Rick Snyder: Decisive Intuition, Using Your Gut Instincts to Make Smart Business Decisions

The newest episode of our university podcast, ‘Mindful U at Naropa University,’ is out on iTunesStitcher, Fireside, and Spotify now! We are excited to announce this week’s episode features Naropa alumnus Rick Synder, graduate of Naropa’s Transpersonal Counseling Program and founder and CEO of the international consulting firm, Invisible Edge™.

Rick Snyder: Decisive Intuition, Using your Gut Instincts to Make Smart Business Decisions

“Emotional intelligence has completely revolutionized our lives and our business space. And because that’s there, there’s now this foundation around intuitive intelligence. So, this is the next nuance that I’m really passionate to bring in, is that emotional intelligence is foundational and key. But it’s not the whole story of how we discern information and how we navigate the world, even though emotions are supercritical and a big part of that.

Intuitive intelligence also weaves in a greater, wider array of data information that we have to be able to learn to discern. So, it’s even a little more refined in some ways. So that’s what I’m really excited about is bringing this next wave to the business base and then also beyond that too. So that people give themselves more permission to trust themselves on a fundamental level. And bring their empowerment and their gifts forward without apology.”

Full transcript below

Rick Snyder is the founder and CEO of Invisible Edge™, an international consulting firm that builds high-performance environments in major, mid-size, and emerging businesses. He leads the Invisible Edge coaches in training companies and teams to build intuitive skills and translate them into business plans and company cultures that result in more effective communication, engagement, profitability, and innovative success. His breakthrough strategies based on his upcoming book, Decisive Intuition, have been implemented by executives and businesses in Europe, Canada, Asia, Africa, and America. Rick graduated from the TCP program in ’03 and has previously worked in the health-care, tourism and travel, and training spaces. He has launched four businesses and lives and travels extensively between San Francisco and London for work and leisure, and to help people access their intuitive skills for decision-making on a global scale. For more information on live presentations, trainings, and virtual learning programs for youn and your teams, please consult www.Invisible-EdgeLLC.com.

Rick Snyder and podcast host David DeVine
Full transcript
Rick Snyder
Decisive Intuition

[MUSIC]

Hello. And welcome to Mindful U at Naropa. A podcast presented by Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

I’m your host, David Devine. And itÕs a pleasure to welcome you. Joining the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions – Naropa is the birth place of the modern mindfulness movement.

[MUSIC]

DAVID:
Hello. Today I’d like to welcome a very special guest to the podcast — Rick Snyder. Rick is an alum of the Naropa University graduating from the Transpersonal Counseling program in 2003. Rick is also an international business consultant and he is currently on tour with his new book a decisive intuition — so welcome to the podcast.

RICK:
Thanks for having me. Great to be here.

DAVID:
Yeah. How are you doing today?

RICK:
Great. It’s great to be back in Boulder and sunny and beautiful. So — very nice to be back here.

DAVID:
Yeah — it’s taken a while for it to get sunny, you know. So, you’re currently on tour? Is this your first stop or where are you at in your tour?

RICK:
So, I started in London probably about three weeks ago and then went down to New York and was there for a couple weeks and now I’m in Colorado and then I go back to London and then to the west coast. So, it’s kind of a whirlwind of sorts, but it’s been amazing to — one thing I love about this book tour is getting a taste of all the different cultures — and the micro-cultures. And so, that’s fascinating to see how people receive this workaround intuition and how that’s being received in the business space and how a lot of it is actually universal principles. Or it doesn’t matter as much your socioeconomic status, your gender, your color, your ethnicity your religion — that there’s a universal principle about connecting with our inner guidance and our self-authority and how to start to listen to that in a way that’s under — subterranean from all the rest.

DAVID:
I like that. There’s an essence of everyone has the same makeup when it comes to the thing that you are speaking of whether it be color, race, gender, social status — we all have the same thing within.

RICK:
Yes. And so, we can talk about this too today where we all have our conditioning that takes us out of our natural essence in some way or colors or shapes our essence. But if we can tap into that essence that’s how we actually make better decisions. That’s really the heart of my book you could say.

DAVID:
Awesome, I’m all about making better decisions. Like what are we trying to do here? You know make bad one, nah. Ok so tell me a bit about your journey to Naropa? How did you find Naropa University? What inspired you to want to be in the Transpersonal Counseling program.

RICK:
It’s actually really related to my work here. So, this was back in 1998. I was looking at grad programs and I literally had an intuition from my heart center right here — that oh Naropa — someone told — tipped me about Naropa back in the day. I saw their website and literally, it was one of those things where I had the body chills — everything hit me on a deep level — oh you’re supposed to go to school here. I just knew it in my bones.

DAVID:
I love hearing that, yes.

RICK:
Now what I didn’t know is it would be a year after I thought — where I ended up going to Nepal through a Naropa program back in the day. So, I did a semester in Nepal and I also felt in a way guided to go out there and experience life. And it was incredible. And I had an amazing time. And then I came back, and I didn’t have any money. Spent all my money in Asia and I was broke. Wanted to go right to grad school at Naropa, but I couldn’t afford that at the time. So, I spent a year working and getting ready, but I still stay connected. I stayed connected to my vision and I just knew that Naropa was that spot. It just took me a little longer to get there and I had to reapply actually, and I did, and I got into transpersonal psychology and it was completely the right program.

DAVID:
Nice.

RICK:
Yeah.

