The other day a colleague forwarded this link to the BNET blog speaking to intuition. Embedded in it was a link to an article that appeared in Psychology Today back in November 1, 2002. It provided early insight into the scientific advancements into the study of intuition.
Whenever I speak to people individually or collectively about interpersonal skills for disciplines such as sales, management, leadership and influencing, I emphasize that the most dramatic advancements we’ll see in the next 5-15 years will not be in areas such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, communications or even sensors but rather in how we understand ourselves, especially our decision making and knowledge acquisition abilities.
Increasingly, science is finding – as the Psychology Today article noted back in 2002 – that we make decisions and acquire knowledge before we are consciously aware of them. Yes, there are problems with trusting intuition unquestionably; however, there are problems with doing the same with the most well reasoned and supported scientific findings. You cannot make decisions by facts and figures alone. There will always be unknowns; intuition helps here.
The key is integrating both intuitive and cognitive functions. The danger we face now as the article implied is that we are generally living under the illusion that our decisions are largely conscious (cognitive) ones. We are prejudice in thinking our consciences are in control. Of course, this control calms our insecurities; control is often analogous to safety and security. In reality, many factors beneath our radar influence our feelings and thoughts. They encourage us to choose rationales to justify our wants.
Thus, every one of our decisions has emotions influencing it no matter how rationale and scientifically supported we believe they are.