Does Intuition have a place in our Decision Making Process?

Intuition is what drives our decision making process in the absence of logic, reason and fact.
To suggest that there may be a safe zone where Intuitive decisions may be taken (unless the decisions are of little to no impact to all concerned) is almost like saying there is a time when we can base our decisions on ‘guesswork.’
I get that sometimes we do indeed take actions based on intuition alone however these are almost reflex actions that happen with little or no premeditation on our part.

a. You drive up to an intersection where you have right of way but something tells you to stop before crossing the intersection – you do, and you are glad you did, because a speeding car races across your path. You just know it would have hit you if you did not stop when you did.

b. You are interviewing candidates for an opening in your Organization and have shortlisted two candidates from the five you have interviewed as meeting/exceeding all your hiring requirements.
The 6th candidate walks in and introduces himself to you. You shake hands and barely ask a few questions when you are filled with a ‘feeling’ that this is the person you need to hire. You cannot explain this ‘feeling’ but it is strong enough for you to lean more favourably towards him, even though you have not quite tested him for compliance with your hiring specifications?
Both examples a. and b. above are what I would call true experiences of ‘Intuition.’

In example a. above you allowed your intuition to dictate/direct your decision (to stop).

In example b, I have left the outcome open as I believe we have all experienced something similar to what I have described, however I also believe that we would all react in different ways. Some of us may bite the bullet and hire the candidate based on our ‘hunch.’
Others may reflect over all the requirements, and intuition notwithstanding, hire one of the 2 short listed candidates who exceeded our requirements.

In example a. above there is no question that it is safe (even appropriate) to allow intuition to influence our decision to stop. It is utterly without any cost to self and in fact at worst case, would extend our journey by a few minutes.

This would be a ‘safe’ zone to practice intuition based decision making.

In example b. above, we would be remiss if we chose to make the hiring decision based on intuition alone. All things being equal, it would make sense to hire the candidate who made us ‘feel good’ for whatever mysterious, inexplicable reason, since we have also applied diligence in verifying that he too meets/exceeds all our interview requirements.

In my opinion, we can talk great lengths about the Brain Sciences, Biological breakthroughs, Right Brain/Left Brain thinking, Medicine and Philosophy…and after all the dust has settled…find ourselves just as clueless as we were when this thread first kicked off.

T.S. Eliot said it best:
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s