DAVID:
Why was it the right program for you?

RICK:
For me, I had done a lot of learning academically, intellectually and I knew there is a whole other level of experience — in experiential learning that I needed that was important — especially wanting to be a therapist. Wanting to sit with other human beings.

DAVID:
Yes.

RICK:
That you could learn all you want in a book, but it’s different when you’re sitting across from someone for that first time or their hundredth time or the thousandth time. And so, I loved how Naropa really honed in on that experiential piece. And I got to see that when I did my internship all the other students that went to other schools they were not as prepared as what I had noticed for myself and my colleagues who went in Naropa where we actually had to in class like ok let’s get a therapist and a client — who’s ready? Who’s gonna go next? And so, we got to practice that, right. And learn that way which is always the best learning.

DAVID:
Yeah. I mean you can learn how to hold space through a book, but actually holding space and in regulating your emotions — seeing what comes up in the moment for the someone who’s speaking about what’s coming up for them is quite a different experience than just talking about it.

RICK:
Yeah, someone made this distinction recently that really stuck for me something about you know you can learn a lot reading a book and it’s amazing and get great insights, but transformation actually happens in relationship.

DAVID:
Yes, awesome.

RICK:
That’s where real transformation happens. That’s why coaching is so much more powerful than just reading a book about new insights and behaviors and even from an expert coach — it’s different when you’re in the call or in the room with that person and having that experience.

DAVID:
What do you think that is? So, when you’re reading a book, you’re having an internal dialogue sourced from yourself. Is it the fact that you have someone else saying something that your mind is saying as well? Like what’s the reinforcement?

RICK:
Yeah, I think that happens where sometimes your experience can be felt and gotten by another. And that’s very powerful. So, it validates your experience. And that’s a huge healing piece of relationship. I also think there’s just something about the somatic piece. So, when two bodies are present with each other there’s so much more information that’s being received and transmitted and connected and shared versus just an own loop with myself. And I think that’s powerful. Also, when you’re on the meditation cushion when you’re doing your thing there is a place for that. And there’s a place for human relationship that’s really important for each of our growth — because we all have those blind spots that we can’t see about ourselves. And so, when we’re in relationship — you know and sometimes a cushion is not going to reflect that to us. Sometimes — there’s — there are points where our — witness and our mind are not going to be able to reflect certain relational pieces that are very important — that’s why I’m really strong on having a meditative practice or a mindfulness practice is huge and critical. And having relational practices, also, with other human beings. And so sometimes I see people only picking one side or the other and they seem to be missing an important element in their own development.

DAVID:
Yeah. And meditation is a practice to show up in relation to things. So, if you’re just meditating and not using what you learn or insightfully discover then there’s a disconnect happening — it is within relationship that you develop and concrete the idea of what meditation gives you.

RICK:
Exactly. In fact, I used to use meditation to disconnect. And I never knew I was doing that.

DAVID:
Whoops.

RICK:
Yeah. Big whoops. But it was amazing because there was a way — and I see this a lot in different mindfulness communities still where you can use meditation to bypass your humanity and to bypass your uncomfortable emotions and your avoidance and you want to transcend to an enlightened state and not actually be in your humanity and embodying and waking down. And wanting to get the escape hatch up. So, I was doing that the first several years not even knowing that I was doing that and going on these meditation retreats and having some blissful moments. But always coming back to where I hadn’t finished that piece of work that was calling my attention.

DAVID:
What a beautiful journey. So, after like being steeped in Naropa — contemplative education, psychology program department — what then after that?

RICK:
So, I got deep into therapy and doing therapy in wilderness settings, classrooms, private practice, probation departments — really interesting settings —

DAVID:
Doing the good work.

RICK:
Teenagers, families, couples, individuals. It was amazing. A lot of learning. Cutting my teeth in some pretty tough environments. Ankle monitors and the whole deal — pretty intense. I did that for a while and then I eventually got into life coaching. And it was an amazing seamless bridge actually between the world of therapy and coaching, which is a whole conversation in itself, but it was an amazing opportunity where it just opened up a lot more possibility of who I could work with and different kinds of contexts of people. And it taught me a lot about being a coach and some of the differences between being a coach and being a therapist — was huge. So that was a big chunk of my life for a while and I moved back to San Francisco and was leading a training program coaching coaches how to coach which was awesome.

DAVID:
Yeah super powerful because you came from a world of contemplative psychology and then started working with people to coach. A lot of coaches don’t have a psychology degree. They’re kind of interested and like oh I’ve — you know I’ve looked into that, but you sort of have a solid root in that and having that probably informed your coaching a lot.

RICK:
One hundred percent.

DAVID:
Yeah.

RICK:
It was a huge advantage and a huge base to — or resource to pull from. Where you’re right a lot of coaches don’t have the same kind of training or requirements or certification or licensure. They don’t have that. And also, anyone can call them self a coach. That’s a reality. At least still today. That could change, but therefore you get the Wild West out there. And you never know the real experience, the real talent — you know the real resources of that coach necessarily.

DAVID:
Yeah and I’m sure you come up with — to a lot of situations where you’re coaching someone and you see that there’s a psychology sort of — more needed application in the sense because they’re like discovering all these issues — these blockages, these emotional not available things happening and you’re just like oh, I’m glad I have that training.

