28 Oct Follow Your Intuition
Despite the massive proliferation of technology, personal contact with others is now more important than ever. Technology keeps us in touch, as well as informed. Yet, there is still no substitute for meeting someone face-to-face. This is because your intuition has a huge influence on the decisions you make, and only interacting with people in person, offline, can tell you whether you can trust them.
Although we often believe we make choices based on a logical thought process that compares pros and cons, most of it is based on intuition. Usually our best decisions are made when we follow what our “gut” says about emotional signals. How well do you know your intuition? Being in touch with your gut can help you assess and judge the kinds of people that you can trust.
Malcom Gladwell’s novel Blink uses the phrase “thin slicing” to explain what we take from others with just a first impression and a few details. It stipulates that we can determine (about 90 percent of the time) a great deal about a person’s personality from just a few moments.
One example he uses is a stranger assessing someone’s traits by a 15-minute look at his dorm room. Our gut instincts provide the basis for quick assessments like this, even if we cannot explain very well what our intuition is “saying.” It is an almost instantaneous, correct judgment that serves us well when it is honed and refined.
Of course, we all make mistakes. However, we must be honest with ourselves and allow our intuition to take precedent over conflicting emotions. Our experienced gut is usually right. Only by getting comfortable with your intuition can you reach success in your relationships.
There are no formulas for how long you should know a contact before sharing personal details, or the amount of contact needed to obtain a referral. But ultimately it will be a gut decision. For example, ProVisors uses the motto Know, Like, Trust, and Refer (K, L, T and R), which posits that unless you are connecting quite regularly, it will likely to take six to twelve months to reach the refer stage. But depending on your intuition, you may reach this stage with a person sooner, or not at all, no matter the time invested.
What does it take to know someone? Do I really know someone if they have not revealed a fear, vulnerability, failure, family secret, or passion? Probably not. At the same time, how much of yourself and your problems or concerns are you willing to share? It is one thing to tell someone general information about our children or spouse, or both. It is another thing to tell something in confidence what you do not want “the world” to know.
The more personally you connect with your contacts, the closer your relationship will be. However, you also need to guard your interests and not put trust into contacts too soon or put it in the wrong ones. Ultimately, you need to learn to trust your gut and divulge personal information strategically, so that your intuition can feel good about the relationship.
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