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Okay, So Now I’m Supposed to Develop My Intuition? How Does That Work?

by Susan Dunn, MA

“Intuition is vital to the empowered employee,” says Garrett Boone, CEO of the Container Store, in “Fast Company,” but intuition certainly doesn’t come to the unprepared mind. The more knowledgeable you are, the better informed you are, the better prepared you are to use your intuition.

So now, you may be thinking, I’m going to have learn to be an intuitive, empowered employee. It’s hard to keep up with the buzz, the fad du jour.

However, intuition is no fad. It’s an EQ competency, and EQ matters more to your career success and life happiness than your IQ. And the good news is EQ can be developed over your lifetime.

Do you “have” intuition? I’ve never coached anyone who didn’t have some. They just needed to hear it described so they realized they’d always gone on hunches, and gut feelings, and survival instincts, and, yes, even good vibes.

All too often this comes out when we say,

  • I knew... the market was going to fall
  • I knew... she wasn’t the woman for me
  • I knew... he was a crook
  • I knew... it would never work out
  • I knew... better than to do that

Until you get acquainted with your intuition, that phrase will most often come out as a V-8 afterthought – “I coulda used my intuition!”

Intuition can be defined as knowing about something in “other than cognitive” ways – knowing without knowing how you know. If you develop your intuition instead of regretting you didn’t use it, you’ll be saying, “My intuition says go with it!” and “Sorry, but I’m going with my hunch on this one.”

How do you develop your intuition? Professional Intuition Coach, Nancy R. Fenn (, offers the following beginning exercises:

  1. When the phone rings, guess who’s calling before you pick up the phone.
  2. If a tool or article is missing, let it “come to you” while you go on about your business.
  3. Before you get the mail, decide on at least one item that will be in the mail.
  4. Guess what time your spouse, child or roommate will walk in the door.
  5. At any given time during the day, relax and try to guess exactly what time it is without looking at your watch or a clock.

Here’s an exercise from Nancy: “Think of a problem you’re having that you’d like guidance on. Stand perfectly still and see what changes first in your environment, i.e., dog barks, curtains blow in the wind, ambulance goes by, baby laughs, leaf falls to the ground, bird fly overhead to the left. Interpret this event symbolically as the answer to the question.”

What an exercise like this does, is force you to still the logical, rational and very limited neocortex, so other parts of your brain can work.

Work with an intuition or EQ coach to develop your intuition. People who’ve developed theirs say they know it’s intuition because they feel absolutely sure. What a great feeling!

©Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach, 

Nancy R. Fenn, the intuition coach,

Emotional intelligence coaching to enhance all areas of your life – career, relationships, midlife transition, teamwork, resilience, focus, intuition. for free ezines.

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