I routinely follow my intuition, and 9/10 I'm correct. My colleagues and clients trust me because of my batting average but I'm having trouble explaining my reasoning or deeply articulating by viewpoint. 1.) Is this common? 2.) Other than googling, is there a way to sell my points without overly looking like I'm winging it? Sometimes I feel strongly about something and I look for data to back that up, almost working backwards 3.) Is that alright?
I guess this depends a lot on what sort of questions you are talking about. If it's life and love and "soft" things like that, intuition is probably better than any decision based on "data", what ever that would be. On the other hand, if you just have an intuition that you should set the price at $1,000 rather than $99, it might be worth at least exploring your own thinking.
There is nothing wrong with having strong intuition and then looking for data to back it up with. It's a sound psychological foundation -- read Antonio Damasio's book Descartes' Error for a fascinating exploration of this idea. However, intuition can be wrong. "Following your gut" is sometimes praised as if gut feelings are some super natural source of knowledge. They are not. They should be guidelines, but you should still question them and be open to new realizations. Besides from conversations with people of different views, 5 whys (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_Whys) might be a useful tool for this.
Absolutely, it's alright. Developed intuition through experience is often better than a detailed decision matrix in terms of results. When experts rely on their intuition, it's usually called "experience" or "expertise".
It might be worth reading 'sources of power' (a book about decision-making and experts) to cull some useful stats that you can use to back up your approach to making decisions:
Of course, the key element to all of this is to be able to establish a track record that you can demonstrate. Telling someone to "trust you" works well if you've got a demonstrable track record of past successful projects. If you can't show that to a new customer, it'd be harder to sell.
1) I think is more common than assumed, the economics of success are highly dependent on whoe you aske (risk takers vs non risk takers) particularly among entrepreneurs or leaders of other form. The real difference is the answer to: 9/10 success rate in what? Find a niche in that area and write an e-book.
You could simply price it for $0.99 and market it a lot as a consulting self guide to ______.
If is product based create a simple single informational web page and shave adsense run on it. For example I once created a page on the best cameras for outdoors men (one time effort, not a blog just page with facts and list of products) . I made money from Google and for some of the cameras I had affiliate links for commission... People trust my comments and decide to buy base on that.
Also you could become a consultant, this is easier said than done though but the costs are relatively low and markup is huge if you have an actual track record that others can see and measure.
I'd be more than happy to help you brainstorm things out, offer some creative solutions and references if you'd like. Best of luck!
Different people base their level of comfort and decision making on different factors. For some, trust in the relationship will be enough - so long as the risks are within a reasonable range. Others will always seek additional data, not because they don't value your relationship, but because they view data as a more secure way to base decisions.
It sounds like your default approach is to base your interactions on the relationship and intuition - and make adjustments as you learn more information. If you are selling to people who prefer a data-focused argument, simply Googling won't cut it. But, you can create standard templates with basic data points and tools that you can use to guide how you prepare for each sales meeting. The standard templates will ensure that you are gathering the right data, at the right level, targeted to the client's specific issue with the goal of closing the sale, rather than a collection of data points.
If you set your tools and templates up right, you can actually use the data gathering process to build on your intuition (and to identify opportunities you may not see via intuition alone). I wish you the best of luck - and hope you'll let us know how your next sales call goes!
I do this all the time! I have been looking into intuition for a while now. There are two camps of thought on the subject: one says that we are all interconnected and our mind is capable to tapping into universal knowledge which has no concept of time; the other insists that we regularly underestimate our mental capacity of our subconscious which picks up little clues and interprets the situation based on retained experiences producing a recommendation before our conscious is able to process it rationally. I think it's a combination of both. Different audiences react in a different way to the idea of universal knowledge and new age thinking. My advice would be to use your skills all the time, but be wise about disclosing your understanding of it.
We call this being in the "genius zone" at my firm. The idea that you are so in tune with what you're currently doing, the natural intuition of your involvement steers you in the right direction.
This is a phenomenal trait for an early stage founder to have, however, it can be also extremely problematic as you continue to grow and scale your business.
Typically, operating in this zone leaves you cognitively unaware of 'why & how' you made your correct decisions -- which, when without providing a clear known structure, makes it very difficult for you to get other stakeholders onboard.
Try stepping back and analyzing what factors lead you to intuitively decide the way in which you did - dissect it and understand the core underlining "value props" that drove you.
Simply mapping out how you came to a solution is often times enough accredited validation for others to trust and follow your lead. It also provides a blueprint for others to follow when they are empowered to make similar decisions on behalf of your business.
Simply put, analyze your thought process and then walk people through it :)
Of course it's alright. Be sure to read "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. I think after you read that book you'll be able to validate your own intuition, back up your thinking with logic and common sense, and know that "going with your gut" isn't necessarily a bad thing.
I often faced this at work as a UX Designer. We often have to come up with new software, new processes, new tools, new architecture and justify our reasoning behind it. Two things that have helped me are 1. timing and 2. a daily commitment to researching/learning
1. I have learned from past mistakes that timing is everything in a conversation. Take your time, listen to everyone's points, list everything you want to say about your argument in your head, count to three and present it. Tell them why you think that way, why it would be good for the business and how you could accomplish it.
2. I think this applies to any field, any conversation but committing yourself to learning and researching things outside your normal world has been the way I have advanced my career. I am able to recall strategies that other companies are using just by reading the tech section of google news. I am able to present logical arguments of the best way to present something to a customer based on psychology studies I have looked up. I have been able to estimate effort and time for projects based on looking up articles on technical implementation. Be sure to remember the sources of where you got your information, who/what company is using it and why you think it would be beneficial.
Keep on going and always learning!
Someone who follows their intuition and then looks for the data to back it up, seems to be doing exactly what they should be. All you have to consider during, is that up until you have the actual data, you could be wrong. But this is simply a part of a very natural process, called being human. I'd be worried if you routinely followed your intuition without looking for data to back it up. Intuition basically, is based on everything bit of information that we have absorbed since birth, we get used to things and learn the ways of life. Our intuitive mind is like a supercomputer in the background, we can't really see what its doing, but it works out relevant things and possible risks en creates a feeling to guide us through life's obstacles. Sometimes not being able to articulate well, is because we think too much and trust too little. You also don't need to explain your reasoning, as long as it leads to good things, why should it matter what anyone else thinks?
It sounds like public speaking might be the issue. Join Toastmasters! It's the easiest way to learn the tools and tricks to become more confident to front of people. When you feel great about the subject you are presenting, it shows.