Want Change? You Need Guts!

Who among us is willing to take a stand for something—anything—that we’d like to see changed or improved within our respective organizations? As marketers, we talk a lot about influencing behavior, though we don’t seem to be able to advocate for ourselves as effectively as we might.

To truly affect change, you need to be able to tap into your head, heart and gut. The challenge is that we’re not practiced enough in paying attention to all three to coordinate them simultaneously in service to one another.

Let’s start with the HEAD—which is the Holy Grail for most people. As a society, we tend to value intellect above emotions or instinct particularly when it comes to business. We lead with the head, with sound logic and rationale and because of that, often pause, get stuck and fall short of taking action. We literally get stuck in our heads—in the argument of what’s better or not from an intellectual perspective versus an integrated perspective.

Next up is HEART—the expression of our passion, caring and emotions. Lots of great information here but be careful not to lead with your heart in lieu of your head. It’s important to access and listen to what’s in your heart while processing what’s in your head. You don’t want heart to eclipse head. Nor do you want head to shut down heart. Ideally, you want to balance your ability to access, interpret and make decisions based on what your intellect and your emotions are telling you.

Now on to the GUT—a less-than-appealing term to most, unless we recognize that our gut is what gives our head and heart legs. Gut instinct, as it’s often called, is somatic. It tells us what we’re willing to go to bat for—what our level of commitment might be one way or another. It’s also the place where we get messages like, ‘Walking down that dark alley is a bad idea…’ or subtler queues like, ‘Something is off with this deal…’ or, perhaps, most common, ‘Someone needs to do something about this…’

Many of us don’t listen to our gut because we’re unsure how to interpret its messages. We know how to analyze and rationalize certain things. And we may truly have a heart for others. But until we are able to tap into the gut, none of the rest of it matters. The gut enables us to put thoughts and feelings into action—to challenge assumptions, surmount difficulties and make things happen.

Want change? You need to have the head to consider it, the heart to believe in it and the guts to make it happen.

by Marta Stiglin December 05, 2016

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