Can intuition be more useful than intelligence

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How do you make the right decisions? When can you listen to your gut in business life and when should you make decisions with your head? Well, one cannot be done without the other. A balanced interaction between head and stomach is the decisive basis for successful decision-making processes. Mareike gr. Darrelmann explains how you can get both in harmony and how you can also optimally live out your intuitive potential in business life.

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Everyone has intuition. The difference between one intuitive and one not intuitive Humans are very simple: One is aware of his intuition and lives it, the other ignores the corresponding impulses or does not even notice them.

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What is intuition - Under intuition one understands an unconscious, anything but analytical form of judgment formation, which one can also not fully explain. Thanks to intuition, predictions about the future can be made - experience already made from comparable situations in the past is used for this purpose.

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Intuition: the intersection between head and stomach

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Intuition comes from that perfect interplay of head and stomach.

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The head stands for ratio and reason. A lot of information, data and knowledge is stored in the head - consciously and unconsciously. This data reservoir, free of emotions, forms the basis for the creation of intuition.

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This, in turn, is the trigger and impulse generator of intuition Gut feeling. The stomach stands for emotions and feelings. Experiences made, inner needs and own values ​​give the impulse at the right moment to call up unconsciously stored knowledge or half-knowledge. These are the moments when you feel something is right, but cannot explain exactly why.

For an intuitive decision, the unconscious knowledge store, which is called up at this moment, is particularly important. So if you think you have too little intuition, this is exactly what you should be Constantly increasing knowledge stores (how this can work, more on that below). It's also worth your perception for inner impulses too raise awareness and to learn to feel that too trust.

trust is a central component in this. You can expand your knowledge store permanently. However, if you do not pursue your inner impulses because you do not trust them, you will not respond at the crucial moment U.Nconscious Can access knowledge stores. You then only have that conscious Knowledge available (which, however, has a much smaller scope). And who likes to make decisions based on half-knowledge?

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Without intuition, you forego a large part of your potential!

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What is the unconscious knowledge store?

I would like to briefly explain to you how this unconscious knowledge store, which intuition draws on, is created.

  • An important prerequisite for developing intuition is that unconscious perception.

    We perceive information even below our consciousness threshold, and indeed much more than we are aware of. Our conscious mind has a capacity of maximum 50 bits per second. So our mind focuses on the essentials, like a light spot that fades out everything around. However, this also causes a lot of information to be lost. Our unconscious perception masters many times our very limited conscious mind and is more like a weak twilight. You can see the entire environment, but just slightly blurred. Nevertheless, the slightly blurred surroundings are also "scanned in".

  • Another source for creating intuition is that implicit knowledge (tacit knowledge).

    Implicit knowledge means that someone is doing something right, but cannot explain why he does it this way and not another. He has no words to describe his ability or to explain it to others.

    A classic example is the ability to maintain balance while cycling. This ability is accompanied by the implicit knowledge that takes into account the complex physical rule, the angle of inclination, the current speed and the steering angle. They apply this knowledge in practice but cannot explain it.

    Based on experiences and experiences, we unconsciously accumulate tacit knowledge. Based on these experiences, we react much faster and often more effectively than through a rational analysis. This decision-making behavior is called colloquially: "out of the gut". Thanks to this empirical knowledge, we can solve some things elegantly and with ease, we just lack the rational justification for them at these moments.

Conclusion: we are without emotions and feelings powerless and incapable of making a decision. Decisions can only be made if we can develop a feeling for the consequences of the result. The most popular example for this phenomenon is Elliot.

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Elliot had part of the frontal lobe removed because of a tumor in his brain. He was discharged as completely healthy because he scored the same IQ on all tests as before the operation. Nevertheless, he was no longer able to work. He was unable to make the smallest of decisions. First he brooded for ages and then he made the wrong decision. Because for him every decision felt the same: namely after nothing. Researchers found that feelings act as a catalyst for decision-making. They let us feel what is consequently good for us and what is bad for us. Feelings are therefore an integral part of thinking. This part of Elliot's brain had been irreparably damaged by the operation.

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When is intuitive behavior required?

The success of intuitive decisions depends on certain framework conditions. So it depends on the situation whether you should make your decisions from a rational point of view or rather based on intuitive impulses. Intuitive behavior offers advantages in the following situations:

  • Information overload
    Humans can only take in seven information units +/- two units. If there are more, we feel overwhelmed and no longer allow a reliable, rational decision. In the case of excessive information, intuition processes the complex and rationally elusive information much better.

  • Lack of information
    The information needed to make a decision is not available. There are many reasons for this: little time, inaccessible information, lost information, etc. Your intuitive impulses are particularly helpful when the data basis is too scarce. Because intuition also uses your unconscious knowledge store in these situations - a big plus at this moment!

  • Decisions in highly complex situations
    Intuitive judgments help to remain able to act in an age of high networking. Intuition reduces the complexity of problems by recognizing the patterns behind them and applying them immediately.

  • Instant decisions
    In many decisions, in addition to precise preparation and testing, it is also important to have a feel for the right point in time, which can often not be calculated rationally, but above all intuitively.

