Intuition in Business

by Angela O’Connell and Pat Naylor

Using others’ intuition

Apart from using your own intuitive abilities, you can draw on other people’s intuition. Look around you and think about the possibilities: your staff, colleagues, managers, customers, people outside of work – the list is endless.

Research shows that managers who are comfortable acting on their own intuition are often uncomfortable about relying on other people’s abilities of this nature. Although this is understandable, it can mean that they miss out on some valuable insights and new ideas.

Trusting others’ intuition might feel like an act of faith, but it does not have to be like this. You could build up your trust in someone else’s intuition by asking them the questions in How intuitive are you?

The next step could be to identify a work issue you have in common, such as improving staff retention, and agree that each of you will let your intuition work on it. Arrange a time in a few days to discuss what you have come up with. To prompt the discussion, use the same questions suggested in Becoming aware of your intuition.

Your staff

You might want to find out what helps your staff to operate from intuition; if so, ask these questions:

  • What helps you to be intuitive?
  • What hinders you from being intuitive?

Knowing this will help you provide the environment for your staff to voice their intuition so that you can draw on a rich, varied, unique and creative source of information.


Try something new

Encouraging new or unaccustomed ways of thinking will help you to develop the overall brainpower of your team. David Sulzer, a neuroscientist at Columbia University in New York, has found that we can change the synaptic pathways in our brains by learning and having success at something new. Whether it is as simple as riding a bike or learning to draw or something more difficult, such as differential calculus, success with a new skill brings a spike in production of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which reinforces new neural pathways. The same can be said about encouraging your team to use their newly-found intuitive skills.