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Systems AND Culture

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Systems are the glue that ensures that your business is consistently delivering what it promises to deliver. 

But systems don’t happen in a vaccuum.

Your company culture and leadership team set the tone for your business. 

Check out this video from a recent presentation I did at the Supper Club in London on the relationship between systems and culture.

Let me know what you think and what you notice in your own business!

For more information on coaching and training services for your leadership, management, and sales teams, contact hello@three-hats.com.

Intuitive Intelligence Roadblocks — Part Five — Ego

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In this month’s series, we are exploring five of the most common roadblocks that get in the way of listening to and acting on your intuition in business. Each week will reveal another common obstacle.

This week is our fifth and final obstacle that we are focusing on: ego. The term ego is used in many different contexts and is defined here simply as your self-image or self-concept. In other words, it’s the story you tell yourself about yourself. We all have an internalized concept of who we are based on a lifetime of conditioning from family, culture, religion, and society—all aspects that form your core identity of self.

Ego in itself is not a bad thing. In fact, it is the organizing principle that helps you function in the world and understand your place in it. Yet your concept of who you are is different than the actual experience of who you are, or how other people experience you.

The problem occurs when you collapse the two and think you are your self-image. What often happens in business or in life is that you are trying to control the narrative of how you are perceived. This is where the ego is working overtime to make sure your self-image is consistent with how you want to be seen.

This can be challenging when you get locked into the idea of what it means to be a leader, manager, or a salesperson. When you are in a position of authority or demonstrating success, then you need to protect and defend this at all costs as any threat to your image can be perceived as self-annihilation. One could argue this is the cause of the majority of conflicts and wars.

Being stuck in a persona of who you think you are or should be is limiting and can feel like an inescapable prison. This type of dynamic harms relationships, as you can’t bring a level of authenticity that’s required for deeper relating.

How Does Ego Get in the Way of Your Intuition?

If you are locked into a concept of who you are and how you should behave, or when you are out just to look good, then you are not free to listen to and act on what you intuitively feel.

You will block out what you sense and feel because this might not align with your social conditioning and programming. Your intuition is not bound by roles, conditions, “shoulds”, obligations, or social norms.

Intuition occurs in the present moment. You get a sudden feeling in the here and now. Even if it’s a premonition about the future. The degree to which you are still reacting from the past about what you find acceptable or of value will directly impact your ability to listen to present day intuition.

Intuition is not about being more comfortable or avoiding the unpleasant. It is about having the courage to say or express what you are feeling from deep within. Intuition threatens our nice little story we have about ourselves. This is great news because we are so much more than we believe we are.

In business as in life, there is a place for the ego and how it helps us organize our reality. The only problem is when we confuse the story we tell about ourselves as absolute truth. Then we need to defend, jostle, get ahead, look good, avoid taking responsibility, and a myriad of behaviors that are only aimed at our self-preservation.

In listening to and acting from our intuitive center, we are able to approach business from a larger perspective that doesn’t just include our own needs, but all stakeholders involved.

For more articles and videos on using your intuition in the workspace, follow us HERE. For information on coaching and training opportunities for building intuitive intelligence on your teams for better decision-making, contact hello@three-hats.com.

Intuitive Intelligence Roadblocks — Part Four — Fear

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In this month’s series, we are exploring five of the most common roadblocks that get in the way of listening to and acting on your intuition in business. Each week will reveal another common obstacle.

This week we are focusing on the fourth obstacle: fear. Fear is so primal in each of us that we often do what we can to avoid feeling it—and staying busy is America’s number one choice.

Ideally, fear is our system’s warning signal that we are not safe physically, emotionally, or mentally, and it demands our attention. Fear can also show up neurotically when we are not in danger as we can project our insecurities and paranoias into our environment. This can range from subtle levels of discomfort to feeling consumed by sheer panic and terror.

Fear gets in the way of intuition as this physiological response often makes us tense, shut-down, protective, or dissociative on some level. Fear comes with a strong emotional charge throughout your body such as tension accompanied by a compelling narrative that dominates your thoughts. Any strong emotion like anxiety, depression, rage, or shame can seize our full attention and not leave space for the quiet stillness and receptivity that is required for listening to one’s intuition.

