Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gut Instinct: The Secret Weapon

Last year George Torok spoke at the Face to Face conference held in St Andrews, NB.

Read the report from the conference organizer, Progress Magazine:

Gut Instinct: The Secret Weapon
George Torok

Logic, thinking, emotion, intuition, gut instinct. What do those words mean to you? How do they fit together? George Torok teaches people how you can learn to recognize, manage, and profit from those informing little tingles known as “gut instinct.”

So what is it?
Gut instinct is a combination of emotion and subconscious thinking. “I suggest that we all base our decisions on what feels right,” says Torok. “Logic is still a good thing, but we overemphasize it.” Logic is a set of “if, then” statements, not about thinking. Torok warns us not to describe ourselves as logical people because then we are “thinking-less machines.” A lot of the time our bodies talk to us in subtle ways, but we tend to ignore the signals. “Listen to them,” says Torok, “because it’s part of what makes you work.” Some of the best decisions people make are done in an instant, where no thinking is involved.

Gut instinct in the workplace
Gut feeling can help you in every aspect of your life. In the workforce it can help with decision-making, selling, managing, and hiring. “Too many people think with logic, and we need to move more toward using emotions in the workplace,” says Torok. “You can’t motivate people with logic; if you want them to move, you must touch their emotions.” A good friend of Torok’s once told him to watch what successful people and organizations do, then ask himself why do they do things that way.

“You’ll start to understand how they think,” he says. “Don’t copy other people, but be creative and come up with your own ideas. Creativity and growth work together. If you try to grow with logic, at best you will have linear growth. If you want a quantum shift in your market and growth, you need to tap into your gut and to do something crazy. Crazy doesn’t mean stupid, just completely different.

Redefine the market.” The five emotions that tend to move us most when we make decisions are love, pride, greed, guilt, and fear.

How do we know gut feeling exists?
Like many other things in life, we can’t see gut instinct but we know it’s real. Vision, commitment, attitude, and leadership are all examples of things we know are there but can’t see. Torok suggests that perhaps we’re in touch with our inner feelings when we’re very young and very old, and that in between we go through stages where we ignore our inner instincts. “As long as you’re willing to admit that there’s something there and you can work with it,” he says, “then you can tap into it and make better use of it.”

How can you make it work for you?
Torok teaches many things that can be done to help people get in touch with what their bodies tells them. For example, meditating is a good way to be alone with your thoughts and feelings. Whether it’s done in a quiet room or during a bike ride, make time for yourself to be alone. Do things that make you feel good about yourself. Scare yourself by trying something new, because when you do your senses are heightened and you feel things you normally wouldn’t feel. Above all, live in the moment.

Face to Face is an annual conference for Atlantic busines owners organized by Progress magazine.

Learn more about Face to Face conference.
Learn more about Progress Magazine.

George Torok
Gutfeeling is a book by Peter Urs Bender


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