Discussion Guide

Eager to dive deeper? Want to learn more? Ready to start a discussion? We’ve made it easy for you by compiling the latest information on intuitive intelligence.

Most of the below content is taken verbatim from the listed sources. Why? Because we want to give you access to a wide range of insights about the role of intuition in our careers... minus our own personal biases.

If you have suggestions about content we should add or reference, please use our Contact Form to share them. We will credit you when citing the source you recommended.

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Thinking about your thinking...

Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about your thinking.  More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner... Metacognitive practices increase your abilities to transfer or adapt your learning to new contexts and tasks (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, p. 12; Palincsar & Brown, 1984; Scardamalia et al., 1984; Schoenfeld, 1983, 1985, 1991). 

Source: Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Questions to help you identify if you are intuitive:

  1. Do you trust your hunches when confronted by an important decision?
  2. Do you feel in your body if a decision is right or wrong?
  3. Do you put a lot of faith in your initial feelings about people and situations?
  4. Do you put more emphasis on feelings than data when making a decision?
  5. Do you rely on your gut feelings when dealing with people?
  6. Do you trust your experience when arriving at the reasons for making a decision, even if you can’t explain why? 
  7. Does your intuition often turn out to be right all along?
  8. What is (or would be) the reaction in your organisation to decisions made on the basis that they felt right?
  9. Do you keep your intuitions close to your chest? If so, why?

Source: Australian Institute of Management

An example of intuition in math...

S. Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician who became famous for his intuition for numbers. When the English mathematician G. H. Hardy came to visit him in the hospital one day, Hardy remarked that the number of his taxi was 1729, a rather dull number. To which Ramanujan replied, "No, Hardy! No, Hardy! It is a very interesting number. It is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."

Source: Chegg Study Guides

When intuition leads you astray...

Dual-process models propose that two different modes of thinking—intuitive vs. deliberative—govern our reasoning, judgment and decision-making (e.g., Evans, 2006; Kahneman & Frederick, 2002; Stanovich, 1999). Intuition is thought to be fast, effortless, and largely automatic, whereas deliberation operates in a slower, more effortful, and controlled fashion. Because deliberation is slower than intuition, the deliberative response might only come to mind after one has already contemplated the intuitive response...

Researchers found that... for problems where intuition and deliberation are in conflict, deliberative responders have a better insight than intuitive responders about the reasoning of other people. Previous research had already shown that deliberative responders are aware of alternative intuitive responses (Mata et al., 2013), but it did not test whether they infer whether others respond deliberatively or intuitively from the way others respond. These results indicate that they do.

Source: Using metacognitive cues to infer others’ thinkingJudgment and Decision Making, Vol. 9, No. 4


Straight talk about intuition, from an engineer...

Starting at the 2:20 mark, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings talks about the ways that his company uses informed intuition...

How to translate intuitive sensations into information...

After many years of exploring intuition and trying to create structure around it in order to change its operation from serendipity to tool, I can attest that for me the most potent practice for translating intuitive sensations into information is to write poetry. (Yes, an online investment forum is recommending you write poetry!) Why poetry?

Writing poetry is a practice that merges the sensations experienced in holistic consciousness with language, one of the favorite modes of expression for specific consciousness. See if you can write a poem about your career, including the strong feelings generated by your successes and failures. How does your career relate to your sense of self-worth, to your personal development, or to your family? I am not advocating the cheesy kind of poetry that imposes a rhyming structure or other artificial structure (e.g., iambic pentameter or haiku) on your emotions. Why? Because you are trying to avoid specificity and structure to instead focus on the sensations contained in holistic awareness.

Source: The Intuitive Investor: How to Translate Intuitive Sensations by Jason Voss, CFA