I talk to many of my coaching clients, especially men, about trusting their instincts and drawing the ability to utilize them in decision-making, even in the most data-driven environments.
Listening to one’s gut is often attributed to women, as if we are the only intuitive creatures out there, since society often speaks in horrendous stereotypes of women as the emotional creature and men as the logical creature, when it couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone I’ve coached, everyone I’ve worked with, hell everyone I’ve known has the capacity for both, and intuition is definitely something that everyone can work on.
Today though I bring up the men, because they often don’t get the time or encouragement in our professional world to understand how one’s gut can be a strong tool in the workforce. And no, I’m not saying leave data behind, what I’m saying is, when you know something “just doesn’t feel right” in a situation, that you must give yourself permission to listen to it and investigate those feelings that are there for a reason.
“Man will have replicated his own intelligence not when he teaches a computer to reason but when he teaches a computer to have a nagging feeling in its circuits.”
I recently read this story of a man whose trusted authority figure (in this case, his boss) pressured him over and over to attend a “training weekend” to bond with the rest of his team.
Now, most of us have done “teambuilding” exercises and/or workshops where we do assessments like Myers-Briggs, or throw a ball around or what not, and get to know how people make decisions, but as you’ll see in the Eggleston lawsuit, this employee discovered that the New Warrior Training Adventure was in no way a training, but rather a cult where men were deprived of food and sleep, wearing minimal if any clothing, and using Gestalt therapy techniques with unlicensed professionals to share irrelevant personal and private experiences that made him immediately suspicious and uncomfortable.
This man had the foresight to investigate the organization and learned about the great harm it’s done to so many men and he refused to attend. He received such horrendous treatment from his boss and then retaliation on his compensation package as well that he was forced to seek other employment. But he struck back. He knew what was happening was wrong in so many ways , and didn’t go along with the crowd. He stood strong amongst tremendous pressure, mentally, professionally and financially. And that’s something to applaud.
Fellas – how has listening to your gut helped you?
“Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.” ~Michael Burke