How Do You Know If It’s a Fear or Intuition That You Are Experiencing?

Intuition is very direct, clear, and doesn’t involve extra drama or emotional intensity. Intuition requires the opposite posture to thrive, as we need a basic level of relaxation, openness, and receptivity to access this resource.

Even if you receive a very strong intuitive “no” about a person or situation that feels intense, you will find that there’s not a lot of story around it. It’s simply a strong feeling. If you are in a situation where you are not sure if it’s fear or intuition talking to you, check in and see. If there is a lot of drama and story attached to the “no,” you might need to go deeper into that and feel the fear, and then see what your intuition tells you afterward.

Intuition can bring up fear as it is not coming from our conscious mind, and thus our known universe. It is outside our rational, logical thought and something that we are not in control of. It is often unpredictable and may bring up powerful feelings, awareness, or truths that are difficult to confront.

Imagine that you have a strong intuition that you shouldn’t take money from investors because something doesn’t feel right, yet are afraid this may be your only opportunity? Or the gut feeling that is telling you not to go into business with a friend, yet you don’t want to upset them?

Would you have the courage to listen to, trust, and act on your intuition? These examples challenge core social pressures and common business practices that make it a perfect recipe for fear to hijack your decision making.

The Antidote to Fear

That antidote is to face your fears directly, feel what you need to feel, and take action. The more you practice leaning into your fears at work by starting with the smaller ones, you learn to overcome the obstacles in your way. This builds momentum to try new approaches and venture into new territories that were previously unfamiliar.

Listening to, trusting, and acting on your intuition no matter how much fear arises, will build experience and confidence, and become one of your most valuable resources over time.

Stay tuned for the rest of our series as we explore the more roadblocks to accessing your intuitive intelligence. For more information on how to access intuitive decision making for you and your team, contact hello@three-hats.com.

Intuitive Intelligence Roadblocks — Part Three — Busyness

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In this month’s series, we are exploring five of the most common roadblocks that get in the way of listening to and acting on your intuition in business. Each week will reveal another common obstacle.

This week we are focusing on a third topic: busyness. Busyness is a common obstacle that prevents us from sinking into our intuitive nature. Busyness is constant movement, overstimulation, the need to be entertained, overfilled schedules, perpetual achievement, and the fear of missing out that often comes from a mix of anxiety, insecurity, and a lack of self-worth. Chronic busyness is usually fueled by “doing,” which leaves little room for “being.”

The problem is that our modern culture rewards busyness and minimizes the positive effects of slowing down, balance, and downtime, all of which you are more likely states to receive intuitional guidance from.

In fact, research shows that when people are seen as busy, they are perceived as more successful and have a higher status than those who appear to have more leisure time. This is the exact opposite from a century ago where more leisure time was an indicator of wealth and success.

Busyness orients us toward outside tasks that take us away from listening to our inner guidance, which requires stillness and space to access. We are robbed of this deeper resource for decision-making as our attention is all over the place.

Stillness is the antidote to busyness. Being still is the ability to eliminate all distractions and outside noise as well as the background mental chatter, and simply get present to your inner experience. Through this slowing down process, you become more aware of the data that your body is sending you.

In a world that is moving at warp speed and filled with more information than you can take in, stillness helps you come back to your own inner essence. Learning how to be still before you take action is a very powerful tool that allows you to be more receptive and open to what’s happening in the moment, which is key to cultivating your intuition.

See what happens the next time that you are stuck on a problem and need to shift your attention. Step away from the computer. Get some fresh air. Take a slow walk outside. Or engage in a mindfulness practice. Find out what works for you to help you slow down and access your intuitive intelligence.

Stay tuned for the rest of our series as we’ll explore all five of the top roadblocks to accessing your intuitive intelligence. For more information on how to access intuitive decision making for you and your team, contact hello@three-hats.com.

Intuitive Intelligence Roadblocks — Part Two — Doubt

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In this month’s series, we are exploring five of the most common roadblocks that get in the way of listening to and acting on your intuition in business. Each week will reveal another common obstacle.