RICK:
Yeah and I think that’s also what’s important for coaches out there that know your depth. Like, know where you’re at in the swimming pool. You have an agreement with someone in a coaching relationship in a coaching context when you start to get to other waters — maybe towards trauma or other family of origin pieces that are not necessarily what your agreement might be with them in that context to be able to refer and to know when is that place and how do I get other people on the team to help this individual or these people in front of me?

DAVID:
Yes, yes, yes. Ok, thank you for sharing. So, you’re on a book tour.

RICK:
Yeah.

DAVID:
Can you just tell us what your book is? What it’s titled and I wanna dive deeper into that. So, let’s just start with like the tour and what’s going on with you at this moment?

RICK:
You got it and I’ll — I’ll just share one other connecting piece here — that afterlife coaching was business coaching. So that’s what leads to the book here is I got into the business world and business coaching. And part of it was my frustration even being at Naropa that while you get a great degree no one tells you how to run the business of what you’re doing. Like the business of psychology, actually how do you make it a business if you’re going to go into private practice and this is true in almost every grad program out there in every school — if you’re gonna be a doctor they don’t really show you the business of starting a practice of being a doctor.

DAVID:
Interesting perspective.

RICK:
The missing link in a lot of universities. And so, I was frustrated because I went out there with my private practice but didn’t really know what I was doing at all.

DAVID:
You know how to help people, but you don’t know how to get people in the door.

RICK:
Yep, like how do you actually stand as a business and how do you market? How do you sale? How do you talk about your services in a compelling way etc. or even finances? Right? So, there are so many pieces — people are not experienced and ready to get out the door with. So anyway, I got into business coaching — was a certified business coach and learned a lot and I’ve also run now — I’ve started four of my own businesses. So, I’ve learned the hard way of what does it mean to be an entrepreneur and all the mistakes along the way and the expensive mistakes and what have you, but that’s what led to this work is that I’ve been working with business leaders and teams around the world. Different cultures, different industries for many years now. And I’ve always gotten to bring in that psychological piece and looking at how much business is all about relationships — the core business. And so, the more that you understand the psychology of business — the psychology of leadership, of managing other people and getting the most out of them. How to actually do sales in a way that’s authentic and moving towards helping someone get more value. Or even the psychology of your customer — or your marketing. And it’s every part of business has psychology in it. I could not — not see it. And so, it gave me another advantage I never knew about when I went to Naropa — I never thought that I’d be using these skills in this context ever. So that was what led to this book in one way was I’d been using a lot of my background in helping business owners, leaders, teams, etc. — but there was another element I was tuning into that really started to excite me. And that’s where this theme around intuition came from.

DAVID:
I like this topic by the way.

RICK:
Yeah.

DAVID:
Yeah. Intuition is amazing! But the fact that you’re tapping into it — I love it. Please continue.

[LAUGHING]

RICK:
So, one of the things I was noticing is the leaders that really separated themselves from the pack and that really were tapping into that innovative creative space — they were listening to a different drumbeat than the rest.

DAVID:
I like drum beats.

RICK:
And they were willing to — yeah — they’re willing to tune into and actually trust what they were sensing, what they were feeling. And it gave them a way to be more adaptive in the moment and more agile and not being tied and locked into tradition or what everybody else is doing. Or just what’s on the spreadsheet to make your decisions from. Right? Just the analytics of oh well here’s what we’ve always done before. Here’s what everyone else is doing.

DAVID:
Seems to be working — just keep it going

RICK:
Yeah. And so, the leaders that I’ve really started to tune into — and then of course looking at my own past experience and the amazing work I’ve been doing with people and helping them trust their instincts, trust their intuition — especially in key moments. And of course, this doesn’t just apply to business — of course it applies to life. And so that’s what really got this curiosity going and so that’s what I studied and that’s what I — that’s what launched this book was also reflecting on the times where I listened to my own intuition and where it paid off and times when I didn’t and there were consequences and almost everyone I’ve spoken to has an experience like that where they knew they should go left and they decided to go right.

DAVID:
Yeah.

RICK:
Right?

DAVID:
We don’t want to live in a world of I wish I did’s. We want to live in a world of I’m glad I did’s.

RICK:
Yeah, exactly. Yes.

DAVID:
Do you find it weird that intuitive and intuition almost are spelled the same?

RICK:
Not at all.

DAVID:
I was just thinking about that. I was like wow they’re like super close.

RICK:
Yeah. Yeah, it’s been a joy to get to go deeper with and even get into what is the neurobiology of intuition? How does this actually work? And I talk about different types of intuition — the three dimensions of intuition that we can all tap into. So, there is just a lot of new pieces I feel like I’m bringing that I haven’t seen out there a lot and I feel like my goal is to make this really approachable, really easy to access and understand in a very grounded way — in a very pragmatic way. That people can really use for their lives in their businesses.

DAVID:
OK. Beautiful. So, your book is called —

RICK:
Decisive Intuition.

DAVID:
So, can you break that down for me? What does decisiveness mean to you? And what does intuition mean to you.

RICK:
Yeah, great.

DAVID:
Because I love — I love the dissecting of words and actually discovering the meanings.

RICK:
Yeah that’s great. I’m going to first put them together and why I say that is there’s a healthy tension between those words. Decisive intuition.

DAVID:
Yes.

RICK:
So, this is really what spoke to me on the deepest level is these two polarities. Where there’s —

DAVID:
I love it.

