HR Executive Tip #7 – Know when to hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em

Like most people, you have probably experienced moments when you knew something – a deal, a business relationship, an investment – was going south, but you hesitated to act because you didn’t have facts to support your intuition.

If so, you will be interested in “The Iowa Gambling Task” and the tip that follows.

In The Iowa Gambling Task researches gave subjects the task of making the most money possible by choosing cards from four decks. Unbeknownst to the subjects, the decks were stacked. Some were “good decks” (producing winners more of the time) and some were “bad decks,” (producing losers). After about 40-50 picks, most subjects caught on to which decks produced winners and losers.

But their bodies knew well before their rational minds. After about 10 picks subjects began to produce physiological symptoms of stress as their hands reached for the bad decks.

Intuition is defined as knowing something without being consciously aware of how we know. But it is possible to strengthen the communication between our conscious and unconscious minds, so we can read subtle signals earlier and learn what our unconscious mind has already figured out.

Listening to the song The Gambler, (sung by Kenny Rogers and the Muppets). Part of the instructions for developing intuition are right there in the chorus:

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”

“You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table…” Why not? Because if you’re counting your money, you’re distracted from the play, and being distracted you have no hope of accessing your intuition.

The easiest way to fool yourself in a deal, a negotiation, or a transaction is to let your thinking stray from what’s happening and get seduced by a dream. It could be the dream your counterpart is spinning for you or simply the dream of results, good or bad. Paying exquisite attention is the key to staying attuned.

The problem is that many of us have yet to understand much less master the many different ways to pay attention. In The Open Focus Brain, Dr. Lester Fehmi tells us about a kind of attention that makes use of synchronized alpha brain waves. Our nervous systems are built to focus our attention narrowly in times of physical crisis. If a tiger is about to pounce on us, our attention is highly focused. But most of us overuse this narrow focus. Many executives spend the majority of their week paying attention this stressful way.

But to be open to the subtle signals of our body that help us feel our intuitive responses, a synchronized alpha state is perfect. As a matter of fact, an old friend who was the two time winner of the international backgammon championship in Monte Carlo wrote a book on how being in an alpaha state allowed him to win. The book is called “Alpha”

There are two elements to being successful at this: 1) Develop enough rapport with your unconscious so that you receive clear intuitive signal, and 2) release all fear of receiving an honest answer to your questions.

Though this topic is a vast one and requires an in-depth exploration, the audio below will introduce you to some basic way to develop your intuition.

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If reading these tips has sharpened you awareness of goals you want to achieve, click here to explore if a working session with me will be valuable.