A gut feeling…

April 5th, 2012 by Michael Page

How many times have you made a decision based on your “gut”? Most likely, more times than you may want to admit. When I hear, “this is a ‘gut’ call” or “I just feel good about this” or my favorite “this seems right,” I tend to cringe. How many times has your gut been right vs. when it has been wrong? What is your “gut”?

Your “gut” may be very important in your decision making once you define and understand what your “gut” is. A simple description may be “my gut is my perceptions”. My perceptions are what makes me, me. I make important decisions, good or bad, based on who I am and how I perceive the world.

Ok, is how you perceive the world generally accepted? Will your perception of people help you make a good hiring decision or a top 5 pick? Do you really know what a super performer looks like? Does he or she look like you?

One of the major flaws in choosing successful talent is choosing someone who is perceived to be just like you. However, do you know who you are? Over the years, I have administered assessments to friends, family and co-workers, so we both can understand “who they are”. Having a clear understanding of “who you are” will expose your biases in your choice of relationships. Knowing and accepting, “who you are” will help you understand the choices you make and the actions you take.

When we look at some of the bad choices people have made, we need to take a closer look at “who they are” vs. “who they want us to believe they are”.  Yes, you asked the right experiential questions in the interview; however, does the favorite candidates answers closely match how you would answer? Does everything come down to a decision based on feelings?

I say no. Analyze the success factors of the job. Understand why your best people are the best, based on documented objective performance. Understand how your “gut” or “who you are” will influence your decision. Also, understand the consequences and accept responsibility for your decisions.

Making a bad “gut” call can cost your company an opportunity or cause a major problem. Not understanding “who you are” may cause you to look how the candidate fits you versus how the candidate fits the job. Either way, accept your responsibility and be prepared to accept that a bad hire may cost you your job.

Do yourself a favor, understand your “gut” and leave it buried inside you.

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