Intuition serves us in two different ways: we are able to increase our capacity to read what’s happening in our immediate environment and we can better anticipate the future. Yet, if we are not trained to be more still and present to what’s happening at the moment, we will undoubtedly miss the rich signs and indicators that are waiting for our attention. In today’s fast-paced and increasingly complex world, it is more difficult than ever to slow down and tune into what we are sensing and feeling on the inside.

This week, we are focusing on doubt. Doubt is a function of the mind and is so powerful and prevalent that it deserves its own spotlight. Doubt is second-guessing our deeper knowing. The destructive result is that we begin to stop trusting ourselves. Doubt can creep in especially when a situation seems risky and unfamiliar. As intuition is neither linear nor predictable, it is a threat to the control-aspect of the mind, which seeks order. Doubt tries to keep us in our safe comfort zone of what is familiar.

Doubt in the form of fear and distrust in ourselves shows up on a fundamental level with the commonly asked question: what if my intuition is wrong? Or what if I have “bad” intuition? I would say that there’s no such thing as bad intuition. Instead, you might have a bad relationship to your intuition. This distinction is key as the seduction of the mind, in order to stay in control of your system, is to convince you that you can’t trust your inner compass.

It will judge your intuitive nature as a threat to its supremacy and power. In fact, this is one of the main reasons people become disempowered: they doubt their intuition and inner guidance and ignore, override, or outsource their knowing to the logical mind or to the viewpoints of others.

How Do You Distinguish Between Doubt and Your Intuition?

An intuitive hit is a clear message that doesn’t come with a lot of emotional charge or drama. It’s a feeling of obviousness, of clarity. You don’t need to defend your position, make a case for it, rationalize it, or prove anything. It’s simply a knowing.

Doubt, on the other hand, often comes with anxiety and fear, and tends to backpedal on intuition. That’s where the second-guessing, internal lawyering, and never-ending debate scrambles your conviction. With practice, you can begin to separate the clear message of an intuitive sense from the endless debates over whether you should trust what you feel.

How Do You Separate the Two?

Engaging in some type of physical activity—like running, swimming, yoga, or martial arts, which all demand being present—are incredibly helpful tools to separate intuition from doubt. Focusing on an activity does not allow space for the swirling chorus of doubts and second-guessing. I find that after a physical practice, my body is more tired and rested and my mental activity is more relaxed. Doubt subsides and I can more easily tap into my intuitive center from this place.

Meditation and various mindfulness practices are also powerful tools to help you dis-identify with your doubts and thoughts, and you stop feeding them with your attention. Find the practice that speaks to you and that helps you quiet your mind and you will experience huge benefits.

Stay tuned for the rest of our series as we’ll explore all five of the top roadblocks to accessing your intuitive intelligence. For more information on how to access intuitive decision making for you and your team, contact hello@three-hats.com.

Intuitive Intelligence Roadblocks — Part One — The Rational Mind

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In this month’s series, we are exploring five of the most common roadblocks that get in the way of listening to and acting on your intuition in business. Each week will reveal another common obstacle.

Intuition serves us in two different ways: we are able to increase our capacity to read what’s happening in our immediate environment and we can better anticipate the future. Yet, if we are not trained to be more still and present to what’s happening at the moment, we will undoubtedly miss the rich signs and indicators that are waiting for our attention. In today’s fast-paced and increasingly complex world, it is more difficult than ever to slow down and tune into what we are sensing and feeling on the inside.

This week, we are focusing on the rational mind. That’s right, our conscious, rational mind is one of the main culprits that get in the way of our intuitive intelligence. Our rational mind is a necessary and incredible gift that is responsible for critical thinking, logic, reasoning, and learning. It’s what we use to read spreadsheets, foresee trends, and pay our bills on time.

However, the speed and incessant mental chatter of our thoughts often crowd out our inner signals and cues, which makes it difficult to separate intuition from thought. In order to access innovative and creative solutions, we need to disrupt our typical day-to-day thinking.

