Let Your Intuition Guide Your WayIntuition is like an inner compass (or for those of us who are younger, an inner GPS) when it comes to making decisions. It’s a combination of “gut” feelings, memories of past, similar situations and your ability to learn from the past to make the right decisions in the present. That intuition shouldn’t be ignored when you’re involved in negotiation or mediation.

Maybe you’re a very logical, factual, data driven person (or at least you think you are) and you think intuition is mumbo jumbo. But it’s your unconscious brain trying to steer you in the right direction, trying to help you learn from past mistakes or past experiences and observations.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam surveyed 3,500 administrative professionals and 1,300 senior managers about intuition, according to the magazine Fast Company. The results were that 88% make decisions based on “gut feelings.”

There are at least five types of intuition, according to the article:

  1. The Analyst

They research and gather data before making a decision and explore every potential scenario. They are not ones to make a snap judgment.

  1. The Observer

They are the Sherlock Holmeses of the intuitive. They gather clues about the people and scenarios around them and are sensitive about the feedback they get from others.

  1. The Questioner

They are more direct about making judgments. They make real-life, evidence-based decisions, based on information they’ve gathered from others but unlike the Observer, may miss unspoken cues.

  1. The Empathizer

They let others vent and go with them emotionally to the source of the problem. Unfortunately, too much empathy can impact their judgment when an unbiased decision is needed.

  1. The Adapter

The all-star intuitors, the oracles of the office. They seem to provide the best advice and are the go to people when things go sideways. While they excel in gut-feelings, relating to others who gravitate toward poor choices can be a problem.

No matter your style, an article from Freelancers Union and career coach Marie Forleo suggests ways to sharpen your powers of intuition and allow yourself to listen to those “gut feelings” of yours:

  • Consider the past and find a circumstance when something went wrong and you had a suspicion something was wrong from the beginning. These red flags were ignored because you didn’t have proof.
  • Meditate on the issue. Take some time out, try to chill out and think deep thoughts.
  • Ask yourself for help. If you’re deciding a course of action, ask yourself “Is this right?” If someone came to you in your situation and asked you for advice, what would you say?
  • Don’t ignore your visceral reactions. Your brain is sending you an unconscious message possibly creating stress you can literally feel. Are you listening?

You need every tool in your tool box to help your clients obtain the best outcome possible when in negotiations or in a mediation. Ignore your intuition at your, and your client’s, peril.