Our Fusion of Wisdom and Research topic this month is an under-appreciated, under-utilized ability, and yet, without a doubt, it is a woman’s secret ingredient for success—Intuition. So, don’t dismiss the topic out-of-hand.
My gosh, this was a hard-won competency for me to manifest productively! Not because I wasn’t aware I was intuitive, but that I believed I had to discard the gift to be successful in business.
Please, don’t close down your natural decision-making, idea-generating pathway early in your career, or you may lose track of your value to the organization as I almost did. You’ll regret it!
My first management position was at a medium-sized law firm in a downtown Los Angeles skyscraper, where the only woman sitting at the decision-making table was me! I’d relied strongly on my intuition during my rise from bumbling idiot to influencer—and did here too.
But swiftly, and not so gently, I learned from the big guys at the table intuition was not respected. The senior leadership team’s reaction to the injection of intuitive insight into the conversation was detrimental to my future!
Daily I stuffed down the gift until the light of my intuition dimmed, almost flickering out.
I was floundering. By systematically erasing my innate decision-making style to fit in, I’d become voiceless—de-neutered. No longer was my feminine uniqueness adding weight to the dialogue—the very reason the law firm brought me aboard in the first place.
There is little question the world views intuition as a less valued side of reasoning, by labeling it feminine intuition. There’s, also, little doubt that such thinking is picked apart, devalued, and criticized in business. But you, as a savvy woman, can’t allow those around you to negate the power of your thinking. If you do, you become less than who you’re intended to be in the marketplace. That’s not profitable for your career or your company.
Learn from me what you can do to wrap your arms around successfully employing your intuition. Two simple wisdom adjustments:
- Align your innate, wise, intuitive voice to the more logical business receiver-centric ear. What does this mean? Your intuition is well-honed to draw quickly from internal and external input and then, coming to a rapid conclusion. Unfortunately, it often emerges as an exploratory, unsubstantiated, tentative voice that never appears assured to the outside world—particularly business leaders. Merely re-languaging the concepts emanating from your internal voice to correspond more powerfully to the external world will make a difference to the results you generate.
- Eliminate leading with or responding to questions with:
- “I feel.”
- “I think.”
- “I sense.”
Such phrases are too weak to gain traction as concrete, significant contributions for any judgments. You can even observe your misalignment results in meetings when a male executive voices the same concept from his higher sense of control language. His proposal is accepted, where yours was not.
What does research reveal regarding feminine intuition?
- It tells us that there is no evidence that men and women differ substantially in rational thinking or intelligence. As I discovered, this is the channel you must tap into to become the influencer your company requires. Concrete reasoning is the favored evaluation meeting point in the marketplace.
- There’s no question women have stronger intuition then do men. It’s hardwired into our brain. MRI scans reveal the male brain is wired to be more logical, and thus is more effective a linking perception with action. While a women’s brain has 11 percent more neurons than men. These additional connections are more operationally efficient, making women better at interpreting social phenomena, including social cues. This neurological brain research reveals that men are more logical while women are more intuitive by nature.
I encourage you to explore how to use your intuitive voice effectively in your organization. We women too often mute our thoughts and views, thus negating our contribution, when simple adjustments will leave us winning the day.
P.S. Men may not be saying it out loud. Still, they’re listening to their gut (male terminology for intuition) because they know business is moving at such a rapid pace the old style of fact-finding, and then, adding on top more facts no longer cuts it. Everyone needs to make faster, smarter responses to immediate challenges to survive.
You were born for times such as these. Please don’t put yourself at a disadvantage to your male counter-parts by abandoning your intuitive gift.
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