RICK:
Right? And of everyone out there think about this. There might be a way that you tend to be very decisive. You make decisions easily or fast — maybe sometimes impulsively. And you’re very quick — you know you got your holster right there and you make your decision yes or no. And you don’t allow a lot of time to really reflect. And so, there’s that side of the polarity where people are just really quick on the draw. And sometimes that’s great. And sometimes that can get really messy. And there can be a lot of mistakes made that way — especially with impulsivity. And then the other side intuitive — being intuitive — having a lot of intuition is receptive — it’s more open. It’s pausing. It’s reflecting. It’s taking time. It’s more spacious.

So, what I’ve seen is people can also error too much on that side of the spectrum too where they’re waiting for the sign before they make a decision. They’re — they’re waiting till they’re — oh I haven’t seen the sign yet. Well, I don’t know. I’m not sure. And they’re just pausing and waiting and meanwhile life is happening. And sometimes life will open up a doorway that’s limited and you have a certain time to walk through that door. You don’t always get that chance again. And so, sometimes I’ve seen those people assume that that opportunity will always be there. But if you don’t — sometimes if you don’t step into the opportunity you’re actually saying no to life. And so, you can also go too far that way being so cautious and procrastinate.

DAVID:
Wow.

RICK:
And so that’s what I really am trying to capture here is how do you bring the best of both worlds and integrate being decisive and intuitive — and being intuitive and decisive and it can actually — you can — there can be a middle ground between those two.

DAVID:
Yeah skillful decision making compared to skillful insightful feelings within the body. I’m hearing this masculine and feminine sort of properties to these words and how you’re going about it and I really like that and how they worked together — taking the best of each one understanding how they function and then kind of sticking them together and being like all right where are the goodies at?

RICK:
And then it challenges each of us personally around do I need to be a little more decisive and sharpen my blade that way and take risks sometimes — when I don’t know everything, I still have to make a choice. And if you’re in a leadership position — you have to make decisions. It’s — it’s part of the job. You can’t avoid that. On the other side. you know maybe you need to learn to be more receptive and more open on that side. So, it really kind of challenges each of us on that spectrum and see ok, what’s the piece it’s going to round me out more as a leader, as a professional, as a person.

DAVID:
Yes. So what I’m hearing too is the first thing that you want to do is understand which category you fall into first because then from there you can diagnose yourself into a setting that you’re like ok, I’m — for instance in my case, I’m super decisive — you know I’ll — I’ll ride something out till the end and then I’m just like all right I’m done. And just completely turn my back and move on in my decision — my holster is real quick. I’m a quick draw. Right? But I’m learning how to step into my intuition a bit more like when I have a feeling a year ago maybe I should have listened to that then and honored that or even just looked into it. So that’s a really awesome thing to know is to figure out who you are because we’re super unique in how we function and how we deal with interpersonal situations, external situations, job-related, family related, community-related — how do we show up? And then once we learn how we show up — we are able to make a decision that will benefit us. And I love that because you have this psychology approach — that root bases is so awesome and then you’re bringing it to business — so unique.

RICK:
This is when — this has not been done out there quite like this where imagine this — bringing intuition to the corporate space.

DAVID:
What — what do you mean?

RICK:
Dissonance — no, but it’s amazing right —

DAVID:
How do you quantize that?

RICK:
Right? And so, it’s so amazing where it’s almost like trying to literally blaze a trail that hasn’t really been blazed and sometimes it’s — it’s hostile territory sometimes — or sometimes it’s preaching to the choir where they’re already open to that. So, it’s amazing — depending on the company culture that’s going to shift the conversation and make it either easier to bring forward sometimes — it takes a lot of groundwork to get them to really understand what I’m saying. It’s a great challenge and I think that’s why I chose this also. I like challenges.

DAVID:
So, you actually work with businesses as well?

RICK:
Oh yeah.

DAVID:
You’re a business consultant? So, what have you noticed with businesses like — because I’m sure the entity of the business is either a little bit more decisive or a little bit more based in intuition? When you walk into a setting where they’re a little bit over here and then over there — what is your plan of approach to a business model?

RICK:
Yeah, I think the first step would be getting an assessment of where they’re at.

DAVID:
Ok.

RICK:
It’s like doing a temperature check.

DAVID:
Yeah.

RICK:
It’s like oh ok room temperature. They need a little more heat or oh, these guys need to cool down from their decisiveness. So sometimes it’s — what I love doing is getting to know the main — you know the executive team and sometimes doing interviews with everybody to really get a sense of what’s going on here. It’s important to not just get one person’s perspective but try to get a team perspective. So, it’s more 360.

DAVID:
Oh yeah.

RICK:
And that’s where I get to use my intuition. And I have my whole team of consultants we get to use our intuition around what are the dots that we’re connecting here? What are they saying? What are they not saying? What’s the conversation they’re not having in their company? Which sometimes I’ll even say that out loud in a strategy session or a team meeting —

DAVID:
So Naropa of you.

RICK:
Right?

DAVID:
It’s crucial.

RICK:
It’s amazing because they’re already tuning into that even if no one’s saying it. So, that’s one of the basics we talk about in our work is how do we mind the invisible?

DAVID:
I like that.

RICK:
How do we bring that forward and name that even if we’re — you know a little bit off — at least we’re bringing that forward and then we can of course correct and get exactly what’s going on. Like what is that elephant in the room? Is it an elephant? Maybe it’s a giraffe?

