Research indicates that people rely on their intuition to make faster and more accurate decisions. Successful and innovative leaders such as Albert Einstein, Richard Branson, Oprah, and Steve Jobs have all noted the importance and power of using their intuition as a guide.

So, what is intuition? Following your gut or intuition is the unconscious process we go through to make a quick decision or judgement when we don’t have all the information or data available, especially when there is some degree of risk involved. When you act in accordance with your intuition, your actions are authentic to who you are as a person.

Listening to your gut has countless benefits. It will make you a better leader, employee, partner, and friend. Your most powerful tool is your intuition because it does not always maintain the status quo, instead acting in accordance with your intuition can lead to major personal innovations and positive life changes. 

Your intuition is where your integrity lives. So, your gut is always correct because acting upon your own integrity is always the right thing to do, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable.

What can get in the way of your ability to trust your gut? Fear of what others may think, fear of the unknown, or fear of rocking the boat. So, your gut can get clouded by how you think you are supposed to be, to believe, or do. You know– according to social norms, other people’s opinions, or in the interest of maintaining the status quo and not rocking the boat.

So, how can get you get in-tune with your gut? Perform a gut-check, which is method to quiet or silence the outside noise that might be clouding your gut. 

3-Step Gut Check Process 

1. Filter and examine the feedback. If
you have already received solicited or non-solicited feedback from others
you must first depersonalize the feedback, decide whose feedback matters
to you, and whose does not. Is the source of that specific feedback and
the actual feedback relevant to you and your decision? For example, if you are thinking about leaving your job to start your own business, should you really consider the opinion of your risk adverse friend who is comfortable, yet unhappy in her stable corporate job?

2. Get curious. You have filtered your cloudy gut from outside feedback,
so now it’s time to get curious with your gut. You ask yourself questions, while
weighing out the options in relation to your values, who you are, and what
you stand for. This is the process of truly tuning into your gut. For example, when weighing-out the options consider your choices and what that means in both the short-term and long-term. 

3. Get quiet. At this point, do not discuss the
options with anyone else but yourself. Don’t do any more research. You
will know the answer. If you come upon an answer and are overcome with anxiety and dread, then this is not a pure answer from your gut. Go through the steps
again until you feel calm, or even excited, but not extreme dread or
anxiety about the decision in the long-term.

Following your gut can be hard and even excruciating. Listening and following your intuition is not always the easiest path, but the best with the greatest long-term rewards.  

Click here to watch the author, Dr. Adrienne Partridge’s Live TV Interview on Fox Denver’s “Everyday Show” discussing the power of following your intuition. 


  • Adrienne Partridge, Ph.D

    Leadership & Career Coach

    Adrienne Partridge, Ph.D -- Leadership & Career Coach--is on a mission to accelerate the growth and advancement of leaders and for the companies in which they work. A self-proclaimed data nerd and fact-finder coupled with a mischievous and curious spirit, Dr. Partridge has an uncanny ability to unleash and develop the authentic leader within individuals. She coaches individuals experiencing career transitions and specializes in developing and coaching high-potential female leaders. By coaching leaders to discover and develop their authentic leadership style, Dr. Partridge guides her clients to reflect and act as the best version of themselves in their careers and lives. This increases their efficiency, influence, and visibility as leaders. Dr. Partridge works with corporate teams to optimize team performance, productivity, and innovation. She facilitates individual and group leadership coaching programs and workshops. Certified in a variety of personality, leadership, and career assessments, Dr. Partridge leverages her ability to interpret the results in her coaching and consulting work. Dr. Partridge also has a special interest and expertise in coaching women who want to go back to work or have recently returned to work after stay-at-home motherhood. Her doctoral dissertation, From career woman to stay-at-home mother and back again: Understanding the choices mothers make, examined mother’s decisions and experiences related to career transitions and family situation. She earned her Ph.D in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Partridge is a regular contributor on TV as Fox31 Denver’s Personal Growth Expert on Colorado’s Everyday Show. She writes for The Huffington PostThrive Global, and is also a columnist for Inc. Magazine, writing a column called "Growth Through Authentic Leadership". She has also been featured in U.S. News & Report. Dr. Partridge is based out of Boulder, Colorado and is an avid skier, road biker, and lover of the outdoors.