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The trouble with ‘gut feeling’

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

The trouble with ‘gut feeling’

When we rely on our gut feeling and intuition, it is heavily influenced by our own preferences, biases, and previous experiences – both good and bad. Some people have a manner that “feels good” or makes us feel “uneasy”. As we have these feelings all sorts of emotions get stirred up and, whether we are aware of them or not, they influence our thinking and can cloud our judgement.

It is interesting to note that the statistics show there is still a shocking lack of objectivity in most selection interviews and, as you probably know, this often leads to unfortunate situations down the line. Sometimes the best person required for a particular job, is not the sort of person we are naturally attracted to. This has a lot to do with our own motivational preferences and traits.

When we are successful in a job it is because we have a combination of motivational traits that help us deal with the rough and tumble of our work. Things that in the long run may make others cringe, stress out or get depressed probably get you interested, excited and willing to rise to the challenge. In other words they motivate you!

What gets you to act may stop someone else in their tracks, especially when things get busy.

When the pressure is on it gets personal

When things get pressured at work, our natural preferences usually come to the fore and become heightened. For example I know a Director who, when the pressure is on, will want to review the facts, check what steps were taken and collect even more detailed data. He also likes to reflect and think through the information to formulate a detailed plan. Another of the Directors wants to step back so she can get the big picture, and come up with a number of creative ideas and then take immediate action. I’ve been in meetings when her ideas are scrutinised and brought down to reality with a bump. They are sometimes called unrealistic and she is referred to as a ‘dreamer’.  She then gets very upset and defensive, and complains about the other Director’s ‘negativity’ and ‘bad attitude’.

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