DAVID:
Oh my God — it can be a blue giraffe too, you know. You never know. I love that approach because a lot of companies may have a lot of people thinking the same thing, but not actually vocalizing it and it might be beneficial for them to bring it out in the open and have a dialogue, have a mutual conversation, a non-charged moment of saying what’s up? Saying what’s real? Because that’s where the growth in the healing is — is when you’re able to show up fully and be raw and just not come with your ego, but just come with your realness and be like hey, like I don’t know if I’m feeling that and here’s why and someone might be like I kind of agree with that. And you know maybe there’s an alternative, but you have to collectively decide together on how that functions.

RICK:
Yeah. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do in a way is empowering people to trust themselves. Trust what they feel has validity. And then how do you actually take action from that place? Because either I’m taking action from that deepest guidance inside of me and the deepest voice in intuition that I have and I learned to build a reputation with myself over time of how do I know what is my intuition and what’s not my intuition, which is a whole other conversation.

DAVID:
Discernment.

RICK:
Discernment. So how do I get more in touch with that so that I can come from a deeper reference point?

DAVID:
Yes.

RICK:
In my conversations. And that’s what we’re training business people to do — leaders, managers, teams sales people — all kinds of different people to learn how to read out the relational space and what’s happening in the relational space. And then you can use that to then build deeper connection — get at someone’s underlying need that they may not be aware of or presenting and build deeper rapport.

DAVID:
Yeah, I have this thought where we all have the makeup to make good decisions. We are all built with the thing to do it right.

RICK:
Yes.

DAVID:
It’s just a decision — we have to decide.

RICK:
Yes. And, the other part of it is there’s things that get in our way.

DAVID:
All the time.

RICK:
Right?

DAVID:
Oh yeah.

RICK:
And so, one of my chapters actually is like the five obstacles that get in the way of our intuition. And so, one of them I think you maybe even already named. I don’t know if you said this, but ego. Right? And so that’s pretty — probably everyone listening to this is going to understand that pretty easily. But out there in the world — outside of Naropa that’s sometimes like what do you mean? What I mean in a more simplified way that’s accessible is simply anywhere where I have a personal agenda or I need to be right or it’s my way or the highway — anything like that where it’s more about my self-image and my need to be right versus listening to what actually wants to happen.

DAVID:
Yes. And so, this is my definition of intuition to get back to your original question — how I define it, which is a little different than what’s out there — is intuition is an embodied knowing — so it’s not just coming from your head. It’s an embodied knowing that comes from listening to what wants to happen next. It’s an ongoing relationship you’re having — a conversation with yourself on the deepest level and your environment. And listening for what does want to happen next? If you’re in a relationship right now and you’re having a tough time and you’re — you get a sense I want to bail. I want to leave. It’s getting uncomfortable. Is that — you know is that your intuition or is that just you’re being triggered. And so how do you start to really slow down in suss that out? Or if you’re in a career and it feels like it’s dead and you feel dead. And if you — feels like it’s time for a choice, but it’s scary to jump ship — you don’t know what’s next — is that your intuition? Is that fear is that something you’re avoiding? So, these are the really rich questions that all of us have to confront.

DAVID:
Yeah. And I’m realizing a lot — I feel like a lot of people live in ego that they’re not able to separate the decision-making ego process compared to the intuition decision making process. There is no difference. They feel like it’s all connected. But I love how you’re speaking of relationship because no one’s born without an ego. Find me someone. It is a mechanism in which we need to learn how to use and not operate solely from because there is a lot of other mechanisms within that we can tap into to learn how to use as well. And the relationship of those is what we’re learning to grow and I — I love how you state that because it’s so true. So, what do you think are the main hang-ups when you’re speaking to individuals? And then what do you think are the main hang-ups when you speak to businesses? Is there a connection between those two? Or are they like completely different?

RICK:
I don’t think it’s very different. I don’t think the challenges in helping an individual work through their challenges and whatever they’re trying to overcome as well as in a business — I don’t think it’s actually that different so much. There is sometimes more complexity in a business when it comes to systems, processes, relationships that can get more complex. But the root is often — I could say working with people around their mindset, working with them around their confidence, working with them around their belief in their ability to lead. That’s a big one.

DAVID:
I like that.

RICK:
Or where their self-saboteur. Where they sabotage themselves and get in their own way — that are usually off their radar. That’s true with all of us. Like how do we get in our own way — whether you are a top-level executive of a Fortune 500 company or you’re just — you know working in a cafe down the street it doesn’t matter — we all have a version of that — our own inner critic that we have to learn to work with. And so, I have a whole chapter in here about how do you separate the voice of your intuition from the voice of your inner critic. Which is a huge piece because I think that’s really one of the things that stops most of us — whatever organization we’re in.

DAVID:
Yes. I have the saying — where it’s a question where the questions come from.

RICK:
Yeah.

DAVID:
So, when you have an opposing question or something within your mind saying something that you may not internally agree with — where’s that coming from. Why is your brain developing opposing conversation? You know? There is a place in which that you may not trust yourself. So, developing trust within and maybe that’s a valid question and I don’t feel like it — it’s coming from an authentic place, but like where’s that actually coming from? Is that like ego based question? Is that wounded traumatic experience question-based? Is it unsure of what’s next? You know so question where the questions come from.

RICK:
Love it.

DAVID:
And I kind of feel like you’re speaking to that. And that’s like one of my values I like to hold. What type of crowd could get with your book like, who is this for? Is this like an everyday person? Is this space for a business setting, CEO person — who do you see really diving deep in this book?

