3 Principles for Intuition Training

In the realm of decision-making, intuition is a double-edged sword. While it can lead to quick and seemingly effortless choices, relying on intuition without proper training can lead to unwarranted confidence.

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman has emphasized the importance of training your intuition before starting to trust it. Let’s explore the 3 principles for training your intuition.

The Essence of Intuition Training

Kahneman’s insights into intuition training can be broken down into three fundamental principles:

  1. Pattern Recognition: Is there a pattern that can be learned? These patterns are derived from a combination of knowledge, experience, and an acute understanding of the factors at play in a particular context.
  2. Performance Evaluation: How accurate is your pattern recognition? To answer this question, you need to have a process to evaluate your intuition. For example, how often did you intuition lead to an accurate prediction of reality? How many times did you predict incorrectly?
  3. Feedback Loop: Performance evaluations will bring insights. To maximise the value of this training, you need to be able to close the feedback loop so that the insights from the evaluation are used to calibrate future predictions. For example, if there is a template from which you make predictions or decisions, you may make changes to that template to integrate the insights into future efforts.

How to Get Started

If you want to get started with training your intuition, here are four easy steps:

  1. Create a spreadsheet with the following columns:
    • date: the date of the prediction.
    • prediction: what your gut is telling you will happen.
    • result: did your prediction pan out or not?
    • review date: when you will review the prediction and record the result.
  2. Whenever you’re making a prediction about something, record it on your spreadsheet. Leave result blank, you won’t know this yet 😉
  3. Set a reminder on the review date to review the prediction and record the result.
  4. Periodically (e.g. every quarter) review your predictions. See if there are patterns that are emerging that can be fed back into your predictions.

When it comes to “trusting your gut”, it can be easy to believe that you are either born with good intuition or not. However, all it takes is a little extra intention to cultivate warranted confidence in your intuition.

If you would like more detail on how to review predictions, I go into this in more detail in the Check section of my book. It’s a short, but mighty read. Would love to know what you think.