Coaching, executive coaching, global Leadership

The Paradox of “Trusting Your Gut”

There’s an interesting article by a neuroscientist, published in Fast Company in February, entitled, “When you should (and shouldn’t) trust your gut.”

It describes how our brains are directly connected with our digestive tracts, and offers some advice on how to better tune in to your “gut wisdom”.

I want to add a practice I’ve found useful when coaching business leaders:

When facing a difficult decision or problem, it helps if we pause, step back, take a few deep breaths, and feel our connection with body, mind, and physical surroundings. Paradoxically, this process of getting in touch enables us to see things more objectively and focus on the key factors we need to consider.

Whether we call it instinct, intuition, or gut wisdom, it often allows the static noise in our thinking to recede.

Yes, instinct and intuition are often discounted as being overly subject to bias. But our rational, analytical self can just as easily fall prey to cognitive biases, misleading presumptions, and unconscious prejudice. We need to access both resources as needed—and at the same time be aware of mindsets and other conditioned tendencies that can lead us astray.