RICK:
So even though the subtitle is really you know use your gut instincts to make smart business decisions. And so, even though it’s in the business context — in a lot of my examples are real people who use our intuition in businesses that I’ve interviewed — including some people that have gone to Naropa — so some alumni. You know who you are.

DAVID:
Shout out.

RICK:
And so that’s one of my favorite parts where this really comes alive in a personal way — in an engaging way, in a storytelling way. So, it’s not just an academic philosophy on intuition, but it’s like real life, real situations, real decisions when people have listened to their intuition and when they haven’t — and what’s happened. And even though it’s about the business context it really is about life. It’s about that bigger spectrum. So, it’s really for anyone even though it is more aimed at a business conversation. It’s true for our life. It’s you know — it’s really about how do I get more empowered to connect with my deeper guidance, my inner guidance system. And so, the whole core of the book is really the six steps that get you connected to your inner guidance system. And I happen to use that in a business context, but it really is applicable to everything.

DAVID:
Yeah. So nowadays it seems very important to not only master your craft in business, but also to master your craft of like your mind and heart and what is the ability to self-regulation and be centered? Why do we think that’s important nowadays? Like there’s this movement of business meets mindfulness. What kind of relationship do you see in the future with those two?

RICK:
I think it’s going to be even more and more critical as the years go by. And so, I think anyone out there tapped into mindfulness, practicing that — you have a leg up against people who don’t.

DAVID:
True.

RICK:
And that’s what’s been exciting last 10 years specifically — we’ve really seen that enter the business space — and all spaces and just the value of taking some time out and checking in and breathing and slowing down. Part of it is, with the overwhelm of media and big data and A.I. and the things that are coming and the things that are here — oh my, that’s a whole other conversation.

DAVID:
Oh boy.

RICK:
But the more flood of information that were subjected to every hour or every minute on our phone and beyond — we are more disconnected from our inner signals and cues. And so, a big part of my — what I’m standing for is taking time out to turn off the phone even for a few minutes if it comes to that for the day — if not longer to be able to really come back to center and check-in. And it’s so important to include your inner data and signals and cues and everything that’s happening inside to better inform your decisions and inform your actions and what you want to do in the world, which is really what I’m talking about in the book — is it’s not just about the outer or only the inner — how do you integrate both. How do I use my inner instrument to better inform my outer actions?

DAVID:
Yeah, I love that. So, I have this new little game where I get a weekly update of how much screen time I had. And I wonder — I just thought of this like I wonder how many people are racking up tons of screen time — intentional screen time compared to just whatever screen time just oh I don’t know what I’m doing — I’m waiting for my person to come back from the bathroom. Oh, I’m in a movie and the credits are rolling let me just get some screen time — like how much intentional screen time compared to non-intentional screen time are we doing. So, like having the inner discernment to realize like is this actually benefitting me or am I just staring at my screen till like kind of feel space?

RICK:
One hundred percent.

DAVID:
Or can you feel space just sitting there and just noticing your breath and noticing like how good it feels just to be here in the moment?

RICK:
One of the things I’ve been tapping into is the more that A.I. becomes a part of our everyday lives — it’s going to be more important to actually differentiate what actually makes us most human. That’s happening now already. It’s begging that question because it’s going to make so much of what we do obsolete and force you know what actually makes us most human. Why are we — who are we really? What are we here to do? What is our potential and capacity? And so, it’s forcing that question pretty fast. So, my sense is now is the time to double down on our human intuition and our creativity and our innovation.

DAVID:
Awesome. So how does a business owner use mindfulness and intuition to make skillful decisions — like why is it beneficial to a business setting?

RICK:
Yeah. So, let’s say that there’s a lot of stress and pressure in the system and people are really reactive —

DAVID:
Never heard of that. Weird.

RICK:
No not in the business?

DAVID:
No, I’m just kidding. Totally. Business is stressful.

RICK:
Oh yes.

DAVID:
It’s inherent.

RICK:
Deadlines and accountabilities and dates getting moved up — everything that could happen, mistakes, delays — all that stuff. And so, shareholder — you know whatever the pressures might be from.

DAVID:
So many already.

RICK:
There’s tons every day. And so, that’s one of the biggest things right there is people are looking for stress reduction. They’re looking for having more spaciousness and mindfulness to make better decisions or even to calm their blood pressure down. So, they’re not as reactive in making decisions from a less informed place. Right? And so, it’s so critical that leaders learn some way of self-regulating to get back to — your point about that. I even work with some companies where the leaders will go outside for a walk — for you know a couple blocks around just getting away from the computer, getting away from their phone even and just having some chill time to come back to themselves. Or if they’re having a difficult conversation with a staff member, I’ve encouraged them like go take them for a walk and get out of the office and have that conversation on a walk. It’s been amazing to see what happens with movement in space and they are able to relate to each other in a slightly different context. And that’s been amazing.

DAVID:
I like that. Ok, so what is it about going outside that does that other than movement? Is it the environment in which you’re set in — actually getting out of the environment that causes the stress? Do you think that is —

RICK:
I think that’s a part of it. But it’s also about a state change. And sometimes state changes are really useful. So, one thing Steve Jobs was famous for when his conscious mind would overheat, and he would hit the ceiling of his problem —

DAVID:
Too many tabs open?

