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“Making Faster, Smarter, More Insightful Decisions using Infotuition”

October 27, 2014 01:40 PM

Written by JoAnn Heltzel, City Point Partners

Are you using Infotuition to make decisions? Shelley Rowe P.E., MBA, guest speaker at the WTS-Boston Leadership Forum on October 7th, thinks using Infotuition is key to leadership success. Infotuition, as Shelley defines it, is the intersection of business pragmatics and gut feel. Shelley has over 30 years of experience as a transportation engineer and served in the Senior Executive Office for the Federal government.

Shelley, a self-described “recovering over-thinker,” has collected evidence through her personal experience, neuroscience, and leadership interviews to create a Cognition-Intuition Balance model designed to help people become better decision makers. Shelley’s model differentiates between "no brainer” decisions and complex decisions, or decisions with more variables and uncertainty. Ideally, we would all balance making both simple and complex decisions with a combination of cognition and intuition, or Infotuition. However, it’s easy to over-think complex decisions, forgetting about our gut feelings, and make knee-jerk decisions, not thinking things through, when a decision appears easy.

Caption: Shelley Row’s Cognition-Intuition Balance Model.

To avoid over-thinking complex decisions, Shelley recommends paying attention to our intuition and trying to name the gut feeling we have about a situation. Shelley used evidence from neuroscience research to explain that cognition actually slows down when making complex decisions.

On the other hand, leaders must also avoid making “knee-jerk” decisions when an issue is less complex and we fail to consider the implications. Shelley classified one type of knee-jerk decision as  “shoot from the hip.” This occurs when a person makes an emotional or habit based decision quickly with little thought involved. Shelley recommends being able to recognize what triggers our emotional responses and avoid making instantaneous decisions. Shelley argued that leaders should also avoid making knee-jerk decisions based solely on expert intuition out of complacency.

We will be better decision makers when we focus on important issues involved in any situation and take away the small ones. All in attendance at the forum took away valuable decision making skills on how to think, feel, and act to the best of our ability.




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