Training Your Gut: Business Edition

Training Your Gut:

Business Edition

Over 40% of CEOs said they rely on intuition over big data for decisions. That’s a hefty percentage. 

While big data and analytics are monumentally helpful in making decisions, a seasoned intuition proves itself irreplaceable. If the good old gut feeling was not to be trusted, humans would have perished centuries ago. It’s our evolutionary advantage. Learning to hone and wield it wisely can make or break your business decision-making. That’s why you need to practice it like a skill!


How It Works

Our brain is always making connections and paying attention to patterns. Each pattern is stored in long-term memory for future situations, according to Psychology Today. The thing is… are the right patterns being created? It all depends if you have the right practice and environment. Let’s say whenever you answered the phone, your friend, Moe, gave you a cookie. After a while, you’d come to associate those two occurrences as a pattern. You’d probably be looking for Moe and craving cookies every time the phone rang.

That’s a completely far-out scenario, but it makes a point. In the real world, you’re not getting a cookie when you answer the phone, so that experience would give you a faulty gut feeling. That’s why it is imperative to develop true gut intuition with devoted practice.


Hone Your Intuition

Forbes explains that intuition is the body’s way of sensing threats before rationality comes in. The body has a physical response to danger or a lack thereof. Sometimes it’s a twinge in your stomach, a headache, and/or tensing muscles. Through time and experience, you learn what your signals are. 

Once signal recognition is down pat, put yourself in an environment where you can learn the right patterns. Immersing yourself in your business is the way to do this. Whether conscious or not, your brain makes patterns of events. Just like computer coding, your brain stores it as an if-then statement. 


“If I touch the hot stove, then I will get burned.” 

gets stored the same way

“If I diversify my stocks, then I will mitigate my risk.”


Building your pattern arsenal with trial and error will sharpen your intuition and make you a better businessperson.


Your Gut Versus the Robots

The robots do have a lot on us… the ability to calculate thousands of equations in seconds, develop highly-accurate charts, and keep our society running efficiently.

They enhance our human performance insurmountably. Big data offers insight like never before. It gives validity and weight to a particular decision. However, the intuition our race has spent centuries developing should not be tossed aside. The two should be used as a system of check and balances. Business decisions are delicate. Finding the balance between intuition and data can determine your career success. Keep working at it and you’ll find what works!

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