Training Intuitive Skills: Make Your Company Culture Smarter
Intuitive intelligence is the missing link in helping your company culture stay ahead of today’s challenges and better anticipate the ones to come. It’s revolutionary because most of us have been conditioned out of our innate intelligence as we over-rely on metrics and outside opinions. Accessing our intuitive intelligence is becoming more relevant each day as we need to discern the best solutions from the flood of data and input that we are subjected to. Yet how do we train and mentor teams to reconnect with this incredible resource? Here’s a four-step guide to train your company culture to foster the intuitive intelligence on your teams.
Leaders Go First
Leaders set the tone for their company culture. In order for intuitive decision-making to integrate into your strategy and activities, it has to start with the leadership team respecting and honoring their own intuition first. If leaders don’t understand or learn how to decode their own internal signals, they will miss these cues in their environment.
The more a leader is willing to model the behavior he or she expects to see, the more likely these values will be reflected in the company culture and others will learn that it’s OK to take risks, which is necessary for innovation to take place.
Leaders can foster intuitive decision-making if they develop qualities such as receptivity, openness, vulnerability, curiosity, play, emotional intelligence, a willingness to not know, and making time to listen to their inner and outer environment. If they are not a living example of what they want to see on their teams, no one will take them seriously.
Safety and Trust: The Bedrock of Intuition
There’s an interesting paradox between risk and safety. In order for a group of people to take a risk, they have to feel safe. So if you want to encourage risk-taking and thinking strategically and creatively outside the box, and even being willing to look like a fool at the meeting for a moonshot idea, there has to be a culture of safety and acceptance for an employee to relax into themselves and share their gifts.
An atmosphere of open communication, respect, and creativity is infectious and directly serves the company because employee participation is encouraged. When the environment is created for innovation, everyone benefits because people feel meaning in being part of a leading movement.
A healthy company culture requires authentic communication about what’s really going on with staff, customers, and leadership. If staff are ridiculed for their ideas or taunted or humiliated publicly or privately, people will shut down and not come forward with real feedback or creative ideas that might be the very thing the company needs to hear. Having your team feel safe to share what needs to be shared without consequence or retaliation is the most important foundation for creating an innovative and forward-thinking atmosphere.
One endearing way to bring more humility and openness into your company culture is for leaders to celebrate failures and to take ownership when things don’t go as planned. When leaders lead by example and can have levity and space around mistakes and failures, staff learn that there is room to not be perfect, that they can learn from make mistakes in a supportive environment, and that they can be more of themselves. This goes a long way in making it safe to take risks and fail, versus being risk-averse and maintaining the status quo, where no one learns and grows.
Now that you have established a baseline of safety and trust to take risks on your team or within your company, the next step involves encouraging innovation and creative thinking. Igniting intuitive decision-making requires a balance between personal, reflective time, as well as bringing everyone together and harnessing the collective wisdom of the group. And as mentioned, the more you become the change you want to see, the more people will follow your lead.
Carving out solo time for slowing down, accessing your deeper subconscious mind, and approaching a situation from a fresh perspective is necessary for innovation. As strategic thinking accesses different parts of our brain, we need that time and space to sink deeper within ourselves and discover what’s waiting for us. This means eliminating distractions, finding a suitable and inspiring environment, and allowing time to focus and go within.
Once team members have made some time for personal reflection and clarity, it’s incredibly powerful to bring everyone together to brainstorm and discuss strategy. There’s a creative element that only happens in a collective field and people can bounce ideas off of each other.
If you know how to facilitate this space as a leader, you will benefit from the wisdom and experience of the group. Staff members who feel included and respected are willing to give their best and contribute toward the greater good of the team.
Disrupt Your Routine
If you find yourself stuck or stagnant on the same problem and see no way around it, disrupt your typical routine or mode of thinking or that of your team. This is why getting outside, stepping away from the computer, or engaging in a physical exercise or mindfulness practice can change your brain states and help you get into more of a flow state, in which you can access your subconscious creativity and intuition.
One business I work with offers improv classes as an option for learning how to intuit the moment and play off of other people in social dynamics. Translating improv classes into business has tremendous upsides. The staff leaves these classes feeling more confident, and they also think faster, embrace failure more easily, have increased awareness and listening skills, and learn how to read social dynamics and cues, which has directly related to their role in the company. By breaking up routine patterns and modes of thinking, you are creating space for individual and collective intuition and genius to flourish.
Creating a smarter culture starts with leadership ensuring that staff feel safe, included, and supported in taking risks to think outside-the-box and carry innovative solutions forward. The teams that are doing this successfully are the ones that are innovating and winning.
Excerpt from “Decisive Intuition: Use Your Gut Instincts to Make Smart Business Decisions” (Career Press; 2019) by Rick Snyder. Reprinted with permission from Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. The book is available from the publisher at 800.423.7087 or firstname.lastname@example.org and wherever books are sold, including:
Rick Snyder, an international business coach, writer, speaker, and consultant, has launched several businesses and is an expert in mentoring, training, and teaching others how to utilize the process of bringing intuition into an effective business plan and company culture. He is currently the CEO of Invisible Edge and the author of “Decisive Intuition: Use Your Gut Instincts to Make Smart Business Decisions.” His breakthrough strategies have been implemented by executives and businesses in Europe, Canada, Asia, and America. He brings a global perspective to his teachings. Raised in California, he recently returned to the Bay Area after spending several years in France and London. For more information, visit: https://invisible-edgellc.com.