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Central Wisconsin Business Magazine

November 2005 (Volume 1, Number 7)

Intuition & Business: Trusting Your Gut

Life coach offers tips to enhance the intuition that is inside all of us.


“Intuition is knowing without knowing how we know.” ~ Julio Olalla


As a business leader, you make challenging, important decisions everyday. Are there times when you want to follow your hunches and don’t? You’re not alone. It’s takes a lot of trust in the unknown to be able to make a choice based solely on a gut feeling. We can easily feel overwhelmed with information and confused by endless options.


Intuition is knowledge that springs from an expanded state of awareness. Most of us use intuition more frequently than we imagine. Sometimes, we call it an “instinct” or “hunch”. Sometimes we refer to it by saying, “It just feels right,” or “It sits well with me.”


What are 3 words you would use to describe what intuition means to you?


During the past week, how have you used your intuition to make decisions?


You can use your intuition in every area of your life – even at work. You may not realize that you use it when you prioritize commitments, disclose or withhold information, or approach a colleague who appears to need support.


A couple of years ago I had the grand pleasure of touring the historic estate of Mr. James Oliver, the inventor of the chilled plow. As I stood in the butler’s pantry of this 8,000 square foot estate located in South Bend , IN, our tour guide drew our attention to a large vault in one corner. He said, “This is where the Oliver family stored their valuables.” He continued to paint a picture of what Mr. Oliver was like as a businessman at the turn of the century and characteristics that led to his success. He told us, “Mr. Oliver operated and managed his business very strangely – by gut feelings.” Those that worked for him often thought he was crazy at the initial announcement of tasks to be carried out. However, time and time again his illogical ideas were right on the money and ultimately created much success. Mr. Oliver would say, “I just have a feeling.”


Our tour guide opened the vault and we peeked inside. He went on to say that the day before a huge stock market crash Mr. Oliver removed the majority of his money from investments and tucked it securely away at his home. This one action based on Mr. Oliver’s intuition enabled him and his family to maintain and grow their wealth while other success stories of this era dwindled.


“The ability to blend the seemingly diverse worlds of business and intuition can precipitate a well-managed and efficient organization whose bottom-line profits could only be matched by the joy, success and fulfillment its employees and owners receive.”

~ John Harricharan


Mr. Oliver was a unique leader way ahead of his time. Our culture tends to encourage us toward the rational way. We yearn for the statistics, case studies and research to validate our decisions. It’s very true that some decisions call for a rational approach, while others would best be served by simply trusting our gut.


How would using your intuition more change the way you work and live?


Although the rational, which exists in the realm of the intellect, has long been given prominence in decision-making, we recognize that decisions are best made on the basis of an integration between the rational mind and the intuitive mind. It’s essential to build long-term success in life and business.


Rational Mind + Intuitive Mind =

Greater Innovation * Creative/workable Strategies * Motivated Employees * Increased Profits


When I ask my audiences and coaching clients to tell me the percentage of their decisions they make with their rational mind – they typically respond – 70%. This leaves a mere 30% that are made by having a feeling as Mr. Oliver described it. All of them express that they would like to rely upon their instincts more and want to do it with confidence.


How can you enhance your intuition and increase your confidence?

Stillness + Awareness = Enhanced Intuition

The moments when you are able to quiet your mind and also pay attention are the times when your intuition comes through the strongest. So, tune-in instead of tuning-out. As a coach, my intuitive skills become heightened each day by all the amazing things I see unfold in my client’s lives and my life, too. One practice I encourage you to do is to pay attention to the world around you. So often we’re not opening our eyes to see all the beauty the surrounds us. Start to bring your full awareness to everyday activities – eating, talking on the phone, paying bills, walking your dog. Be in the moment and notice everything. Capture this in writing. I dedicate one notebook and you can too!


Key Ingredients = Openness and Trust

Reflect upon situations where you tapped into your gut feelings and the end result was positive. Re-enforcement through past experience will increase the trust you feel when faced with a decision. If you’ve written it down it will be easier to remember. Also, identify three areas where you can safely use your intuition and build your trust with it. Here are a few suggestions:   

•  Guess what time it is before checking your watch

•  When the phone rings, guess who is calling

•  Before checking the mail, guess what’s there


Action Step – Intuition Walk

If you’re serious about incorporating more intuition into your decision making try this activity.

  1. Ask yourself a question about something that you’d really like to know the answer to.
  2. Write the question on a piece of paper.
  3. Take a walk and notice what you see – pay attention to colors, signs, people you meet.
  4. When you return, jot down three things you remember about your walk.
  5. Refer back to your question.
  6. Maybe you will have found your answer or maybe it doesn’t make any sense. Either way, be patient and love life!


At one time, my husband and I were in pursuit of land to purchase where we could eventually build our dream home. We spent countless hours in search of our little piece of heaven. I did the intuition walk as described above and the question I pondered was, “Where will we find our land?” The thing I remembered most from my walk was that the colors in everything I saw seemed to jump out at me. In particular, pink. I thought, “Well maybe our land will be on Pink Street or something.” As it turned out, we purchased an historic Victorian home built in 1892. What color do you think of in reference to the Victorian era? Pink, of course! To add even more to my power of intuition story, the ceiling of the Coaching Parlor where I offer in-person coaching is painted a refreshing, light pink color to coordinate with the beautifully decorated stained glass window.


Intuition is a serious business and also lots of fun. I encourage you to listen to your inner wisdom at home, work and in your community. Enjoy inviting new possibilities into your life by drawing upon a gift that is available to each of us.

Jackie Bredl-Dietrich, CHES, PCC
Life & Business Coach, Speaker, Consultant & Author
P.O. Box 1101, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495



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