Thoughts on our recent intuition webinar
I know when my good friend and long time colleague, Bridget, first started talking to me about intuition, I was pretty skeptical. Marketing needs facts and data and process and methodologies. But she won me over by pointing out that intuition was something I was already using, whether I realized it or not. So - she continued - I may as well figure out how to get the most out of it!
If you’re still unsure about the value of intuition, take this quick quiz to determine if you are ready to use more of it in your professional life:
1. You have a teammate who is swamped with a project they are working on. If it was you, you’d want someone to pitch in and help you through the work. But you know this person pretty well and something tells you they’d rather have some extra space to grind it out on their own. Do you:
Put time on their calendar immediately to lock yourselves in a conference room and get this project done?!
Listen to your gut and make sure your colleague has the time and bandwidth to work through the project successfully?
2. You are hiring for a new campaign manager. Your candidate has a stellar CV, but there’s something about their communication style that you think isn’t going to jive with the rest of the team. Do you:
Hire this rockstar - their CV is the best you’ve seen?
Listen to your gut and choose the candidate you think will have a better chance of clicking with the team?
3. You are on a date with someone who has been asking lots of weird questions and acting strangely. For some reason, you feel very uncomfortable around this person. Do you:
Walk down that dark alley with them and get into their car for a ride home?
Listen to your gut and call a Lyft?
So (particularly if you are a woman) maybe the third scenario sounds a little obvious, but if you answered B to any of these, you’re already using your intuition in everyday life. Why not consider it in your work life, too?
In case you missed Bridget’s Business Hunches Matter webinar, here are my favorite two takeaways. I was actually already doing these things to some extent, but with a little extra awareness, I hope they can help me make better decisions in every part of my life.
Calm down a bit
Amen, Bridget. This is a huge red flag for me. When I’m getting wound up about a decision, I’ve noticed that my chest actually tightens up. They say you feel situations in either your head (headache), chest (tightness, dizziness, difficulty breathing), or gut (upset stomach, butterflies). It’s usually faint, but it’s there. And for me, it means it’s time to take a walk, or even better, sleep on it.
Obviously, there are lots of decisions all day long that we have to make in the moment. But if you have one that is giving you a head-, heart-, or stomachache, see if you can step away and give it some space. There’s a reason the old adage “sleep on it” rings true. Nine times out of ten, when I go back to the decision the next day, the right option is clearer. This is intuition!
Listen for “should” and “just”
When I hear myself saying these words, it’s a clear sign that I’m not excited about something. Sometimes this is just a case of too many things on the to-do list that don't align with the things I actually enjoy doing. But usually if I find myself saying “should'' or “just” when talking about an option at work, it’s a little sign to take a second to think it through again. Maybe it’s nothing, but it might be a subtle queue that it’s not the best decision. “Could” is an even more subtle hint. These words are the vocabulary your gut is using to tell you to pay attention. For me, it’s worth taking a minute to validate one way or the other before moving forward.
As marketers, there’s no shortage of data that we have to wade through daily. Sometimes I think we don’t give our own expertise and experience the credit it deserves. Intuition draws on what you know and observe subconsciously. It’s worth giving your gut a chance. Neither of these tactics are risky to add, and the downside for both is minimal. So why not? If it doesn’t work for you, then kudos for trying something new.
If you had a chance to watch the webinar, we’d love to know what you thought. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you missed the webinar and we have your interest piqued, you can catch the on demand video now.