The Underutilized Other Brain

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”— Albert Einstein

Have you ever hired a recruiter or salesperson when you had a gut feeling not to who didn’t work out?

That was your intuition talking. Often referred to as “the other brain,” that gut feeling can be leveraged if we listen.

Intuition is an undervalued tool inherent in us all that we don’t give enough credence to in leadership. The logical, rational mind gets so much more airtime in the business world.

We’ve been trained to view situations objectively in the business world. We even use assessments to remove the subjectivity from the hiring process just to avoid using our intuition.

Astute leaders recognize the best decisions are made using both logic and intuition.

The challenge is that in our desire to act (often under pressure), we sacrifice time for thoughtful reflection. We may have all the data to rationalize our decisions, but many believe the intuition doesn’t lie – so if our gut says no, should we hold off extending that job offer?

As leaders in the business of hiring, we know it’s not an exact science. *We use logic and critical thinking skills to make placements every day.

But we also know that when our intuition sends us warning signals and we don’t listen, we can have poor outcomes.

Think about that candidate who promised to show up for work and didn’t. Chances are your gut was telling you he would no call no show, but you offered him the assignment anyway. Sound familiar?

That disregard for our intuition is what had us hire the recruiter who looked great on paper and interviewed well but failed. Our gut told us something wasn’t right and it wasn’t.

The good news is that your thinking mind isn’t the only thing running the show.

Being mindful and socially aware helps us leverage our intuition in multiple ways.

For instance, if we can recognize when our people seem unhappy but aren’t speaking up, we can do something about it. We can use our intuition to read the room and listen for what’s not being said, then address the root cause to get the team back on track.

Collaborating with others is a good way to validate gut feelings when you’re uncertain whether to trust them.

In the case of the unsuccessful recruiter hire, if we had someone else interview the candidate and then asked for their thoughts, we may have found they had similar concerns and opted not to make that hire.

Our incessant need for speed makes it hard to pause and really listen to that little voice inside our heads, but that’s exactly what we need to do – especially when big decisions are on the table.

Try to slow down and listen to your other brain. It’s usually right.

Bingham Consulting Professionals LLC

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