So your spider sense is tingling… what?

I’m an absolute sucker for a good superhero story.  But it’s Spiderman that tops my list every time.

Spiderman is a superhero that doesn’t rely on brawn or muscles to defeat the bad guys; he’s much more complex than that. From quick wit to web spinning and wall crawling, he’s got the lot. But what’s most intriguing about Spidey is his incredible ability to sense imminent danger.

I watched the Spiderman cartoons on a continuous loop as a child and remember waiting in anticipation for that infamous line, “My spider sense is tingling!”.  Spider sense was the superpower that set him apart from others and kept him one step ahead of the bad guys.

According to Wiktionary, spider sense is….

‘intuition, instinct; an intuitive feeling, usually of something being risky or dangerous.’

When you think of it like that, there’s no doubting that we all have a bit of spider sense within us!  It’s how well and how often it’s used that makes the difference between average human and a super human.

As far as using our spider sense to make key decisions, most of us will never achieve superhuman status.  We can look to find a middle ground though and give ourselves a professional advantage at the very least.

In the business world, facts and figures are certainly important but even Richard Branson relies on his intuition to make important decisions. He said,
“I make up my mind about whether a business proposal excites me within about thirty seconds of looking at it. I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics.”

Using our gut instinct can help us to make faster and more reliable decisions compared to relying solely on analysis of mountains of data. Think how this could benefit our productivity and performance in the workplace!

Whether you’re a leader, manager or employee within an organisation, tough decision making will always play a big part of your daily lives. Trusting your instincts and listening to your own spider sense can be an invaluable tool for positive action.

When we get those intuitive feelings, it’s really no coincidence!

Throughout our lives we’ve been cataloging our experiences and observations. Every one of our successes, mistakes and learnings have taught us well, whether we are consciously aware of this or not. Intuition is our internal safeguard.  It stops us giving way to failure or potential disaster. This is why spider sense is so reliable, particularly for those procrastinators and over-analysers among us.

There are some perfect times when intuition offers a decision-making advantage in the workplace:

  • When organisational change demands some tough calls e.g. redundancy, relocation, new leadership
  • When there is way too much or just too little data available
  • When you need to get creative and find more innovative ways of working to set you apart from the competition
  • When you’re given several possible solutions to a lingering problem
  • When a suggested course of action leaves you feeling uneasy or anxious
  • When you need to choose the right employee from a wide range of suitable candidates
  • When an employee is under-performing, displaying poor behaviours or in trouble
  • When you know you need to make a life-or business changing decision

There are countless occasions when gut feelings niggle away at us. Instead of acknowledging them and using them as a source of valuable insight, how often do we choose to put them to one side.

Think about a recent time when you felt your spider sense tingling…..

  • What were those feelings telling you to do?
  • If you’d have listened to them, how would your decision making process have changed?
  • How different would the outcome have been?
  • What would Spiderman have done?

Tammy Windsor

Tammy is a professional coach, trained at post-graduate level and also holds Ph.D in Pharmacology. She spent 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry leading global clinical teams as well as supporting strategic and culture change across these organisations.

Tammy founded InnovaCoaching after seeing the significant and positive impact of change on individuals and organisations which coaching and mentoring provides,.

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