RICK:
He couldn’t figure out you know how to get to that next invention whatever he was doing. He would literally get out of the office — walk around Cupertino, California barefoot, slow — you know mindfulness walking, walking meditation. He would literally do that. I mean he had a Zen background. So, he knew to get out of there and literally barefoot he would slowly walk around the block and he would literally get new innovative thoughts and think — intuition would find him, things would come to him because he got out of his normal thinking. So, this is the essence of what we do in our work here. My — my company is called Invisible Edge. Helping people find that invisible edge. And so, what we’re doing is we’re helping people disrupt their normal way of thinking so they can crack open to that innovative space and mindset.

DAVID:
Oh, I love that. It’s all those ideas and thoughts and new ways of thinking exist in every moment. It’s just so to the blockages in which we put up ourselves. So, if we are able to dismantle the blockages — you get to see the stuff that’s already been there. So, it’s hanging out waiting for you. It’s like where have you been.

RICK:
In fact, one of my chapters is called, “we don’t find our intuition or intuition finds us.”

DAVID:
Oh yeah.

RICK:
And unless we’re cultivating a sense of being present, slowing down, getting here — there’s no way it can find us because if we’re too busy in our day checking our phone running around it can’t catch up to us. It can’t land — that deeper messaging can’t land. That’s why mindfulness is so important and such a piece of this. It’s not the whole thing, but it’s a piece of this is getting yourself spacious and prepared so you can listen to your intuition.

DAVID:
Yes, yes.

RICK:
You can hear that clarity come or that whisper or however it comes to you. You can actually detect it, decode it once you’ve slowed down enough and check in.

DAVID:
I love that. Making good decisions will never harm you.

RICK:
That’s right.

DAVID:
Seriously, like I do this sometimes where I’m just kind of messing around. I’m just like I have something I need to do, but I just kind of don’t want to do it and I’m just procrastinating like hardcore, but then I have this moment where I’m like well if I make the decision to do it that’s a good decision and good decisions are healthy. So, if you’re always making good decisions — you’re always going to be inviting intuition and inviting the goodness of nature and inviting the thoughts and things that creep in.

RICK:
Yeah, what is a good decision? You know one way to maybe codify that a little bit — and from my perspective — is a good decision is — or a great decision is in alignment with my highest values.

DAVID:
Yes.

RICK:
My deepest purpose. And if I can continue to make decisions in alignment with that — chances are my life is going to unfold in a very fulfilling way.

DAVID:
Yes. And to tap in on that is to define what your highest joy is because if you don’t know what it is then how can you make a decision upon that. It seems as though there’s a lot of internal investigation happening because you can just step in and like I’m going to try and make a good decision. But like what is a good decision. What is your highest joy? And it doesn’t need to be difficult, but these are super important things to ask because the psyche just wants to wander.

RICK:
Totally. Yeah, you’ve got it. I mean we’re internal detectives and we’ve got to solve the case here. A hundred percent.

DAVID:
Yeah. I like that. What is the case for solving? All right. So, when it comes to this practice of decisive intuition — what are some solid fundamentals that we can implement into our lives to help us whether it be in our life and or our business.

RICK:
Good question. So, I think one of the first steps is slowing down. Right? And so, I think once again in this constant busy world that we’re in where we all have this fear of missing out and this constant checking our shoulder of the next thing to fill the space with — that alone even if you just practice that — literally for five minutes to turn — turn off your phone for five minutes. I challenge you — everyone listening to this five minutes where you actually — not airplane mode — off. Can imagine that for five minutes.? Well, Rick how am I going to know it’s five minutes it’s off? Figure out another way.

DAVID:
Intuition will let you know.

RICK:
Maybe it is seven minutes that happens right of goodness. But the point is set aside some time where you’re truly allowing yourself to connect with you — to check in with yourself on a deep level and ask yourself a question. This is where it gets interesting. You might have a question about your relationship, you might have a question about your career, you might be in a really tough moment in your life and you don’t know if you want to you know move forward toward something or move away. And so, this is not just cool philosophy we’re talking about today. This is really practical life skill is to be able to use your inner resource as a compass — as your navigator. Don’t forget your navigator. Life is better when you have your navigator. And so, when you tap into that and make time for it — then that’s going to help inform that deeper internal guidance system that you can use in whatever really big choice might be up for you.

And so that’s really the takeaway here is that this is a practical tool we all have that came from the original manufacturer that we all have access to. And so, it’s a matter of dusting it off sometimes. Maybe we were never encouraged how to use our intuition growing up, maybe our culture never supported that or maybe we were conditioned out of it as being silly or erratic or nonsensical. And so, how do we you know get all that conditioning out of the way and really come back to minding you know the invisible and tuning back in and building that relationship again so that we can use that in these critical moments.

DAVID:
Oh — thank you for saying that. I really resonate with that a lot because within that question in some sense I was looking for an answer and what the answer was — was no answer. It was just reflection and I think that — it’s like a human condition to want to answer, to want to have the right answer. We’re conditioned to try to have the right answer, but maybe the right answer emotionally, physically, spiritually is to have no answer and to just sit, ponder.

RICK:
You know you’re just touching on one of my biggest challenges. One of my biggest weaknesses is impatience. It’s a weakness of mine. And so, a lot of times my ego will want the answer now. I’ll want to figure this out now. I don’t want to sit in the uncertainty because I have a mixed relationship with uncertainty.

