Bob was having a great senior year in college.  Although he was an average student, he already had several great job offers.  While he hadn’t committed to a job yet, he was fairly certain of the one he would accept.  He still had one more site visit before he needed to make his final decision.  He had debated whether he even wanted to do the site visit, but decided to go.

When Bob sat down to think of his offers, he was torn between two offers.  The first offer had lots going for it:  An attractive location, a good salary, and a team that he could learn from.  The other offer was actually from the last site visit, the one he had reluctantly decided to attend.  The location wasn’t that great.  The salary was competitive.  The job was one that he had never considered before:  being a production supervisor.  His mind told him to accept the first offer, but his gut instinct told him to accept the second one.  He went with his gut.

Thirty years later, Bob was the CEO of the company he chose to start his career with making an 8 figure salary.  The other company he considered had gone bankrupt.

Most of us have been faced with a decision like Bob had to make.  All the measurables point to one option being the best, but another option just seems to be more appealing – often for reasons we can’t articulate.

Intuitive decisions often take into account factors which can’t be measured or modeled.  They are based upon experience and judgement.  Intuitive decisions often need to be made when there isn’t time for deliberation.  Intuitive decisions can often be influenced by emotions, especially when the decisions involve the livelihoods of others.

Intuitive decisions often come to us when our mind is at ease.  That’s why we often arrive at a decision after a good night’s sleep.  Once you arrive at a decision based largely upon your intuition, it might be wise to test it out with a few close associates.  Ask them to help you understand your own thinking by saying:  “Why do you think I arrived at this decision?”  Their answers might actually bring clarity to your own intuitive sense of the situation.

As the power of data analytics continues to grow, could the role of intuitive decisions be reduced?  And if that’s the case, what might that mean for our society?  How long can a democracy last if decisions in government and in the private sector are void of judgement, emotion, and the impact such decisions have on others?

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“When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.”  –Kahlil Gibran (Author of The Prophet)

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.