How do you learn to build and trust your intuition?
As leaders, if you simply act on intuition and cannot explain how or why you do things, other than to say, “It’s just my gut,” you run the risk of repeating failures, missing out on successes, and leaving your people unsure of what is expected of them.
The Leader193 Way is an exercise in logical thinking that begins with awareness and leads to conscious decision making. And that is what leaders are after, conscious decisions. It is important to understand that the conscious decision may not always lead to the correct decision. It is a process.
Conscious decision making is where you begin to build, understand, and trust your intuition. After that, your conscious decisions will begin to overwhelmingly become correct decisions. So, how do we get there?
Here are 3 basic steps to learning about, and trusting, your intuition:
- Become aware of your emotions: Emotions drive your actions. If you are not in tune with the emotions you are feeling, the very thing that drives your actions, then your actions will be random. If your actions are random, then so will be your results. Notice I did not say understand your emotions. Notice I did not say judge your emotions. I said be aware of them, without judgement, for better or worse. Why you have the emotions you have is a different conversation.
- Become aware of your intuitive action based on your emotion: When you become aware that you are frustrated, for example, be aware of how you intuitively want to act on that emotion. It does not matter what the action is. What matters is that you are aware of it. Now, you can act on it. After you consciously act on the emotion, you can now evaluate the results. If the results were good, you are on your way to trusting that instinct or intuition. If the results were bad, you know you need to re-think acting on that instinct or intuition again.
- Rinse, repeat, adjust: If the result of how you acted on your emotion, in this case frustration, was less than desirable then you must adjust your behavior. Decide how you would ideally like to behave and then work to make that your go to behavior based on that emotion. Then, when that emotion rears its ugly head again (because it will), act consciously with your new behavior. Evaluate the results. Repeat the behavior if the results were good. Find a new behavior if you did not like the outcome.
Again, The Leader193 Way is an exercise in logical thinking that will allow you to understand and build your intuition so it can be trusted. The above 3 steps are basic in principle, but difficult in application.
They will, however, begin the process of awareness around the best way to intuitively act so your conscious leadership decisions become correct leadership decisions.
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Errol Doebler is the founder of Leader 193, a leadership consulting firm. After successful careers as a Navy SEAL Platoon Commander and FBI Special Agent, Errol founded Leader 193 to realize his passion of empowering great leaders and better human beings. Leader 193 provides executive coaching, keynote speaking, and corporate retreats to individuals and teams across the world.