An old boss of mine once said to me “the only thing your gut can tell you is if you are ready for dinner”. His view was that decision making should include only facts, things that can be proven, repeated and verified. I think he may have been right, except that it is not always possible to have all the facts, to prove everything and to remove 100% of the risk.
So when you can’t prove everything but you still need to make a decision, it’s time to give your gut a little freedom to add to the discussion. Your gut, more politely known as intuition, is the accumulation of your life experience used to guide you for future situations. It’s what tells you to leave early on a rainy day as the road is more likely to busy, it certainly can’t provide actual proof (which you won’t get until you are on the road) you could pretty safely rely on your intuition to guide you.
So given your choice which would you rely on when making decisions, fact or intuition? Facts are things that have happened and therefore are accurate, so their use in decision making is essential but facts can only guide you when it comes to the future. Our ability to make great decisions is often based on the conclusions we draw from facts, in effect the use of our intuition to understand things that have happened in the past and to forecast how those facts will play out in the future.
So which is best, fact or intuition? The answer must surely be both, the use of facts to guide our thinking and the use of intuition to draw conclusions from those facts – so yes indeed your gut (when put to good use) can tell you much more than whether or not you are ready for dinner.