The Importance of Intuition and Trust

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I recently had to make a decision on a business deal. Looking purely at the numbers my decision should have been straightforward. Yet I hesitated. You see my intuition or my gut feeling was not in agreement with the outwardly, more logical decision that analysis of the numbers was leading me to.

Offer A was more lucrative but I felt that the person making it would change their mind at a moment's notice leaving me high and dry. I had more trust and respect for the person making Offer B. I felt that they would behave in a more trustworthy manner and that it would be a pleasure doing business with them. Through a mix-up in communications, although I didn't know it at the time, while I was considering these two offers, the person making Offer A had already rescinded their offer. My intuition had been proved right. Fortunately, it was early enough in the deal that no irreparable damage had been done.

Intuition is often viewed more as a feminine trait but men use their intuition as well. Best-selling author, Marc Allen, reflecting on one of his mistakes regarding a business deal that went sour, said in a recent teleseminar,

"My first gut impression when I looked in his eyes was "Don't trust this guy". That was my initial intuitive impression and ever since then I've never denied that intuitive impression. I always wanted to meet people face-to-face. Just look in their eyes and you get a lot of intuitive information."

Allen's intuition was proved right when the company that this guy was brought in to manage went belly-up.

Some people underestimate the power of their intuition but it is not just a whim. Intuitive thought or a hunch is often the result of, among other things, our senses taking in and analysing a mass of data and helping us to formulate an opinion on the subject and assess a situation in a uniquely insightful way manner.

So as Dr Joyce Brothers said,

"Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level."
Dr. Joyce Brothers

However, like most things intuition is a skill that must be honed so here are five ways to improve your powers of intuition:

i.Accept that intuition exists and is a gift that can help you to reach your goals faster;
ii.Discover what fears you have that prevent you from using your intuition fully;
iii.Follow you intuition - when you hear that quiet voice, when you have inspired thought, act on it;
iv.Practice extreme self-care - take care of mind, body and spirit by exercising regularly, eating healthily, drinking plenty of fresh water and getting adequate rest this will make you more receptive to intuitive thoughts; and
v.Keep a journal - you may be able to see patterns that emerge when you have intuitive thought.

Intuition and trust go hand in hand. You cannot exercise your intuition without also using trust and when you trust you often have to rely on your instinct or intuition. There are many situations that don't allow the time for other mechanisms for building trust to come into effect. Sometimes we have to make a snap decision relating to matters that can involve large sums or money or even our well being.

Legendary stock market investor, Warren Buffett and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, provides a great example of the value of trust in business success. Company mergers can be complex and drawn out affairs involving an army of lawyers, accountants and the like. It can sometimes take up to a year to finalise details. However, a few years ago Berkshire Hathaway bought McLane Distribution Company from Wal-Mart and following a 2-hour meeting managed to finalise the acquisition in just under a month. We're not talking about trifling sums here either; this was a $23 billion transaction.

Warren Buffett did no due diligence. Both companies were public and therefore their records could be scrutinised by the public. Warren Buffett said, "I trusted Wal-Mart, I trusted the people I worked with. I knew everything would be in exactly the order that they said it would be, and it was." He said, "We did no due diligence."

Can you see the advantages of being able to operate under such an umbrella of complete trust? As Indira Gandhi said,

"You can't shake hands with a clenched fist."

A word of caution - this deal may have been lightning fast but this relationship was gradually built up over time. Yet building trust is something we are all capable of and need to develop if we are to be successful in building any sort of relationships whether personal or business.

Here are five simple ways you can create trust in your relationships:

i.Be open, transparent and scrupulously honest in your business dealings;
ii.Stick to your word - be known as someone who is completely reliable;
iii.Under-promise and over deliver - people love to receive unexpected bonuses;
iv.Refrain from gossiping about your colleagues or business partners, it is unprofessional and can seriously backfire; and
v.Take responsibility for your actions especially when things go wrong - similarly give credit where credit is due.

Trust and intuition are inexorably linked. To be able to tap into your intuition you have to learn how to trust yourself and as Cardinal de Retz said:

"A man who doesn't trust himself can never really trust anyone else."
Self Improvement and Motivation
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