How To Develop Your Intuition To Be A Better Leader

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Developing intuition and learning to trust it is a fundamental prerequisite to making better decisions.

Most often, when making life-altering decisions or answering crucial questions that may impact many lives, we tend to look outside of ourselves for answers.

We may go on a fact-finding mission, research by interrogating subordinates, friends, family, co-workers, or go searching the internet.

What we fail to do most times is to consult the foremost vital authority of all: our intuition.

Sadly, many people struggle to understand intuition.

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Developing intuition is a key tool for buiness leaders. 

Your brain has ample hidden genius and can continuously offer you the data to move in the right direction. This can be true for all individuals, not merely those who think of themselves as extremely intuitive.

It's up to you how well you train yourself to listen to it.

Have you been considering a job offer that seems good on paper, but something doesn't feel right about it? Or perhaps a candidate checks out well on all accounts and receives good recommendations, but you have a nagging instinct against hiring them?

These are simply some representative samples of your intuition at work.

Like other faculties of the brain, such as memory, critical thinking, and intellect, your intuition can also be thought of as a mental muscle you can develop and strengthen.

As you go higher up in the leadership ranks, with many critical decisions to be made in a day, you have to learn to rely on your intuition to make the right call.

Here are 6 ways developing intuition can make you a better leader.

1. Know your inner voice.

First of all, it's vital to learn to distinguish the sound of your intuition from the regular mental chatter in your head.

Intuition is not loud or exacting, but soft and subtle. It's unique to every individual in the way it communicates with them.

Some people notice visual messages, such as pictures or visions that unfold slowly, sort of like random snapshots that don't make sense at first glance. It can feel like a hunch or a critical thought.

Often, you may even be able to have a two-way conversation. You might also contact your intuition somatically with a physical sensation like headaches, goosebumps, or feelings in your stomach.

You receive intuitive messages primarily through your emotions, such as feelings of uneasiness or confusion when your gut prevents you from taking a particular decision or an action.

It could be feelings of relief or excitement when you're nudged down a path that may lead you to greater well-being.

Very often, intuition can just be a deep sense of knowing and certainty.

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2. Make it a ritual to concentrate on your intuition daily.

Energy flows where attention goes. It's essential to sit for a few minutes to invite your intuition to visit you.

Once you start doing it a few times and see the results, your belief in it will increase, causing the instinct to show up more often.

Like anything else, practicing can make this near perfect too.

3. Deepen your intuition.

Meditation is a great way to access your intuition. It helps clear the clutter in your mind and guide you to sense the signals from your heart.

It's an excellent practice to put aside time daily to meditate, either with a recorded guided meditation, chanting, or on your own. Even 15 to 20 minutes a day can go very far.

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4. Record your answers.

The advice you get from your intuition is hazy, soft, and subtle, and it can fade away just as quickly as it arrives.

Make sure you take immediate action and record it.

5. Question it.

Communicating with your intuition does not have to be a one-way exercise.

Get specific regarding the knowledge you would like and what answers you're searching for. The more detailed the questions, the more precise the responses.

6. Trust yourself.

Trusting your intuition is the fundamental prerequisite to making better decisions, solving problems faster, executing successful projects, and accomplishing your goals quickly and more effectively.

Trusting your intuition comes down to trusting yourself. Mostly, if you've spent a lifespan second-guessing yourself or not trusting your own decisions, developing a powerful reference to your intuition is tough.

If you have too many alternative voices in your head, such as voices of self-distrust or blame or judgment, they could drown out your intuition.

It's never too late. You have the choice at any point to start over and pay more attention to your inner voice.

You are bound to strengthen your intuition then, rely on it to guide you more often, and develop this leadership competency.

RELATED: 9 Ways To Develop Your Intuitive Thinking & Decision-Making Skills

Bhavna Dalal is a Master Certified Executive Coach MCC ICF, speaker, and author of CCheckmate Office Politics" who helps people develop their leadership skills such as executive presence, strategic thinking, influencing and networking, women leadership, and so on. To know more about her work, visit her website.

This article was originally published at Forbes India. Reprinted with permission from the author.