You’ve had them, I’ve had them. It’s the feeling in your stomach that something is just right or something is about to go horribly wrong. You’ve learned that if you ignore your hunches you’ll likely pay a price down the road.
Should you get involved in the business deal you’re thinking about? Listen to your hunch. Your hunch might just hold the key for you. Should you trust the person you’re working with? Again, your gut feeling will help you make the right decision.
We live in a rational world
At least that’s the rumor. You’ve been taught you must have rational reasons for doing things. I bet you’ve had the experience where you rationally thought something but you had a hunch that it was the wrong thing to do. I bet that you’ve even had the experience where you’ve overruled your hunch, taken the “rational” road and been sorry for your decision.
We like to think we live in a rational world. This is a true statement until it’s not. If you’ve lived and learned you know that sometimes the “right decision” makes no rational sense. This unconscious mind often brings information to the party that your rational mind can’t find easily. You know by looking at someone whether they’re trustworthy. Or, at least you can tell when its time to stop and take a second look.
We need to learn to value our hunches
If something doesn’t feel right what should you do? My recommendation is that you use a question that has served me very well, “What would happen if?” I find that asking this question has helped me make a better decision. The question “what would happen if” allows you to pretend. Pretending lives in the world of hunches.
What would happen if allows you to not consciously think about your hunch. You have given yourself permission to test your premises. Testing your thoughts allows you to move into the world of scenario planning.
What if allows you to expand your world
When you test a particular premise you get to ask yourself “What am I going to do if it doesn’t turn as well as I thought.” You probably have done a strategic plan at some point in your life. In this plan you might have built the plan you thought was going to happen. Then you built a plan that was worse and another one that was better. This type of planning is the first step in expanding your world to alternate outcomes.
When you build different outcomes into your thought process you can check to make sure that you’re not going to have major pain if things don’t work out as well. You also get to figure out where you’re going to find resources if your success is greater than you thought. Both will expand your horizons and allow you to think about your business and life in a different way.
The danger of all being in agreement
Often hunches will lead to a conversation with others. If at first pass everyone agrees, it’s probably a good idea to call a time out and make sure that at least one person comes back with an answer where things might be different.
When your organization has group think, meaning that everyone is in agreement, there might be trouble down the road. You will want to question your premises. If all are in agreement, start asking questions that force you look outside the group’s comfort zone. It’s here where value comes and where you get to think about your projects and strategies in a different manner.
When everyone is in agreement, asking questions is always better than statements. It’s from questions that we learn. Statements just allow you to feel comfortable and rational. Questions allow you to use all of your capabilities. It’s here that you will make better decisions and use hunches as well as rational thought for a better outcome.
We’ve put together a simplified budgeting process that fits into this process. If you’re interested in learning how to do a strategic plan that is no longer than four pages and covers what’s really important in your company, click on the button below and we’ll get this report on it’s way to you.