Your gut plays a critical role – helping you make decisions quickly in a fast moving environment. But relying too much on your gut can get you into trouble.
Expertise gives us the ability to ignore cues and options we don’t think are worth attending to, but this same mindset can lead experts to miss relevant but novel cues, to ignore potentially useful strategies, and to fail to notice important opportunities.
– Gary Klein from The Power of Intuition
So how do you avoid being blinded by your gut?
First, recognize when you are being swamped or exhausted by competing priorities and interruptions. You are more likely to have unconscious blinders on at these time. You can consciously change your stance to be more open to cues of pending problems or opportunities.
Second, schedule time to adopt an active stance of looking for potential difficulties or opportunities.
Third, your intuition improves when you can test something frequently and get fast feedback. If your intuition is sending you signals on a radically new option, check it more carefully.
For important projects, you can use the premortem technique Gary Klein invented to uncover overlooked sources of failure. Here’s how it works:
Imagine that your project goes awry in some horribly embarrassing way. Then work backward to identify the likely culprits. This will create a list of candidate issues. You can inspect your plan to make sure you have incorporated steps to avert those problems.
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