What Jaycee Dugard’s Rescuer taught me as a Business Woman

You all probably have heard about the interviews Dianne Sawyer had with Jaycee Dugard, the 11 year old girl abducted from a school bus stop and held captive for 18 years.

The story is unbelievable and horrible. Let me paraphrase Jaycee’s words; she explained the horridness of this event in her life by telling Dianne Sawyer, Imagine the worst thing that happened to you in your life – now multiply that by 10.

What hasn’t gotten a lot of attention is something that I heard from one of Jaycee’s rescuer, Lisa Campbell, 40, the UC Berkeley manager of special events.  She said that her mother mode went into gear when she saw Jaycee’s 15-year-old girl stare “straight up in the air.” Yes, she even referred to it as “intuition”.

“I’m a mother, so police mode turned into mother mode,” she said. Her intuition told her something was wrong with the situation and with the girls, who appeared very pale.

I’ve always believed that intuition is something we all were born with. However, some of us have forgotten to tap into that unexplainable inner feeling.

Women though, through time, have proven to have a higher sense of tapping into the unsaid. It is believed that we had to learn how to read people because of our own ancestral needs to nurture our young before they were able to speak and tell us what they needed.

Research at Harvard University showed how women are far more tuned in to gestures and movement than men. In an experiment, men and women watched a short film of two people communicating. The sound was turned off so the viewers could only see non-verbal communication. The women read the situation accurately 87 percent of the time, while the men scored only 42 percent accuracy.

As a business woman, you are successful because you have depended on your intellect to get you to where you are. Yet, your intuition is a vital part in making business decisions.

Looking back in my career as a coach, there were times I felt even over a phone coaching session that the client was going through some personal turmoil. Most of the time, when I did probe—from that place of being unsure—there was always something to unravel.

Have you consulted with a client, feeling like perhaps there were issues at hand they had not disclosed? Were there budgeting issues they did not share or were decision makers not sold on your service or advice? And yet, perhaps they were never mentioned to you? You had a sense, though, that the project might not progress like you were hoping it would. But you probably had very little data or rationale to support it. Well, did it go well?  Did your prediction come into realization? What if you were able to tap into those feelings?  Would you ask more probing questions?

Have you dealt with a client that seemed to have a hidden agenda?  Did you get a sense of that when you met them for the first time but never could point it out? Or perhaps a business resource that seemed to have sold you promises that you sensed were undeliverable, yet you continued to turn to your logic in hopes that everything would work out fine. Did they turn out well?

When things don’t feel right, my belief is that there is at least a 2% chance that you are right. So, here are some things I believe that you could do when this happens.

  1. Ask a question from a place of curiosity. “I am just curious; can you tell me what might be some issues that could take this project in a different direction?” Lisa Campbell asked Jaycee’s daughter why she had a bump on top of her eye. Her odd response made Lisa more curious and suspicious.
  2. Listen with intent. That means begin to find things the person says that might seem inconsistent. Lisa Campbell asked Garrido who the two girls were. He said they were their daughters. Yet, it wasn’t consistent with what she later found out from his parole officer. He had no daughters.
  3. Do your own exploration. Ask other people who have worked with this company or with this client what their experience might have been. Do your own research on the Internet on the company or even on the client. If it’s a resource you are going to use for your business, ask them for referrals. Lisa Campbell shared her concerns with her fellow UCBPD officer Ally Jacobs. Jacobs ran a background check on Garrido and discovered he was a sex offender.

It never hurts to be sure. After all, intuition could also take you towards a positive direction.  How has tapping into your own intuition helped you in your business? Do you have a story to share?

angel.rampy@coachangel.com' About Angel Rampy

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