What Kind of Intuition Do You Have?

Financial reports, pie charts, spreadsheets — all the numbers in the world will only tell you so much. Like me, turns out a majority of people rely on their gut instincts when making a decision.

A survey done by The International Association of Administrative Professionals and OfficeTeam of 1,300 senior managers and 3,500 administrative professionals found that a whopping 88 percent of them make decisions based on gut feelings.

I’ve written before about the value of trusting my gut. I have found that if I make a decision that goes against what my gut tells me to do, 99 percent of the time it turns out badly.

I trust in my gut to connect the dots in the future, as Steve Jobs referred to it, because, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” As he said, “This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

It seems the higher up the corporate ladder you are, the more important your gut instincts can be, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review, When to Trust Your Gut.

“Over the years, various management studies have found that executives routinely rely on their intuitions to solve complex problems when logical methods (such as a cost-benefit analysis) simply won’t do. In fact, the consensus is that the higher up on the corporate ladder people climb, the more they’ll need well-honed business instincts. In other words, intuition is one of the X factors separating the men from the boys.”

It can be helpful to understand what type of intuition you generally rely on. If you know which skills serve you best, you can hone them and bring them to the forefront when faced with a big decision.

So what type are you? There’s a quiz for that, developed by OfficeTeam, an international staffing service. Take the 10-question quiz, What’s Your Intuition Style? to find out.

The five possible types, according to the quiz are:

  • Adapter. With this type of intuition you have the ability to use multiple strategies, including asking a lot of questions, observing people’s behavior and researching the situation. Don’t take it personally when your own needs are overlooked and let others know what you need.
  • Analyst. You are good at digging up facts, doing research and coming up with logical and well-reasoned insights. Use those skills combined with instinctive abilities when making decisions.
  • Empathizer. While you are good at anticipating other’s needs and identifying with their problems, be careful not to rely too much on emotion when making decisions. Remember the value of research and analysis.
  • Observer. This type of intuition relies heavily on visual cues based on other’s demeanor. Be sure to make sure you engage them in conversation as well to better anticipate the needs of others.
  • Questioner. Rather than rely on assumptions you ask the parties involved directly and you are good at getting people to talk. Learn to rely more on your observational skills to find out what people aren’t telling you.

This type of quiz can be fun and informative, but remember that it’s called gut instinct for a reason. We will never fully understand human instincts but knowing when they can be helpful can make the difference in your career.