A Framework For Following Your Intuition At Work
Intuition — that gut instinct — isn’t something often discussed in the workplace. Many of us tend to rely on data and stats when making decisions. Having a hunch or a deeper knowing doesn’t usually play a role. If you ask Kristina Libby, a writer, author and technologist, intuition should play a much bigger role at work. She says whether you’re working on a particular problem as part of your current job or navigating the next big step in your career, you can let your intuition help you do it.
In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we discuss Libby’s framework for leaning into intuition in the workplace.
Define what you want to answer or solve. You might be wondering if you should pursue a promotion or if you should even be working on a particular project. Libby says she likes to start by making a list of questions for which there’s no clear answer. If you feel any resistance, you may not have enough data — and that data is what fuels your intuition.
Let yourself simply gather information. This is important when it comes to strengthening our ability to intuit and innovate. Libby says some people who consider intuition to be a primary part of their professional experiences may actively seek out novel experiences through travel, art and books. Others look to meditation or sports to help them think about and understand the world around them. Ultimately, she says, the specific experience you seek out is less important than the active analysis of that experience relative to your big question.
Talk it through with other people. Every new experience provides data, and data helps you create new stories, Libby says. Don’t keep those stories to yourself. Talk to family members or friends or seek out a subject matter expert to help you uncover answers to a question you might be trying to answer. Talking with others can help you understand and clarify what your new experiences mean and how you might apply them to the overall patterns and stories you use to explain the world.
Apply your ideas. Libby says conversation helps people solidify memory chains, and application further strengthens those chains. For example, she says she met a woman interested in changing careers. So, this woman took a year off, took courses to pivot in her career and then began to test her new skills. She ended up not liking it and had a moment of intuition — she didn’t want to do what she set out to do, but something totally different.
Embrace the “click” of intuition. You know that feeling when something just feels “right?” Libby says it may sometimes feel at odds with logic or it may feel inspired. It’s not though. Your intuition represents the spontaneous reorganization of unconscious perception.
If you don’t normally lean into intuition, try letting your intuition guide you more often at work. The more you do this, the better you can become at making decisions that support your best interests.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers