Blog by Tony Burnet

A question that I hear constantly is, “Why don’t my staff use common sense?” Many situations can be avoided by using common sense – but what is it? common-sense BLOG

Common sense (also known as Practical Intelligence!) can be learned and should be applied every day. However, the more we’re trained to think one way (by our family, in the workplace, culturally) the greater the chance that sometimes we allow sloppy or automatic thinking to take the place of common sense.

Common sense is really about not over-complicating the situation, applying knowledge and general experience to the situation. It is basically the ability to cope with the challenges and opportunities of life.  It also removes you from being rigidly tied to rules and guidelines.  Just because something has always been done that way, is no reason to abandon common sense about present needs and changed circumstances.

Try to reflect as opposed to react.  Avoid being steadfast in beliefs, “black and white” in thought, or pig-headed in not wanting to admit to being wrong.  Try not to see situations from only your own view point but learn as much as you can about how other people perceive the world and our place in it.  In this way you begin to make room for common sense to grow because your sense is built on “common” experiences and not just your own.

Check out your own emotions and beliefs – are they overriding common sense?  Consult with others as sometimes we are too close to a situation.  Try and stand back and view the bigger picture and then reflect on it before taking action. Do less but think more.

Common sense builds on your past experiences, enabling you to refine your understanding of the world and how it works. This is in contrast to those who react on gut instinct, biases and have failed to reflect on past experiences.

So put some common sense thinking habits into place:

  • Stay open-minded
  • Support clear thinking free from dogma
  • Value and accept new ideas
  • Reflect on your experiences.

If you put in constant practise of thinking things through carefully for yourself as well as learning all that you can about the world and others thoughts about the world, then you will be well placed.

Here at Rapid Results we are working on developing more programmes specifically covering practical intelligence (common sense) so let us know if you want to develop this more.

After all, it  would be common sense to do so!!

Call us today on 0800 338 356 to find out more, or email