In our information-based world, many leaders have learned to make decisions based on whatever solid data can be gathered regarding a particular situation. But neuroscience has proven that there’s another important factor you should employ in leadership decision-making: trusting your gut.
Authentic Leaders Address Emotional Needs
Working effectively with people isn’t about how fast or how well your brain can process information, says the Forbes article The Neuroscience At The Heart Of Learning And Leading. As humans, we want and need to connect with each other on a deeper level—which takes empathy and imagination rather than just data.
More and more studies show that people perform better when their emotional needs are met. Leaders with good emotional intelligence and strong insights about their team members are better equipped to handle this.
Authentic leaders know themselves. They don’t depend solely on the “hard facts” – instead, they rely on their inner instincts and aren’t afraid to trust themselves, even if that means going against the grain when a situation dictates.
Why It Makes Sense to Follow Your Instincts
Human behavioral science believes that your gut collects and holds all your experiences and learning since you were born. When you trust your gut, you draw on this wealth of valuable information that can help you make better decisions, often more quickly and without having to process myriads of information.
Research has shown that when you combine this gut instinct with a thorough review of data, it can improve your decision-making in big, bold ways.
The leadership transformation coaches at Authentic Leadership International (www.boldermoves.com), can show you leadership approaches that use the right mix of facts, bold insight, and emotional intelligence to create a successful and empowered team.
Leaders, Try These Tips to Trust Your Gut
From FastCompany.com, here are some easy strategies you can use to trust your gut when making leadership decisions:
- Take time to reflect. Avoid the temptation to make a snap decision and instead tell team members you need time to “sleep on it.”
- If you tend to overanalyze, set a time limit for your decision and go to your gut at the end of that time period to see what your instincts tell you. Also be mindful of how you’re feeling, as that’s another way to access your gut intelligence.
- Make a list of all your gut decisions and their outcomes. You’ll start to equate how you felt on a “gut level” with the results of your choice. Over time, you’ll be able to recognize when your instincts are giving you the thumbs up (or thumbs down) on a situation.
Bonus BOLD Tip: If it’s been a challenge for you to get in touch with your inner instincts, try meditation. Regularly participating in this powerful practice offers benefits that can not only help you deepen your capacity as a leader, but also give you fresh perspectives in your personal and professional lives.
Adding gut instincts to your decision-making tool box as a leader can help you and your team achieve impressive and on-going success.
Looking for new and bolder ways to manage your teams, including how to add an instinctive approach to your decision making process and leadership skillset? Sign up here to access my free Weekly Bold Move.
Colleen Slaughter Raue, Managing Partner of Authentic Leadership International
Colleen is a transformational leadership coach who guides international leaders as they attain the clarity, courage and self-confidence necessary to realize higher levels of productivity and fulfillment in both their personal and professional lives.
Her purpose is to facilitate her clients’ transformation from limiting beliefs and self-doubts into a deeper, more powerful knowingness of how much they – and what they envision for themselves – truly matter.
Colleen’s perspectives were recently featured in an article on the International Coach Federation’s website here.