Intuitional language operates at a different frequency, tone, and texture than thinking. It’s an octave deeper. Intuition is discovered through slowing down, creating space, and listening to that still, quiet voice or sensation. It’s found through paying attention to the space (intuition) between the musical notes (thinking).

But the real problem is that our mind is programmed to focus solely on the notes themselves and not the space in between. In fact, as Bruce Lipton’s research shows, our subconscious mind—which is connected to our intuition, emotions, and a vast storage of experience—takes in 20 million bits of data per second compared to our conscious mind which will max out at 40 bits. That’s like a twenty-lane highway versus a single dirt track of processing speed and ability.

The second roadblock is that the rational mind is a limited tool and cannot grasp the fullness of life experience. The mind lives in the past (analysis and memory) or the future (imagination and projection)—not the present.

Yet, experience happens in the present moment. Your intuitive channel is a human antenna picking up on data all around you right now. It is connected to your nonconscious mind—made up of your subconscious and unconscious—informed by feelings and sensations, and helps give you real-time intel about a person, environment, or situation

In order to develop a relationship with our intuition, we have to learn how to identify and separate from our thoughts. We must listen to the slower, quieter, and deeper voice within and begin to decode what it is saying to us.

In business, reading vibes is critical in adapting to any situation. And In order to develop a relationship with the vibe and our intuition, we have to learn how to identify and separate from our thoughts. We must listen to the slower, quieter, and deeper voice within and begin to decode what it is saying to us.

What type of mindfulness activities, sport, time outdoors, or simply stepping away from the computer and office help you interrupt your daily thinking and get you out of your conscious mindset for more creativity and innovative solutions?

Stay tuned for the rest of our series as we’ll explore all five of the top roadblocks to accessing your intuitive intelligence. For more information on how to access intuitive decision making for you and your team, contact hello@three-hats.com.

 

How To Lead Innovative Brainstorming Sessions

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This month, we’ve covered the three types of intuition that you can integrate into your company for greater decision making—namely directional, social, and informational intuition. Today we look at how to build intuitive intelligence on your teams during brainstorming sessions for greater innovation and creative thinking.

How do you get your team to think outside the box for fresh solutions to your top challenges? In order to open up a creative space for strategic thinking, you need to interrupt your team’s normal thinking patterns. Here are some steps you can take that lead to powerful results, no matter if you are strategizing a new product launch, goals for the coming year, or how to solve a customer service issue that keeps arising.

#1: Check Phones at the Door

Recent studies have found that participants who had their smartphones with them—even if they were turned off—scored significantly worse on tests of cognitive capacity. And while we might be dumbing ourselves down by over-relying on phones and less on our creative impulses, it is also a distraction from delving deeper into our subconscious mind and the source of our creativity. Sinek and others suggest banning phones from meetings for this very reason.

I have found that in order to facilitate the collective intelligence of your team, you need to eliminate distractions for these types of meetings. And leaving cell phones off is a great place to start.

#2: Create Safety

No idea is stupid in a brainstorming session. In fact, the more that we feel safe to stretch our imaginations, the more room we create for innovation.

Safety is the bedrock of creativity and innovation. People only take risks when they assess that it’s safe to do so. As a manager or facilitator of a brainstorming session, it is imperative to have everyone feel welcome and included in the conversation, and that no contribution will be ridiculed or shamed.

When managers or colleagues put down staff in public, people tend to shut down and learn that it’s not safe to take risks. And innovative thinking is all about risks and thinking outside the norm. So, what do you need to say, do, or model to have everyone feel secure, so that they can access their intuition and subconscious mind for more creative decision making and strategy?  

#3: Leverage Your Team’s Intelligence

Everyone’s different in how they think, approach, and make decisions. Use an assessment such as the Gallup StengthsFinder to helps you figure out everyone’s unique strength on the team. You can work more intuitively as a team once that is in place. Intuition is all about being open. If anything creates barriers or blocks, such as how people learn and take in information, it will block access to their deeper wisdom.

