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Intuition: 10 Tips For Greater Awareness

Intuition: 10 Tips For Greater Awareness

The word “intuition” comes from the Latin word “intueri,” which roughly translates as “to look inside.” In simple terms, intuition is that gut feeling that something is either right or wrong. It often comes through as a feeling, an emotion, or a thought. For some, it can even be a voice that repeats itself over and over again inside your head, eventually becoming too loud to ignore.

Intuition is a really interesting form of intelligence that goes way beyond the rational mind. It often resonates from deep within and tends to give us answers and direction that extend far beyond any voice of reason. It is more of a subconscious process of receiving information that will help us to solve problems, make life choices, and guide us to either proceed or back away from certain situations.

Intuition is like an internal compass. If you access it and learn to interpret it correctly, it will open up pathways to an amazing life. It can also give you the answers to any challenges that may arise on a daily basis. The problem many people face is knowing how to interpret and trust what they hear and feel. The rational mind can be working totally against what your intuition is telling you and that is where the challenge lies for so many.

Albert Einstein once said “The intuitive gift is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

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When you listen to your intuition and trust it completely, it will rarely lead you astray. The following 10 tips can help you to develop and trust your intuition.

1. Get to know that gut feeling

Developing your intuition is different for everyone. We all feel and interpret things differently, so it is important to recognize how your intuition communicates with you. This can occur in several ways:

  • A deep feeling right in the pit of your stomach that can either be light or heavy depending on the circumstances you face.
  • A voice that you hear in your mind that repeats the same statement over and over again.
  • A powerful thought that pops into your head, so strong you cannot ignore it.
  • A sensation in your body, perhaps a tingle, that happens when you are focussed on a certain situation.

Pay attention to the signs and signals that you are receiving in your body and your mind. Get familiar with the sensations you are experiencing, especially when you meet someone new or are faced with a challenge. Identify the feelings you have and honour them.

You will start to notice a regular pattern when you learn to listen and feel the sensations you are experiencing. You will soon be able to interpret them as messages that will guide you.

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2. Ask the questions you need answered

If you are faced with a challenge and need direction, put your hand on your heart, ask for guidance in the form of a question, and then listen for the answer. It will usually come in a resounding YES or a NO. If you don’t hear the answer instantly, wait for the answer to unfold.

3. Develop your intuition

We all have intuition. Some of us come into the world with the ability to hear, feel, and see without a shadow of any doubt, and then some people come into the world and their intuition requires awakening and developing. If you need to develop your intuition, set aside time every day to work on techniques that will open and strengthen it. From meditating to focussing on breathing techniques to recording your feelings in a journal, just like any muscle, you must do the work to strengthen it.

4. Don’t doubt it

In order to allow your intuition to guide you, you must develop complete trust and faith in the way it communicates with you. For example, when a thought or feeling comes through to you and it is strong and resounding, trust it instantly. If your inner voice is trying to communicate with you and is making itself heard, you should really pay attention.

5. Work with your dreams

We often get messages in our dreams and it is important to learn to interpret them. We can connect our outer world and our inner world this way, so pay attention to your dreams.

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Create a dream journal. Place it by your bed so you can record your dreams when you wake. When you get into bed at night, get into a meditative state by doing some deep breathing. When you are calm and relaxed, repeat: “I want to observe my dreams.” When you wake up in the morning, stay silent for at least five minutes so you can begin to recall the images and the stories you have witnessed during your sleep state. Record them in your dream journal. This is a perfect way to unlock all sorts of valuable insights into your feelings, your life, and your future.

6. Be silent

Learn to become silent and still. Intuition comes from deep within your heart and soul, so if you have any overwhelming struggles and anxieties, in order to feel and hear your intuition, you need to deal with your own issues first. Stress and anxiety can drown out your inner voice and it can overwhelm you. Clear out anything that doesn’t serve and support you.

7. Read more

Invest your time in reading and learning more about how to develop your intuition. There are so many great books written by incredibly intuitive writers, and their wisdom and practices can open you up to a whole new world of seeing, feeling, and believing.

8. Become aware

One of the biggest challenges can be the decision to act on your intuition. It is important to understand that these windows of opportunity presented to you don’t stay open forever. They can open up in a heartbeat and they can close just as quickly, so you need to listen and act so you don’t miss out.

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9. Meditate

The more you meditate, the more open you will become to receiving guidance from your intuition. Meditation clears and quiets the mind and opens up a beautiful clear channel for you to receive internal guidance.

10. Connect the mind, body, and spirit

It is important for our bodies to be in alignment so we can hear, feel, and trust our intuition. It is vital to invest time and energy into our mental, spiritual, and physical wellness every day. The mind, body, and spirit are all connected, so we must keep them in a state of constant and continuous flow.

Your intuition is a powerful gift. Develop it and trust in it completely. You are equipped with all the answers and the knowledge that you will ever need to ensure you experience a happy and positive life. Always look inside to find the truth.

Featured photo credit: Akshay Moon via flickr.com

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More by this author

Jo Ettles

Jo Ettles is a published self help author, international writer, speaker and extremely gifted intuitive life coach.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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