DAVID:
It feels weird. I don’t like it.

RICK:
Mixed feelings about it. Like most of us. And so, what happens is sometimes intuition asks us to sit in that and cook and be and it can get really uncomfortable. Right? Because we want the answer yesterday. And so sometimes it’s a matter of, you’re right, just being with the question and trusting that process.

DAVID:
Yeah. And what is it that’s making it uncomfortable? Is it the fact that something wants to answer it? Because the thing that’s feeling uncomfortable is the thing that we’re trying to work with. Of course, it’s going to feel uncomfortable. So, in the cultivation of skillful — skillfulness and honesty, business creation — how is that actually valuable in a business? Like why would someone want to be skillful and regulate their emotions in a business setting?

RICK:
It’s everything. Being able to regulate your emotions is gonna make you more calm, more trustable, more spacious. People are gonna respect and listen to a leader who is not hyper-reactive and flying off the handle — that doesn’t work anymore.

DAVID:
It doesn’t work anymore.

RICK:
That old school way of leading doesn’t work anymore especially with the newer generations coming up. They’re not going to want to put themselves in a culture that doesn’t have attunement and some sort of regulation and a space to have those conversations and to get what’s really going on. And that kind of authenticity. There’s less room for lack of transparency and that’s why intuition is so powerful because there’s actually more room than ever to include that in the conversation. Where before there was — that was maybe overridden for just prophets only. And we live in a world where just prophets only doesn’t work anymore also.

DAVID:
The times are shifting. Accountability is sexy.

RICK:
It actually is. It actually is. Who knew?

DAVID:
Who would have thought? All right, so within writing this beautiful book that I’m like really excited to dive into — tell me one thing that you learned that was very powerful for you?

RICK:
Yeah. You know part of it was just even the creative process of writing a book. This is my first book. And I actually had an intuition to move to France to write the book and it wasn’t Spain, it wasn’t California — it was France and I did. And I had the body chills and I had that — that’s how I recognized my next steps sometimes on a deeper soul level you could say. And so, I went out there and I wrote the book, but part of the amazing adventure was not knowing how it was going to flow. I mean I had an idea, but it was in the creative process that it was really a piece of art and I really understood art on a deeper level through this process. That I think a real art you are in the process — you are in the question. You don’t know how it’s going to end necessarily. So, I was able to discover and learn and grow and also learning how other people use their intuition and it would open up the whole conversation much deeper than just my own thoughts. And just all the ways I was able to put things together because I was just listening for what wanted to happen next. And trying to live what I was teaching and live when I was writing. And so, that’s really what I learned out of this process was respecting the art of writing, of listening and that’s — that was my favorite part of writing this book.

DAVID:
Awesome. Yeah, it sounds like you’ve had this very deep journey of psychology, of business consulting, coaching people and you’ve kind of tapped into this thing you’re like wow I have this information now — how do I get it out there? And you were just like gonna move to France, write a book. Yeah, it’s beautiful. All right, so speaking about the book — how do people find the book? How do people find you? You sound like a very well put together person who knows what they’re speaking about and if someone is interested how did they look you up?

RICK:
Yeah, you can find the book at Amazon, Barnes Noble, wherever they sell books near you. So, it’s out as well and if you want to learn more about the business work that we’re doing where we’re taking intuitive intelligence and skills into the business space go to Invisible-Edge LLC dot com. And if you want to follow me on social media it’s Rick A. Snyder. S-N-Y-D-E-R and that’s in all the major social media handles or Invisible Edge.

DAVID:
Ok, wow. This conversation was so fruitful for me. I feel — I feel the realness. You’ve done this before. I can tell you really care. You have this passion. It’s — it feels really good — like there’s something about being here in the same room with you that I can feel the passion in the book that you’ve written. It just has a quality of like realness and I just thank you so much for speaking with me today. I just really enjoyed your presence and just your information.

RICK:
Thank you so much. And I got one little last piece —

DAVID:
Please do.

RICK:
If we have time?

DAVID:
Yes.

RICK:
I just want to leave this one last note because I do have that passion and it feels great that you see that and feel that too. And what I really want to say is emotional intelligence has completely revolutionized our lives and our business — and the business space. And because that’s there there’s now this foundation around intuitive intelligence. So, this is the next nuance that I’m really passionate to bring in — is that emotional intelligence is foundational and key. But it’s not the whole story of how we discern information and how we navigate the world. Even though emotions are supercritical and a big part of that — intuitive intelligence also weaves in a greater, wider array of data information that we have to be able to learn to discern. So, it’s even a little more refined in some ways. So that’s what I’m really excited about is bringing this next wave to the business base and then also beyond that too — so that people give themselves more permission to trust themselves on a fundamental level. And bring their empowerment and their gifts forward without apology.

DAVID:
Yeah, I love that just knowing of trusting yourself — you are it. No one’s going to make a good decision for you. They can offer and invite you to, but it is you that needs to make it. And we are all capable of doing that.

So, thanks again.

So, I’d like to thank my special guest Rick Snyder who is a Naropa University graduate of the Transpersonal Counseling program in 2003. He’s also a business consultant and he’s also on tour with his new book, “Decisive intuition.”

So, thank you for speaking with me again.

RICK:
Great to be with you.

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On behalf of the Naropa community thank you for listening to Mindful U. The official podcast of Naropa University. Check us out at www.naropa.edu or follow us on social media for more updates.

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