#4 Disrupt the Rational Mind

While critical thinking and reasoning are necessary for analyzing business decisions, one of the missing ingredients in most brainstorming sessions is recognizing the value of the subconscious mind. And the subconscious mind is where our intuition lives. Because the subconscious mind processes information 500,000 x faster than the conscious mind, business leaders who get this understand the value of slowing down, interrupting our normal thinking, and allowing space for intuitive insights to find us.

Business leaders and managers that I work with use creative disruptions to get their teams out of their heads, with amazing results. Such techniques include getting out of the office, going on company retreats, engaging in group activities, juggling, playing games and accessing other creative ways of learning and sharing, physical challenges, mindfulness practices and many other techniques to help staff get into their bodies and deeper brain states.

All of these steps allow team members to access their intuition and bring more insight and bigger-picture thinking into your meetings. For further inquiries on how to deepen your company’s strategic meetings and decision making, contact hello@three-hats.com.

 

Three Types Of Intuition — Part Three — Informational Intuition

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This month, we are focusing on the three types of intuition that we use in business and in life that will help you get clearer as to your natural strengths as a leader and what you might need to develop or hire around you to have a smart, innovative team.

Today, we are focusing on the third type of intuition, which I call informational intuition.

Informational intuition is the ability to synthesize large amounts of data and decode information rapidly for analysis, pattern recognition, and decision making. Those who possess this gift have an innate ability to rapidly recognize patterns and analyze information and experiences—including those stored in the subconscious mind. Financial investors, data scientists, day traders, researchers, and engineers often excel at this ability.

How does informational intuition show up in business? I recently interviewed Cheskie Weisz, CEO of CW Management Realty, which specializes in Real estate property management and development headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. Cheskie built his business on trusting his gut instinct and using informational intuition to know the exact value of the buildable square footage, development costs, and bottom-line potential income it will produce after development.

Without looking at spreadsheets of data, Cheskie can quote you on the square foot value of a new apartment unit on the corner of Van Brunt and Verona, in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, and how that value changes if a credit union or Starbucks opens next door. Imagine all of the calculations that factor into the changing dynamics of a neighborhood!

Informational intuition comes with experience. It comes with pattern recognition of knowing your industry, your market, your products and services over a given time.

You are able to take complex sets of data and arrive at accurate conclusions in seconds. Cheskie says that “if you can’t get the value of a building within 25 seconds of walking into it, you are in the wrong business.” He has people on his team that verifies his gut instinct with number crunching, yet imagine how much time he saves his company in decision making. Informational intuition comes from “going all in” on your craft. “When I meet a buyer or seller, I can tell within 25 seconds if there’s a deal to be made,” says Cheskie. 

These three types of intuition: directional, social, and informational assist you in the untapped power of more accurate, well-rounded, and faster decision making. For more information on how to train your teams to develop intuitive decision making, contact hello@three-hats.com.

The Three Types Of Intuition — Part Two — Social Intuition

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This month, we are focusing on three types of intuition used in business and in life. This discussion is designed to help you find clarity about your natural strengths as a leader and determine what you might need to hire a smart, innovative team

Today, we are focusing on the second type of intuition, which I call social intuition.

What is this? The social type of intuition is based on one’s ability to sniff out the energies and emotions—a.k.a the vibe—among people and in a room. Social intuition is related to animal instinct in navigating safety, protection, and connection. Although we may not be consciously aware of doing it, we all pick up on nonverbal communication cues, congruence, and dissonance all of the time.

For example, imagine you’re in a meeting with some new people. Right away, you don’t trust the guy who is sitting on your left. Everything that he says sounds like a lie. You don’t know what it is, but there’s something about him that you just don’t trust. But you immediately trust the woman who is sitting on your right. She seems open and friendly.

You may or may not be accurate in either case. Yet, like all creatures, we rely on these instincts. And these instincts are animal instincts.

Social intuition feels very neurological and primordial. It’s subtle. Animals use it all the time. When two of us meet, we sense each other, we size each other up, and sniff each other out. We growl on the inside, hope to win the other’s attention and approval, or simply feel neutral about the other.

This happens in business all the time. And the best salespeople, marketers, negotiators, customer service reps, leaders and managers thrive when they’ve put attention on building this skill.

