Trusting is a Leader's Best Asset — Part Two — Tracking Incongruence & Knowing When Something is ‘Off’


The first part of this series focused on how trusting your gut is your best asset as a leader. One of the benefits of listening to and developing a connection with your inner radar is how much more accurate you can sense in real-time if something feels ‘off.’

For example, when I interviewed Daniel Caruana, CEO of Danrae Waterproofing, based in Sydney, Australia, he shared with me how he listens to his intuition when looking at the finances. Whenever he gets that inner sense that something doesn’t add up right, he’s able to trust that instinct and follow it up with digging deeper into the numbers and asking the right questions to find out what’s happening in his business.

With numbers, I’m able to intuitively see if there’s something wrong. What I’ll do is call those around me to give me their feedback, and I’ll either dismiss it or choose that advice. With our weekly financial report, I can see intuitively when there are issues there. I have a feel for trends and how things should be. I’ll pause and take a deeper look if something looks off. Then I’ll call upon our CFO and accountants to discuss this. Recently, we had a resourcing issue and realized billable hours were going down. Liquidity and profitability as well. The numbers were also reflecting another observation: The attitude and motivation of staff were declining. So, it’s a mix of tangible and intangibles that I have to feel through. All of this was a reflection that something had to change. And my relationship with our numbers has helped us navigate our challenges over the years. — Daniel Caruana, CEO Danrae Waterproofing

Daniel is modeling, what I call tracking incongruence. This is when you get used to how things should look or feel in your company culture—to the point where you notice the second something seems out of sorts.

This could be with an employee’s attitude, poor decision-making by your sales manager, your monthly financials, products not getting out on time, or how customer service handled a recent situation.

The best part of tracking incongruence is that it takes no effort. It simply about noticing your own internal cues and signals when something feels a bit wonky.

What does take effort is making the time to notice all of the subtle signals that may be occurring weekly or monthly. Often, we can override our instincts and intuitions when we get busy, doubt, second-guess, or simply don’t want to deal with a situation. Yet there is always a cost when we don’t listen to our inner guidance and signals.

You see, we lead in business when we’re congruent from our innermost core to our outermost actions. And the more we are in alignment, we notice when things around us are not. We become a still antenna in a storm.

Tracking incongruence is not about fault-finding or always looking for what’s wrong. It’s simply noticing when something skips a beat. When the record player scratches. When something happens in the relational space with your team that has you be curious and brings your attention naturally to the moment.

The key is to follow up your cues with curiosity and simply get more data to tell you what your instincts are sensing. The more you practice this, the sharper you will use this tool which will serve your leadership and your department or company.

If you care to, make this your assignment for this week: to simply notice when the record skips a beat in your office, on a call with a vendor or customer, or in any work situation. And when you then put your curiosity on the situation, what is it you need to ask about to better understand what’s happening?

I’m curious to hear what you discover!

For more articles and videos on using your intuition in the workspace, follow us HERE. For information on coaching and training opportunities for building intuitive intelligence on your teams for better decision-making, contact [email protected].