I was walking down the hospital ward corridor at about 11.45 am.I wandered into a patient’s private room for a reason I can’t now recall (although I do remember he was recovering from having his stomach removed a few days earlier).
He was sitting on the edge of the bed.
I said to him: “How’re you feeling?”
At the same time I picked up the telephone receiver on his bedside table.
He ignored me doing that and replied to my question: “Not too good.”
The Resuscitation Team Rushed In
I dialed a number and activated the hospital Emergency Code that had Doctors and the specialist resuscitation team rush to the room within seconds.
The Emergency Room Physician took a look at the patient sitting happily on the side of the bed and wondered why the code for Cardiac Arrest had been called.
“Who called this code?” he demanded to know.
“I did,” I replied.
I’d Seen Everything
At the time I had been a Registered Nurse (Nursing Sister, Clinical Nurse Manager) for about 8 years.
I ran the Hospital’s Graduate program – giving lectures and clinical training all day long.
I was also the head of the hospital’s Resuscitation Team, I had extensive experience in resuscitation, was certified in Advanced Life Support and had seen just about everything in terms of medical emergencies.
If I hadn’t of called this code I would have been summoned and been in charge of the resuscitation.
So I knew what I was doing. Which meant it was a surprise to those in the room that the patient actually looked fine, was happily sitting on his bed and wasn’t in need for any sort of resuscitation and yet I’d called a code.
The Patient Collapsed And Died
2 seconds after I said “I did” the patient collapsed and died.
I’ve just read Malcom Gladwell’s latest book “blink” and now realize what happened that day (it had always been a mystery to me).
Gladwell talks extensively about the power of the unconscious mind and how we “think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, that actually aren’t as simple as they seem.”
You see, I was expert at resuscitation. I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve tried to resuscitate.
I have seen many people collapse and die. I had been around the sick and dying for years.
My Mind Knew What Was About To Happen …..Even If I Didn’t
And, unbeknown to me, I had absorbed lots of little signs. Hundreds, if not thousands of tiny nuances that led me that day to conclude in an instant that this patient was about to die.
Call it gut-feeling, call it intuition, call it a sixth sense. Whatever. We all have it in different areas.
In my business over the years I’ve met people or been involved in situations where I’ve had that gut feeling where something about them isn’t quite right.
The logical mind then kicks in and says something along the lines of “Don’t be silly. How can you make a judgment when you’ve only just met them?”
My Initial Reaction Always Seems To Get Proven Correct
Inevitably my initial reaction gets proven right. Which means I listen to it more than ever.
A huge part of any business is picking the right people to work with. and by that I mean clients, partners and suppliers.
And often we (as businesspeople) only have very limited information on which to base our decisions.
Sure, we all do our due diligence, make some calls and ask the right questions.
But don’t discount that gut feeling. Your instinct is usually right. And it’s right because it’s based on every interaction you’ve ever had and you are an expert at this stuff without even knowing about it.