Should you trust your gut, when making a decision?

When you have to make a decision, and there’s a lot at stake, do you trust your gut? Should you rely on your gut over the data? Here are three things to consider when deciding to trust your gut:

  1. Get Informed First

Some “inform their gut” before making the decision. For example; Don Hills, a stellar Pricing Manager said, “There are too many resources to rely solely on my gut. If I’m not being lazy, I can find the information to make an informed recommendation.” Shooting from the hip is too dangerous.  If the decision is big, then it deserves the effort to research, educate, and analyze.  You owe it to yourself and anyone affected by the decision to get informed first, before relying on your gut.

  1. Get Outside Opinion

Often we can get stuck just thinking through things in our heads. The dangers are we make false conclusions or miss other factors.  Even when you’ve researched the information to make a decision, you should utilize an “outsiders” opinion.  They may or may not use their gut, but often they will see things you don’t.  Consider what Dave Boye, from Black Diamond Mortgage had to say.  “I focus on facts, figures, etc.. she notices style, demeanor, etc.. I won’t hire an employee without my wife meeting them first.”  Often a person that is very different from you can offer insight that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

  1. Get alignment

Having alignment between your information, others opinions, and your gut is the sign that you’re making a good decision. When they don’t align, your gut can also be used as the last stop before making a mistake.  Jack Thornton, who’s a master at managing data and is a Senior Data Architect at Arete Consulting said, “When making a decision, if the subjective and objective data I have leads to a decision that also matches my gut sense, I go ahead. If my gut disagrees, I take a second pass to see if I missed anything the first time.”


Your gut should play a role in your decision making. Understanding how to incorporate your guts value, makes big difference.  Don’t solely rely on it, and don’t ignore it.  Follow the three steps, and you can trust your gut.

Photo: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

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