The Oxford English Dictionary defines intuition as “the immediate apprehension of an object by the mind without the intervention of any reasoning process.”

Isaac Asimov said, “Intuition is the art, peculiar to the human mind, of working out the correct answer from data that is, in itself, incomplete or even, perhaps, misleading.”.

How is your relationship with this aspect of yourself? Can you find your way through a situation with incomplete data? Are you able to balance the left and right sides of your nature– instinct and logic– to create maximum persuasion?

We all have the experience of gut feelings, most likely in the form of danger. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is an unpleasant reminder of our intuitive natures. Or maybe you’ve experienced it in a romantic situation. We’ve all heard stories of a man or woman meeting their mate for the first time and thinking to themselves, ‘This is the person I’m going to marry. I can feel it.’.

Intuition is a muscle you can strengthen. It is an aspect of emotional intelligence and with study, attention and patience can be grown and used to assist further your persuasion skills.

Hunches, gut feelings and intuitions are entirely acceptable to apply in business matters as well as life in general. Following these are signs that our other than conscious Gentle Giant is flawlessly guiding our lives as we’ve requested.

When I experience a moment of intuitive clarity, I feel it in the back of my stomach, radiating sharply. Other people experience it as a jump in their chests. Others still feel a hardness in the backs of their throats. By paying attention to these physical shifts, the world of self-calibration opens up to us. These changes can sometimes make vast differences in the things we do and measures we take to close a deal or get out of a dangerous or difficult situation.

As a small disclaimer: Following hunches shouldn’t negate logic and reason, but act in concert with them. The ability to pay attention to feelings and intuition is sometimes relegated to new age followers and often neglected or mocked in business situations. Think about military personnel or police officers (especially ones in the line of danger) who rely on these abilities to keep themselves safe. Or think about business mogul Lee Iacocca who once said, “The only mistake I ever made was not listening to my gut.”.

Think back to times when you had these feelings and didn’t heed the warning. What unpleasantness could you have avoided if you had a broken heart, a stolen purse or whatever?

By checking in, centering, and gaining clarity, our persuasion is enhanced immeasurably in all aspects of life. An excellent resource on intuition is Laura Day’s book, ‘Practical Intuition,’ which contains some fantastic exercises to strengthen and stretch the “sixth sense” or what I like to think of like our relationship to and messages from our gentle giant.

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