Intuitive HR – can HR rely more on gut feel and less on policies?

We all have intuition – that gut feel that tells us whether something feels right or wrong.  I’ve always relied on my intuition when making decisions, I’ve not always been able to justify my reasoning, but when it feels right it feels right and when it feels wrong it feels wrong.

Supporting a client recently, many of the decisions made by them (and me) have relied on gut feel. It felt right so we went for it.  Some decisions have needed to be justified, some facts and figures reviewed, but the majority of the decisions have been made on ‘that feeling’ and so far all have proved to be the right decision.

For a couple of years I ignored my intuition at work.  Many of the managers in the organisation had facts and figures to back up their decisions, I just had gut feel and at times found I was being overridden, often to the detriment of the business, and I stop paying attention to the feelings I was having, instead relying on the same facts and figures that everyone was relying on.

But this lack of my gut feel made me lose my edge, the thing that had allowed me to develop so quickly through the ranks of HR.

Successful leaders rely heavily on intuition and I feel that successful HR teams can do the same.  Yes we have employment law that can tie us up in knots, but as more and more organisations lose the policies that hinder us from making adult decisions, we start to help more adult conversations and as our gut feel serves us in life, so to can it in business.

Where our gut feel tells us that recruiting a person may be right but the scores tell us otherwise, we can meet with the person again to dig that little big deeper until our feeling is aligned to the information, or out gut feel proves wrong.

When the feeling we get in a meeting or during a conversation tells us something doesn’t feel right, we need to be able to bring our feeling to the table and ask others how they are feeling on the subject until our concerns have been fully aired and explored.

We know what’s right and we know what’s wrong – so let’s ditch the policies that stop us being human, and rely on our intuition, our gut feel, the thing that helps us to #BeHuman.


 Not one for thinking outside the box – mainly because she believes there isn’t one, Kelly founded Chrysalis in 2014 after being appointed as the UK’s Youngest HR Director (something she was told she couldn’t achieve with two young sons), after feeling that consultancy needed to more people and less process driven because – well that’s what gives consultants a bad reputation.

Through her consulting, coaching, talks, presentations, workshops and books, she rips up the rule book and helps people create what’s best for them, their teams and their organisations – not what’s best for their competitors.