Intuition: Difference Between Greatness and Average



This week I have the pleasure of keynoting two different insurance conferences. First, on Monday I’m in Cincinnati for the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators (NSPII) Conference and then on Friday I’ll be in Toronto for the Canadian LOMA Conference.

At both conferences I’ll be presenting on investigative intuition and how professionals get the most out of this much-needed skill and ability.

Professional Success

There’s no doubt that most of my biggest career successes, in both the fraud and investigation spaces, have come from intuitive based decisions I made while working on a fraud project for a client or case assigned to me.

Oftentimes, I can’t articulate the specific reason why I’m following a certain path, or running down a certain lead, only that’s what my professional intuition (“gut instincts”) are telling me to do. Acting on those hunches has paid big dividends for both me professionally, and my employer.

While it would be easy for naysayers to claim “intuition only works for you” that statement couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Since developing the “Investigative Intuition” presentation I’ve spoken to countless investigators around the world and every one of them has had similar, intuition based, experiences as I’ve had throughout their careers.

In fact, most of the biggest cases successfully solved by people I’ve ever talked to about it were the direct result of an intuitive decision made, or action taken, sometime during the investigation.

Believe in It

The inability to easily explain why certain intuition based actions are taken at certain times in an investigation may not make sense to some but intuition isn’t always easily explained or quantifiable.

In fact, an action you take may even be counterintuitive to others but make perfect sense to you based on your “gut feelings,” sixth sense or “spidey sense” as the webslinger calls it.

But intuition doesn’t have to make sense, that’s why people often refer to it as a “hunch.” While experience tells us that hunches don’t always pan out, clearly the more in tune you are with this process, and the more you pay attention to intuitive signals, the more often you’ll be correct.

Like an automobile engine, intuition is definitely a personal and professional skill that can be fine tuned through practice.

Follow Your Intuition

When you evaluate the evidence available, and act on your professional hunches, often times it pays BIG dividends as other investigators have also found out during their careers.

However, since most of us work for other people, and management approaches vary, one of the keys to channeling an intuitive based investigative and anti-fraud technique successfully is to talk with your management and establish parameters for the process prior to embarking on that journey.

The Bottom Line

When utilizing an intuitive based approach it’s imperative to trust what your gut tells you. Intuition’s worked exceptionally well for me. Intuition’s worked for others. However, one thing’s certain, if you don’t believe that intuition works, it won’t. Of course, you can’t trust your intuition if you neither believe in the approach nor practice the skill. Hone this skill for professional success!

Those are our insights. What are yours?

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