Intention or Intuition?

Which is more helpful when making decisions, using your intuition, or grounding yourself in your intention? Let’s define intuition as your ‘gut’ feelings, which are usually based on your past experiences and personal values. Let’s define intention as your grounded purpose or mission. I believe intention can also have its roots in what you value. Which strategy do you use when making decisions, intuition or intention? Do you lean on your experiences and your gut feelings when making a decision? Do you ground yourself in your original purpose and mission when making a critical decision? For example, when it comes to hiring in schools, we often decide to go with our ‘gut‘ feelings about a candidate: intuition. Yet, when we take the time to have an intentional process that honors the mission and values of the school and takes into account possible biases, and includes multiple voices, we may find ourselves with the right candidate for the position. 

When a decision is made with intention, what is implied? An intentional decision process takes time, has a system, includes many voices, and is grounded in a central goal. It is deliberate and thoughtful. You are probably using a framework for your process. You are including multiple voices and perspectives.

When a decision is made based solely on intuition, what is implied?  This type of decision-making may tend to also be driven by emotion, be more spontaneous, and take less time to make without much of a clear process. There may also be less transparency. An intuition-driven decision implies that the decision-maker knows best and holds the most valuable experience in the group. Intuition honors your experience and intention honors the experiences of everyone making the decision. Intuition alone can be a tricky way to approach a decision. Intention combined with intuition can be a recipe for success! 

Are there benefits to using both intuition and intention-driven decision-making? Yes! I think it is valuable for all members in a decision-making opportunity to consult their intuition on a decision. Your experience matters when making a decision. Think about what your past and what your values are telling you. It is also crucial that decisions, especially in institutions such as schools, follow a systematic and transparent process that includes multiple voices and is grounded in a purpose and a mission. Taking time to define the problem you are trying to solve, examine biases, and ultimately use an effective systems approach can feel slower. Yet there is great value in taking time to be thoughtful and in the long run, your decisions may be better received, be more effective, and last longer. 

Next time you find yourself in a decision-making quandary, which will it be? Intuition or intention? Maybe you don’t have to choose.