The Power of INSTINCT from Forbes

Note: To see the video board meeting on Instinct/Data select the link here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkwilliams/2016/09/19/when-to-listen-to-your-gut-and-how-to-know-when-your-instincts-are-wrong/#517b162b67ab
Article from Forbes one of the few I just share without my own commentary.
SEP 19, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

When To Listen To Your Gut (And How To Know When Your Instincts Are Wrong)



This article is first in a series that will go deeper into the points I presented in “How To Be A Collaborative Partner” last week. Today I’ll address the importance of listening to your gut as an entrepreneur. Your gut instinct—and the instinct of your team—is one of your greatest resources.Instinct is invaluable, but not infallible, as I’d like to explain.
Why is gut instinct so valuable? It is priceless primarily because it’s exponentially faster than your logical mind. Science has now demonstratedthe importance of the “somatic markers” that clue you into why something “just feels right” (or it doesn’t) faster than any conscious thought can take hold. The speed of instinct is another one of the reasons body language is such an accurate marker—the body responds to stimulus within a 10th of a second and reacts with visible signals of dislike, lying, etc., that are difficult or even impossible to hide.
You must hone your instincts for ultimate business success.

Instinct is a vital survival mechanism that has kept us safe from dangers from the beginning of time. Instincts are also valuable in business in that they demonstrate someone’s instant and unguarded “gut check” to an idea that can be invaluable to a leader or team. It may be the small comment across the table from a John David to a Dusty that indicates how a project might go. Even a partial remark can be meaningful.
Small reactions can mean huge things, and a leader should regard them as such. Hesitation? Fear? Perhaps ramifications you hadn’t thought about, like the sudden need to double customer support to accommodate the great idea you’ve just had? Regard these reactions with the utmost care, as a person’s good feeling or instinctive hesitation could have big implications on how your plan will work out.
Here’s an example of the power of instinct from Lydia Dishman, inFastCompany Magazine, via a researcher named Shabnam Mousavi, an assistant professor at John Hopkins Carey Business School. Mousavi was the lead author of “Risk, Uncertainty, And Heuristics,” a paper that explores the times intuition can be more useful than deliberate calculation.
Mousavi’s premise was that sometimes we muddle our outcomes by bombarding ourselves with too much information. As an example, she quizzed German and U.S. students to see if they could state which city is larger: Detroit or Milwaukee. Despite not being American, the Germans were 90% correct versus only 60% of the American students she asked. Why? Because the Germans simply picked the city they’d heard more about and guessed it would stand to reason it was the larger of the two. They “went with their gut.” Americans, on the other hand, rifled through their mental library of knowledge of the two cities, which got in the way of their reaching for the obvious answer, and they failed.
Why your gut may sometimes get it wrong. Sometimes our instincts betray us. We might hire someone who makes us feel at ease and comfortable and later discover the person is a well-practiced sociopath. We might move in with a roommate or romantic partner we barely know because the friendship felt “right.”

When we let our emotions bear sway without an accompanying cost/benefit andrisk analysis, we might be hurtling down a path that is 100% wrong. In my own life, I can’t remember a time when “putting a gap between the stimuli and the response” has failed to serve me well. Sometimes that gap may be simply standing up and walking a bit before responding. Or it may be a few hours, or you may need to sleep on it. Typically the great idea will become stronger, or you may realize your initial inclination was an emotional response without adequate accompanying intelligence behind it.

When we let our emotions bear sway without an accompanying cost/benefit andrisk analysis, we might be hurtling down a path that is 100% wrong. In my own life, I can’t remember a time when “putting a gap between the stimuli and the response” has failed to serve me well. Sometimes that gap may be simply standing up and walking a bit before responding. Or it may be a few hours, or you may need to sleep on it. Typically the great idea will become stronger, or you may realize your initial inclination was an emotional response without adequate accompanying intelligence behind it.



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