How to develop your intuition to be a better leader

Trusting your intuition is the fundamental prerequisite to making better decisions, solving problems faster, executing successful projects and accomplishing your goals

Bhavna Dalal
Updated: May 31, 2019 05:49:00 PM UTC
Image: Shutterstock

Most often when we have to make life-altering decisions or answer crucial questions that may impact many lives or the bottom line significantly, we tend to look outside of ourselves for = answers. We may go on a fact-finding mission, research by interrogating subordinates, friends, family, and co-workers or search the internet. What we fail to do most times is to consult the foremost vital authority of all: Our own intuition.

Your brain has ample hidden genius and can continuously offer you the data to move in the right direction. This can be true for all individuals, not merely those that think about themselves to be extremely intuitive. It is up to you how well you have trained yourself to listen to it.

Consider this: Have you been considering a job offer which seems really good on paper, but something just does not feel right about it? Or a candidate checks out really well on all accounts and receives good recommendations, but you have a nagging instinct against hiring him or her?

These are simply some representative samples of your intuition at work. Just like other faculties of the brain, such as memory, critical thinking and intellect, your intuition can also be thought of as a mental muscle you can develop and strengthen. As you go higher up in the leadership ranks, with many critical decisions to be made in a day, you have to learn to rely on your intuition to make the right call. Here's how:

Know your inner voice First of all, it is vital to learn to distinguish the sound of your intuition from the regular mental chatter in your head. Intuition is not loud or exacting, but soft and subtle. It is unique to every individual in the way it communicates with them.

Some people notice visual messages such as pictures or visions that unfold slowly, sort of like random snapshots that don’t make sense at first glance. It can feel like a hunch or a pressing thought. Often, you may even be able to have a two-way conversation. You might also contact your intuition somatically with a physical sensation like a headache, goose bumps or feelings in your stomach.

You receive intuitive messages primarily through your emotions. For example, feelings of uneasiness or confusion when your gut prevents you from taking a particular decision or an action. It could be feelings of relief or excitement when you are nudged down a path that may lead you to greater well-being.

Very often, intuition can just be a deep sense of knowing and certainty.

Make it a ritual to concentrate on your intuition daily
Energy flows where attention goes. It is essential to sit for a few minutes to invite your intuition to visit you. Once you start doing it a few times and see the results, your belief in it will increase, causing the intuition to show up more often. Like anything else, practice can make this near perfect too.

Deepen your intuition 
Meditation is a great way to access your intuition. It helps clear the clutter in your mind and can guide you into sensing the signals from your heart. It is an excellent practice to put aside time daily to meditate either through a recorded guided meditation, chanting or on your own. Even 15-20 minutes a day can go very far.

Record your answers
The advice you get from your intuition is hazy, soft and subtle and it can fade away just as quickly as it arrives. Make sure you take immediate action and record it.

Question it
Communicating with your intuition does not have to be a one-way exercise. Get specific regarding the knowledge you would like and what answers are you searching for. The more specific the questions, the more precise the responses.

Trusting your intuition is the fundamental prerequisite to making better decisions, solving problems faster, executing successful projects and accomplishing your goals quickly and more effectively.

Trusting your intuition comes down to trusting yourself. Especially if you have spent a lifespan second-guessing yourself or not trusting your own decisions, developing a powerful reference to your intuition is tough.

If you have too many alternative voices in your head, such as voices of self-distrust or blame or judgment, they could drown out your intuition.

It is never too late. You have the choice at any point to start over and pay more attention to your inner voice. You are bound to strengthen your intuition then, rely on it to guide you more often and develop this leadership competency.

The author is the founder and CEO of Talent Power Partners, a leadership development company based in Bengaluru

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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