  • creativity
    Intuitive impulses and ideas promote creativity. The best way to find unconventional solutions is to approach them intuitively.

  • Knowledge of human nature and structuring of relationships
    Much information is exchanged non-verbally, happens subliminally. The intuitive perception of this relationship information and non-verbal signals will help you in dealing constructively with others.

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In order to be able to trust intuitive impulses, it is imperative that one also becomes aware of their limits.

Experience and knowledge are fundamentally helpful in making intuitive decisions. But: Exactly these empirical values ​​can also falsify the judgment of intuition.

  • Feelings and personal experience
    Mood and attitudes towards certain people can easily be manipulated through experience. If such feelings arise unconsciously, intuition is deceptive. Example: In the interview, the HR manager has a bad feeling about an applicant, although her previous career only speaks for her. In the evening he becomes aware that the candidate unconsciously reminded him of his ex-wife. A typical pitfall of intuition.

  • Memories and habits
    In certain areas there are rules and laws. However, these do not necessarily have to apply in other areas as well. But if you - consciously or unconsciously - automatically transfer the laws from one area to the other, problems may arise. A simple example is the tap that is screwed on counterclockwise - but the gas grill works the other way around.

  • Prejudices and assumptions
    Clothes make the man: Make a serious impression and if you are dressed accordingly, you will be served everywhere. If you dress in rags and want to go to the "Ritz", you won't get very far. In both cases it happens regardless of whether you are rich or educated, because what is inside is inferred from the outside. Presumptions sometimes lead intuitively on the wrong track. (Jürgen Wunderlich, "Intuition - the unconscious intelligence")

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Intuition training in everyday life

Intuition needs a very specific environment in order to be able to develop freely. Create the right framework in your everyday life to discover and expand your intuitive potential.

  • Play with the focus of your perception
    Everything you pay attention to is amplified! Two simple examples: You are pregnant and suddenly only see pregnant women, baby shops, playgrounds, etc. You want to buy a black Audi and suddenly only see black Audis around you.

    Focus your attention correctly, experience your environment with a changed perception, even if it has not changed. Now imagine the additional information and opportunities that you suddenly become aware of when your focus is correctly adjusted.

  • Expand your half-knowledge
    Any kind of information is welcome. Use your free time to read, leaf through magazines, surf the net, skim newspaper front pages, etc. Partial knowledge is often sufficient as a basis for intuitive decisions. The knowledge is then stored unconsciously and usable, even if not always consciously reproducible.

  • Learn to listen to your inner feelings
    For intuitive decisions it is of particular importance what we perceive in ourselves: inner images, inner voices and body signals.
    These perceptions can be indications of possible discrepancies, fears, warnings, start signals, etc.

    Imagine you are in an interview and have a queasy feeling despite the good job prospects. It would be inappropriate to simply ignore this signal. It doesn't mean that you feel like canceling the job offer because of this feeling. Rather, you should try to find out what is causing this feeling. Is it perhaps your sensitive, unconscious perception that the team is divided, the boss is a tyrant and the working atmosphere is frosty? Then you should reconsider the whole thing. Or is it perhaps just the well-known, initial fear of new challenges that gripped you? Then close your eyes and get on with it.

    In the future, learn to pay more attention to your inner signals and to research their causes before you make decisions.

  • Use absorption phases
    Absorb it! Act like a dry sponge that expects nothing, is open to everything and soaks up everything that comes. One goal is to consciously and unconsciously absorb new information and thus fill the knowledge store. Absorption phases offer excellent opportunities to collect a lot of impressions. My tip: Always have a piece of paper and pen with you and note down everything that comes across as input during these phases and that appears useful. The more you follow your impulses and are open to new ideas in your "forays", the more opportunities you will have.

  • Make time for flashes of inspiration
    There is a saying, "If you don't think about it, the answer will come naturally." The phenomenon behind this is called Incubation. Incubation is the time in which one is not consciously working on the problem, but is still getting closer to a solution. Outdated, ingrained thinking habits are unconsciously dissolved and new ones are formed instead, which can lead to other solutions.

    The incubation period usually occurs after a period of intense mental exertion. Optimally, it is followed by the intuitive Brainstorm. The reason is that stress is reduced during the incubation period and relaxation occurs. A relaxed mind, on the other hand, is more receptive to intuitive impulses.

    So treat yourself to one more often relaxed break. Especially in situations in which you are stuck, internally blocked or have the feeling that you are mentally stuck in a dead end. The next tip will give you some suggestions.

  • More time out

    Create an environment that promotes intuitive behavior:

    Try it with Relaxation exercisessuch as B. Meditation, Yoga, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Meditation, etc. You not only reduce tension, but also increase your intuition skills at the same time.

    Put on Sports and active movement, such as B. jogging, cycling, inline skating. You feel better after exercising. Anger, tension and obstructive thoughts are blown away and there is again space for new inspirations and ideas.

    Better Sleep and dreams: To sleep in one thing again brings you almost overnight the intuitive inspiration. Mental content is rearranged during sleep. Dreams often contain solutions to current problems.

