they lead. Without intuition, organizations tend to suffer from a lack of inspiration from their leaders.
#3 – Seeing the Big Picture
It’s heartbreaking sometimes to see leaders lose their sense of the big picture. They forget what inspired them in the first place, and they get caught in the weeds of leadership, worrying about often meaningless details and irrelevant data. It’s a rabbit hole that I’ve seen many leaders fall into, sadly.
When leaders use their intuition, they are able to keep their eyes on the big picture. Intuition helps leaders maintain a healthy perspective on themselves and their organizations. They don’t get bogged down in details. Instead, they find themselves present in each moment while keeping an eye on what’s really important.
#4 – Learning How to Listen Better
When leaders become more intuitive, they tend to balance their communications more appropriately. Which is just a nice way of saying that they stop talking so much and start listening more!
If you know me and my work, you know that I value communication above just about anything else. Ongoing dialogue and communication is what makes organizations hum along productively. But when leaders fail to communicate effectively, the flow of dialogue stops completely. This usually manifests in leaders as a lack of listening.
Intuitive leaders understand the value of taking in all the information they can. They understand that more is gained through listening than talking. By listening, they can make sound decisions based on the realities of their respective organizations. Without intuition, this is just not possible.
#5 – Becoming a Better Motivator
If you aren’t actively trying to become a better motivator every day, your priorities may not be in order. To me, leadership is not about achieving a static level of effectiveness. It’s about getting better all the time. It’s about learning. And it’s about making the people you lead better at what they do.
As a leader, one of your primary objectives should be to motivate your people. What worked yesterday may not work today. What works today will probably not work tomorrow. You have to innovate constantly. Thankfully, when you use your intuition, you can gain a better feel for what your people are experiencing. You can sense changes in attitudes and moods. This makes it much easier for you to tailor your motivation to the specific situations and people in your world.
Do You Want to Boost Your Intuition?
The list of reasons to improve your intuition goes beyond the five items I have identified here. Intuition will make you a more effective leader, certainly. But it will also improve other areas of your life and the relationships that mean the most to you.
If you are ready to learn how you can make your intuition an asset, I want to hear from you! Give me a call at 1.855.871.3374 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to beginning an intuitive journey with you!