Intuition: Your Best Moving Guide

Recently someone asked me, "What coaching tools do you use?"

"Tools?" I asked, bewildered. "I avoid tests and assessments."

"No," she explained. "Listening skills?"

Well, I suppose I listen -- but I mostly listen to my own intuition. And I encourage clients to do the same.

Since I derive most of my life lessons from reading murder mysteries, I am reminded of a recent book by Marcia Muller: Listen to the silence. The heroine, Sharon McCone, turns her prodigious investigative talent to researching her own background. As she interviews family members, her significant other, also a heavy-duty detective, says, "Listen to the silence."

He meant, "When someone answers a question, don't just listen to what's said. Listen for the pauses, the silences in what they say."

As I listen to clients, I've decided that we need to listen to the messages sent by our bodies, our friends and family, and what some would call "the universe" -- our environment. As business people, we need to listen to our customers. We need to listen with great skepticism to advice.

While this idea may seem a little woo-wooish, here's an example. One day I received an email from a web designer who had landed on my website.

"You need help, desperately," she said. "Everything's wrong!"

Something didn't feel right about the message. Intuition works with knowledge, and I've learned to be skeptical of unsolicited guidance or advice. "You get what you pay for" tends to be all too true. So I thanked her politely and continued with business as usual. And I listened to clients who weren't web designers but who did like the site.

One day I applied for an affiliate program with a noted web designer -- someone who's often chosen to serve as a judge for web awards and contests.

"Interesting site," she said.

"Gee," I said, "everybody loves my site except designers and marketers."

"Ignore them," she said. "Your site's just fine. I should know."

This validation (vindication?) is rare, but reminded me that the best support systems encourage us to listen to our own world -- not their words. If you're researching a new career, and you get only negative messages, you need to pay attention.

Considering a move to a new location and find yourself feeling like, "I don't belong here?" Going to a big job interview and feeling that everything you say is coming out all wrong? Well, there's a reason.

There are times to heed well-meaning, unsolicited advice. When Tony Soprano says, "This game isn't for you," pay attention. When the police officer says, "Slow it down," that's a good idea too. But most of the time, listen for subtle messages from whatever crosses your path.

That's your own intuitive code. And don't let any words get in the way of the real message.

Learn to crack your own intuitive code.

For help with your next move, download Making the Big Move.

About The Author

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career. http://www.cathygoodwin.com.

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