When I waited tables, one of the first things I did was read the needs of the people at each table so that I could provide the type of service that would best suit them. Some tables want little to no interaction with a server. Perhaps they’re on a romantic night out or in the middle of a serious conversation and don’t want to be interrupted.

On the other hand, the people at a table may be bored with one another and see going out as their big entertainment for the week. In that case, they want an engaging, entertaining experience from the server.

Or maybe a table is filled with people who don’t know one another well or who are socially awkward. A good server needs to be able to track the energies and nonverbal cues in the room so that he or she can facilitate the customer experience.

Social intuition has huge implications in the business world. An executive or manager needs to be able to sense when a meeting, sales presentation, or investment pitch is falling flat and what needs to happen next to bring more engagement and vitality to the conversation. The ability to intuit the needs of a customer at every stage of the client experience is an incredible edge over your competition.

So, how does your social intuition show up in your work life? Feel free to share in the comment section below. And, if you’re interested in learning techniques to improve your overall business communication, feel free to get in touch.

Stay tuned for next week’s post on the third type of intuition we use in business and life—informational intuition.

The Three Types Of Intuition — Part One — Directional Intuition

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Intuition is often defined as an inherent knowing without the need for conscious reasoning. It can be such an intangible and effusive term and be challenging to apply in practical ways within your company. Yet, this is our mission here at Three-Hats: to bring intuitive intelligence to your company culture for better decision making.

This month, we are focusing on three types of intuition that we use in business and in life that will help you clarify your natural strengths as a leader and determine what you might need to develop or hire around you to have a smart, innovative team. Today, we are focusing on the first type of intuition, which I call directional intuition.

What is this? Directional intuition comes in the form of your inner decision maker. It is your personal connection to your inner guidance or innate wisdom. It is what you rely on for making gut decisions when it comes to hiring, firing, setting the direction for your company or department, and anticipating the future.

On a smaller scale, your directional intuition helps you with daily decision making and on a bigger scale, it is a resource that’s available for your life direction and purpose. It’s what innovative entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Steve Jobs use(d) to assess the marketplace and help shape where it was going in the future.

Directional intuition connects you with your inner compass in the most intimate way. Depending on your lens or belief system, directional intuition is commonly described as guidance from your higher-self, soul, divine nature, subconscious mind, the greater field, or the grand order of things.

The idea is that you have an intuitive guidance system embedded deeply in your being that is connected to something greater than your conscious mind. It is the source of your inner compass. And to connect with this guidance system—both with business endeavors and life in general—you need to be receptive and to listening to these frequencies, which are quite different from everyday thoughts.

For example, have you ever felt that a job or a relationship was past its expiration date or wasn’t right in the first place but not been able to figure out why? Maybe everything looked great on paper, but something nagged at you that it was time for your next adventure. Have you ever been led to move somewhere or follow a calling that didn’t make sense to you at the time?

I interviewed Marc David, the founder of The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and the author of the best-selling books Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being and The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss. He shared how the moments of listening to his directional intuition and taking action helped him to pioneer the key business manifestations of his life:

“I don’t know that I have a more important navigational system than my intuition. At the end of the day, when I look at how I get from point A to point B in my life, how I make big decisions, how I arrive at where I’m going to live, what college I’m going to go to, what grad school I’m going to go to, what woman I’m going to date, to me, intuition always factors in in a big way—if not in a really big way. I don’t think I can operate without it. I wouldn’t even know how to do that. I would feel uncomfortably naked if I didn’t have it.

 Intuition is this voice that comes through that somehow doesn’t usually sound like the ‘me, me, me, me, me.’ It has a different quality to it. It has a smarter quality to it. It has a more timeless quality to it. It has a more relaxed quality to it. It ain’t worried. When intuition is speaking, it’s a clear bell and it’s very confident.”

So, how does your directional intuition speak to you daily or on the longer-term arc of your life? Feel free to share in the comment selection. And, if you want to get specific coaching on how to get in touch with your own directional intuition, contact us to learn more.

Stay tuned for next week’s article where we discuss the second type of intuition used in business and life—social intuition.