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Today we are going to talk about the importance of listening to your gut. Find the show notes on my website at

Good decision making is grounded in data. You apply rationale, logic and data to look for patterns. Patterns should lead you to the best option, right?

While this approach is effective in many scenarios, it does not always point to the optimal answer.

Patterns are based on past experiences. Patterns may not repeat themselves. Using what you have seen in the past may not be a good indicator of the future.

Good decision making sometimes requires listening to your “Inner Voice”.

Your inner voice is that gut feel you sometimes get.

It can be an important data point.

It is a combination of wisdom, experience, and an innate intuition.

It’s your instincts.

Sometimes there isn’t enough data, and you have to follow your instincts.

Sometimes there is enough data, but your inner voice is pushing you to consider other factors before making your decision.

It takes courage to follow your gut. At times it may come with risk.

It doesn’t replace the need for logic and analysis; it compliments logic and analysis.

It helps paint a whole picture.

I can clearly recall a time when I actually ignored my inner voice.

I was the hiring manager for a critical Director role on my team. The team was drowning in work and we needed to fill the position quickly.

On paper, the candidate appeared to be an ideal fit for the job. Feedback from the interview team was thoughtful and balanced.

I agreed with the feedback, but something inside was gnawing at me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but the feeling was definitely there.

In the end, I hired the candidate. The candidate lasted less than 3 months.

As I reflected on the experience, I realized my gut had been warning me that this individual would not be willing to do the heavy lifting required of the role.

It became apparent early on that the candidate was more focused on getting to the next level than getting the job at hand done.

We had asked all of the right interview questions to flush this out, but the candidate’s prior experience and responses masked reality.

I had ignored my gut feeling and was now back at square 1.

There is no standard formula to making the right decision. You can’t always trust data alone. You also can’t always follow your gut either.

Effective leaders learn through experience how to strike a balance between insight and instinct.

When making an important decision, do you pay attention to your inner voice?

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