When making an important decision, should you trust your gut, or gather more information before deciding? There are two factors to consider. The first is whether more data could actually help you pick the right option. If your company is considering a new product idea, for example, you can do market research and assess your competitor’s offerings — but that information won’t guarantee that people will buy your product. In a situation like this one, you may consider the data at hand and then rely on your gut. The second factor is the context of the problem you’re facing. If successful mental models and schemas exist for this kind of decision, it’s probably a good idea to use them. On the other hand, if you’re trying to differentiate yourself from competitors who have followed those models, gut instinct may be the way to go. And remember: Intuition draws on the objective and subjective information you already know — so your gut feel is, to some extent, data-driven.

This tip is adapted from “When It’s OK to Trust Your Gut on a Big Decision,” by Laura Huang

Share with cohorts