Intuition, sixth sense, gut feeling and latest the use of zest in different communicative settings are themes that I come across every now and then.

I have received feedback myself for being a person with a sixth sense and been encouraged to use this gift more widely, also in my customer work. Gut feeling and intuition found me earlier this year from two different sources.  The touchpoint to intuition came from a  great book that a friend of mine, Eveliina Salonen, published in the end of 2017 (Intuitio ja Tunteet Johtamisen Ytimessä, 2017) and also from a workshop I attended earlier this year.  The workshop was organised by economists around the issue of irrational decision-making in the field of behavioral economics. Some of the frameworks in the workshop were taken from the findings of Dr Kahnemann (Thinking Fast and Slow, 2011) a psychologist that won an economics Nobel 2012.

Intuitive Decision-making

Kahnemann describes the decision-making process of human being using the terms System 1 and System 2 where the former is the brain’s fast, automatic, intuitive approach, and System 2 the mind’s slower, analytical mode, where reason dominates.

Intuitive information-processing has typically been considered irrational, but System 1’s fast thinking is often logical and useful whereas  System 2 used alone can produce poor results. Luckily enough,the systems are interlinked.  The more experience you get in some aspects of life, the more you are bound to move that experience into your intuitive system and use it for quicker decision-making processes.

Thus intuition can be developed through systematic exercising, i.e. learning an reflecting what type of situations can benefit from intuitive decisions or working with scenarios. This in turn asks for great self-awareness among us all as our own leaders.

I got interested in the phenomena and listened to a podcast where Henry Marsh, a  brain surgeon, and Dr. Kahnemann were discussing the subject in detail.  Surprisingly enough, not even a brain surgeon’s decision-making follow a rational System 2 line.  In fact Marsh described how one of the hardest operations was the one he had to do on the godmother of his daughter- not because of the cause of the operation as it was more of a routine type of operation, but because of the emotions attached to the process. You are never purely rational, nor purely intuitive.

Use Your Guts- Get Zest in Return

How often have you heard the wording: “Just use your guts”. I listen to my guts fairly frequently. It is this feeling of knowing without being able to explain why.  There are no rational explanations, you just have the answer in front of you- almost like on a tray. I had to google what is said about sixth sense and got a similar kind of description: “Extrasensory perception, ESP or Esper, also called sixth sense or second sight, includes claimed reception of information not gained through the recognized physical senses but sensed with the mind. The term was adopted by Duke University psychologist J. B. Rhine to denote psychic abilities such as intuition, telepathy, psychometry, clairaudience”.  Parapsychology studies phenomena such as ESP.  The scientific community has hard time accepting the existence of ESP or similar phenomena due to lack of convincing evidence and theory. I do not blame them. In fact, I think this is almost intriguing. At least there is something that cannot be explained by research and theories.  How could it as it is often a subjective feeling that you cannot even explain yourself. My sixth sense , my guts, my intuition has helped me many times over the years, in dialogues, in decision-making, in proactive communication and above all in customer settings. ICF (International Coach Federation) posted recently a blog on LAZY coaching where the Z was the zest with the client. How do you sense the energy levels of your nearest network, how is your own zest, how do you maximise your zest for the benefit of those around you?

Zest is a sense of expectation, intuition, hope, energy and excitement. Let’s get the zest going and release the potential and energy around us.