Intuitive Decision Making in Business and Management

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  • 0:05 Intuition
  • 0:58 Intuitive Decision…
  • 2:21 Elements of Intuition
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Managers often rely on patterns and intuition to make quick decisions. Intuitive decision making can be very beneficial in the business world and differs from rational processes in several ways. Learn more about both decision-making tools and find out which process provides the best solutions.


You are driving down a major highway during rush hour. All of a sudden, your intuition, or gut instinct, tells you to take the next exit. When you get to work, you find out that turning early allowed you to narrowly miss a massive accident a little further down the highway. People rely on gut instincts, or intuition, to help make decisions. Some people are very aware of feelings or instincts and use them as guides to decision making.

These types of feelings are instinctive and rely on intuition and not facts. In fact, intuition is the ability to have a grasp on a situation or information without the need for conscious reasoning. In business, people use this type of decision making when facts are unavailable or when decisions are difficult in nature.

Intuitive Decision-Making Example

Intuitive decision-making ability is also known as 'sixth sense' and involves being able to gather information that other individuals may miss. It is the opposite of rational decision making, which is when individuals use analytics, facts, and a step-by-step process to come to a decision.

Let's see this ability in action. Violet Jones is a manager at the Intestinal Distress Tacos fast food restaurant. She has noticed that the taco shells are disappearing at a faster rate than the sales. There are some ways that Violet can investigate the missing taco shells.

Violet does not have the time in her business managerial schedule to spend a long time investigating the taco shell mystery. She is losing money daily and must fire the individual responsible. She has relied on her intuition in the past, and it has successfully rewarded her into management positions. She uses patterns of behavior, cues, and body language.

For example, Violet has noticed that her newest employee, Ernie, has been avoiding her and not making eye contact. She has a gut feeling that he may be her taco shell thief. In addition, she has noticed that he disappears for a very long bathroom break, and she surmises that he is eating the shells in the stalls.

Elements of Intuition

In general, excellent managers are able to easily switch between analytical and intuition decision making. Managers who excel in using intuitive behavior are usually positive with their moods, allowing them to be receptive to environmental clues that others might miss. Intuitive decision making is also very fast-occurring. Individuals usually receive a gut feeling immediately that they can choose to follow. In addition, managers should not look at rational, analytical decision making as exclusive of intuition decision making.

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