I went to a workshop yesterday presented by Roben Graziadei of Net Result$, LLC. Her presentation was on using intuition, gut, that still small voice, the light of Christ, or whatever that guiding voice is called. Everyone has it, it just depends on what we do with that “still small voice.” There are a few possible translation of GUT:
- God’s Utmost Truth (Roben’s)
- God’s Ultimate Truth (mine)
- God’s Universal Truth (mine)
- God’s Unvarnished Truth (mine)
It all comes down to the fact that we each have a “still small voice” (as Thomas Magnum used to always call it on Magnum P.I. ) that will be totally honest with us if we but listen. This is a concept that flows through the writings of many authors and is being crystalized by Roben in her work on “Instinctology.” She is bringing out a book and a course on the concepts of “Instinctology” which she presented a version of the course to us at IBMC College. We all have had gut feelings at important moments of our lives. We either have followed those GUT instincts or we have not. There is often a difference in outcome based on which way we follow.
The best way to illustrate this is with one company. Roben has been a consultant with several different companies over her career. After many years of consulting high level managers, she asked them in a survey: “What is the biggest regret you have about your management decisions?” The overwhelming answer was “not following my gut.” At a later consultation, a CEO told her about what the board wanted him to do. The CEO was told that the profits and growth of the company were OK, but they wanted more dramatic growth for the fourth quarter. The board told the CEO to let go of one-third of the sales force at the start of the quarter and then perhaps rehire them in Q1. He was told he could not tell the employees of the possible hire-back. This would stop the flow of residual income from going to the sales representatives who were fired, saving the company enough money to satisfy the board. The CEO pondered this and just happened to be meeting with Roben. He told her about the decision and she simply asked him: “What decisions have you regretted the most?” At that point, he made up his mind to go to the board and refuse to fire the sales reps. He knew he could lose his job, but firing that many people would go totally against the philosophy of the company. Only the board and upper-level managers knew about his decision. Somehow what he did was leaked to the sales-force and other employees. The first quarter of the next year smashed all sales records. People respond well when you treat them well. Most companies do well when run by their founders, because the founders had to use their own gut instincts to get the company moving. This GUT instinct is often lost on the second and third generation CEOs.
GUT Instincts are essential, but they are not the only basis of decisions, you must also include data and experience. The reason why data and experience are essential is that we want to make sure that the decision is a sound decision and not just wishful thinking based on the way we want things to be.
We are all hit with promptings, it depends on what we do with those promptings. If we have children, then most likely we have been struck by a feeling to drop everything and go out and check on them if they are playing outside. I am grateful I did when I received such a prompting. These promptings can happen in the business world as well as our personal world. Both are important.
Insights do come. What are you going to do with one? According to Roben, the best thing is to STOP and evaluate the prompting. During the evaluation, be sure to breathe. Come up with a solution and ACT as quickly as possible. Sometimes promptings come that are urgent but they are not that important. Be sure to apply Dr. Stephen Covey’s quadrants to make sure it is both Urgent and Important.
If the decision that your instincts tell you needs to be made, then use your time wisely and just get it done. Remember that in your decision process to consider what would be best for the people involved. As we serve others, we best serve ourselves. Please remember the story above as an example of a Good GUT instinct.
Knowing how to best use your GUT instincts requires a good, well-rounded education. Keep learning and keep honing your use of your good instincts. As you use them more and see positive results, you will become more confident in the process. As John Wooden says, be your best and you need to worry about no one else.
To better understand the concepts Roben has developed, please visit her website at http://instinctology.com/.