What is Intuition?...AT LEAST once in our life, we must have made a decision that proved to be a major success, though not meticulously planned. Similarly, there must have been times when a premeditated move failed to yield the desired result. Such outcomes leave us wondering about the forces that could have been at play.

We make these off-the-cuff decisions based on our inner voice or sixth sense. When Chrysler launched PT Cruiser, it became the most popular car. Chrysler could have made this possible by following his inner voice. Such profoundly valuable inner voice is what practitioners of psychology term as intuitive intelligence or simply INTUITION.

This word is a derivative of the Latin word intueri, meaning look within. The Japanese call it the stomach art. The Webster defines it as, the power or faculty of attaining the direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and interference. It is the case of the right side of the brain meeting the left one. The rational decision making skills of the left brain get blended with the less logical gut instinct or the sixth sense skills of the right brain for effective decisions. Eureka effect is not a wrong term too!

The tradition

Until the latter half of the last century, business decisions were based on meticulous numerical estimates such as net present value, rate of return, payback period, etc. Competitor and customer surveys also were essential elements of decision-making. Yet there was a need for an additional tool. In this case, it was intuition, a non-linear, right-brain phenomenon.

Everyone is blessed!

A study of 13,000 excutives by Jagdish Parikh of the Harvard Business School reveals that most of them rely equally on the skills of left as well as the right brain. However, 80 percent of them credit their success to intuition. It is a myth that intuition is a choicest gift that is showered only on a blessed few. However, intuition is inherent in every individual as an ancient survival instinct.

The greener side

Executives who prefer intuition pursue possibilities. Intuition does not necessarily mean that which is contrary to reason. Intuitive management means the ability to think strategically. Most organizations these days focus on this GIFT for benefits. And why not? They believe that it helps them make better hiring decisions, improve staff motivation levels, increase sales, predict industry trends, assess partnerships and the like. It also helps them manage innovation. For all that matters, the guesses, hunches and gut feelings of intuition may well be what separates the innovators from the managers that follow their leaders.

Improving intuition

Intuition does not always help individuals make the right choice. The best option therefore would be to improve intuition with heightened self-awareness and practice. You can improve your intuitive skills by adopting the following practices.


Find a way to step away from the hub and din through meditation and stress management techniques.

Visualisation and self-talk:

Visualise positive outcomes and be very attentive to images, words, ideas and feelings.


Notice what challenges you get and decide the course of action accordingly.

Jot down:

Make sure to write down your gut feeling.

Small steps:

Split decisions into smaller and progressive ones rather than worry over a bigger irrational decision.

Use it:

Constantly act on intuition to hone it as a skill.

Intuition is more a function of the subconscious than the conscious mind. When the latter is phased out, the former is free to explore all its resources. While the goal is not to replace the conscious mind with the subconscious, and the left brain with the right, you can get logic, rationality and goal orientation work in unison with intuition. This helps generate creative yet feasible ideas and solutions.

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