    The Everyday trance, a state in which it is easy to think about it and let the memories and experiences of the day or completely new ideas pass by. Whether you are driving a long, straight stretch of the car, looking out the train window for a long time at the passing landscape or just before you go to sleep, you will have easier access to your unconscious solutions.

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Transfer to everyday business

Intuition has long been socially acceptable and is increasingly being used in decision-making processes. How can you use your new, intuitive potential profitably in everyday business in the future? Here some examples:

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Make decisions - intuitively and rationally

Haberstroh, Betsch & Betsch have developed a combination model in six steps in which the decision maker can combine intuitive action and rational thinking. A decision-making aid can be derived from this, which will help you to optimally unite head and stomach, especially in business matters.

  • Step:
    Which decision should be made? Sketch all the facts and information (rational process) and write the concerns that could speak against the decision based on your feelings (intuitive process).

  • Step:
    What do you like? spontaneous as solution a? Write down your first idea (intuitive process).

  • Step:
    What do you want to achieve with your decision? Write them all down aimsthat you pursue with your decision (rational process).

  • Step:
    What is there for solutions? Outline all possible alternatives to achieve the goals you want (rational process).

  • Step:
    How expedient are your proposed solutions? Play through the consequences of the alternative solutions you have developed in each case (rational process). Also check your spontaneous solution from step 2. Which one previous learning and life experience could be behind your first impulse? Does the experience prove useful? (intuitive process)

  • Step:
    Which of the solutions do you find the best? trust Here on your intuition (intuitive process).

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Make decisions with the Benjamin Franklin List

The situation is everyday: you have to choose between two alternatives: job A or job B, self-employment or being an employee, apartment X or apartment Y.

Some resort to a pro and contra list. The American President Benjamin Franklin acted similarly at the time. He listed the advantages of Decision A and, on the other hand, the advantages of Decision B.In the end he just had to distribute points, add them up and the decision was clear.

No! Decisions are not about getting the highest score, but about all of them relevant (!) points are taken into account in the decision-making process become.

But how do you find out? It's simple: the list helps you to be aware of all the crucial facts and information. Your intuitive reaction to the rationally worked out result will then give you the correct answer. Do you feel within yourself how you take in the decision of the "counting": acceptance, joy and relief? Or are you just trying to find counter-arguments in order to reinterpret the result?

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The first choice is usually the right one

Who can't decide often goes back to the first thought. That's right! Because people who make a lot of decisions are not looking for the best, but for the first choice.

If you have already had a lot of experience in one area, you can trust your intuitive impulses. This is proven by an experiment with chess players in the A-League and B-Class. The A-League achieved roughly the same results in lightning chess (6 seconds) and normal thinking time (2 minutes). The B class, on the other hand, had significantly worse results in blitz chess. They simply lacked the experience and knowledge to be able to act successfully intuitively just as quickly.

Are you an expert or a professional in your field? Then trust In the future you will focus more on yours first choice. Try it.

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Break situations down into thin slices

Malcolm Gladwell describes in "Blink! The Power of the Moment" the theory of thin slices. This says that you should break situations down into individual, thin slices. Only then can you filter out the crucial and decisive slice for the right decision.

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The Cook County Hospital in the USA had a big problem years ago: All social cases in the area were admitted here - and the number was increasing every day. Adequate patient care could no longer be guaranteed.

The greatest challenge was the large number of potential heart attack patients. In the event of corresponding complaints (= thick slice), all patients were admitted immediately. The patients went through a large number of necessary checks at the time with a wide variety of doctors. This took forever. In addition, the specialists always came to a wide variety of diagnoses - from very healthy to severe heart disease.

The hospital boss, Reilly, began to consider how doctors in the future could recognize at first glance whether the patient was suffering from an acute heart attack. His answer was the then bold decision Goldman algorithm to introduce. The hit rate for diagnosing heart attacks was now 95%, instead of 75% -89% as before. What happened?

Goldman had developed a decision tree based on his experience and observation of patients and their symptoms. He combined the three decisive risk factors (= thin discs) he discovered: unstable angina, fluid in the lungs, systolic blood pressure below 100. For each combination of these three factors, he recommended a treatment method. In addition, no further, cumbersome and time-consuming tests had to be carried out.

Today his decision tree for heart attacks hangs in every hospital.

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What can you learn from it?

Now. Try to take apart the challenges of your day-to-day business, slice by slice, in order to recognize which are the critical criteria (= thin slices). The solution does not lie in the big picture, but in the crucial, small details.

The more often you use the "Disc technology", the easier it will be for you to focus intuitively on the essentials in the future.

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In decision-making processes, the use of head and gut inevitably go hand in hand. The goal of intuitive processes is always the perfect interaction of both components - and it can be learned.

The framework conditions of a situation dictate the extent to which intuition can be used. It clearly has its advantages, but also its limits. Create an intuitive space to develop your intuitive potential further and to be able to live it out in a relaxed and free manner in your private and professional environment.

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Many clever tips on how small business owners identify trends, develop ideas, make decisions, find niches or, in general, "are creative" are neatly sorted on our topic page: Developing profitable business areas.