For the past few weeks, I was writing about quantum physics and business research to explore the correlation between the science of consciousness and patterns in the business world, to suggest innovative ways of using this wisdom to lead and succeed in a business environment that is constantly evolving at a rapid pace. It’s generally considered good business practice to make decisions based on data rather than on our instincts. People usually believe that information holds the key to an objective and therefore superior answer, whereas our instincts introduce a subjective and therefore inferior perspective. However, we habitually believe this only because we have not learned to use our instincts with accuracy. Among other things, they are useful in choosing our teammates and partners.
We were all born with natural instinct. We cried when we were hungry; babies were not taught to cry, but it was an instinctive response to their physical need. Emotion calls on instinct too. The flight or fight response to fear is one most of us have experienced and, with the adrenaline pounding through us, we know the reaction was not the result of a calculated decision-making process.
Our natural instinct is used most in sports, drama, music and other non-academic activities. It tends to be suppressed as we mature. Instinct, or intuition, remains in us as adults, but is usually underdeveloped and under-recognized. You have surely had the experience of meeting someone new in both personal and professional situations – and having a “gut feeling” about them; or when walking into a room and sensing the “vibes” – good or bad. This is your instinct piping up, giving you a chance to “trust your gut” and “listen to the vibes.”
Instinct is insight based not on reason, but on awareness. When we allow it back into our consciousness, we can become more effective in many areas of life, including our role as a leader. Allowing it back calls for a heightened sense of openness to our self and others.
“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” ~ Tao Te Ching
Using your instinct in your role as leader means developing a keen awareness of your team, colleagues, and clients as individuals, and recognizing that not only is each person different, but they are different from you. It means understanding what they go through on a day-to-day basis and yields insight into their strengths and weaknesses. Using your instinct, you are able to walk into a meeting and be aware of how others are feeling and reacting around you.
An effective leader blends strong leadership skills with this empathetic awareness, guiding others to meet challenges and opportunities for their own benefit and the benefit of the organization. When such a leader takes the time and effort to know all employees personally on this level, the results in employee morale, empowerment, performance, and retention are excellent.
Your staff and colleagues define you as a leader by what they see you do. Your actions are based on your decisions and your decisions can be influenced favorably by your instinct. As a good leader, you can use instinct in making decisions that align your personal and organizational values and lead to your desired outcomes.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.