How many times have you had an object slip through your fingers, only to catch it mid-fall? What about catching a ball that was unexpectedly flying through the air toward your head? In these instances your body’s reflexes took over and reacted before your brain had time to process a response.

When was the last time a business problem arose and you reacted immediately with the proper resolution to the problem? I’m guessing this response doesn’t come quite as naturally. You may think, “this is business, I need to develop a plan before I can execute a response.” In the age of instant gratification, especially in the fast paced world of business, often decisions cannot wait until the next day, or even the next hour. Employees and clients rely on you to make the right decision, and make it quickly. Simon Graj, writer of the blog Thoughts + Observations, states, “the instantaneous, natural and intuition-based flow from perception to meaningful response serves businesses every bit as well as our bodies.”

Let’s discuss some best practices on how we can sharpen our business reflexes to better serve our companies.

1. Be prepared.
You cannot be ready to act on behalf of your business if you don’t understand the company inside and out. Above all, know your mission. Any decision that is made should stem from your core values. One of the most detrimental things you can do is craft a response that does not align with what your company stands for. When you are proficient in how your business runs, you are equipped to develop an enlightened response on the fly.

It is helpful to have direct plans in place for problematic scenarios that you know will arise at some point in time. Becoming familiar with these plans with help you take immediate action on those issues, and provide a template for decision-making when other problems surface.

2. Stay relaxed.
Be prepared to face the worst, but don’t spend your time looking for danger around every corner. Graj states, “Our ability to sweep aside fear, doubt, and all the other debilitating emotions is as fundamental to organizational well-being as it is to human health.” When you are relaxed, you body actually responds faster; you allow your reflex to kick in when it is needed as opposed to staying tense and on edge. Instead of wasting your energy on anxiety over what may occur, focus that energy on an action in the moment when it is truly needed.

3. Trust your intuition.
No matter how in depth your plans are, you will never truly know everything. When you have prepared the best you can, and the time comes to react, trust your instincts about making the correct move. Remember, there is little time to waste, and your gut response is usually the right one. Act quickly, and return to business as usual. Just as it doesn’t make sense to worry about a problem that hasn’t arrived, you can’t spend time dwelling over a decision that has come and passed. Have confidence that you made the best choice you were capable of making, and move on.

Your business reflex is just like a muscle in your body, and it needs to be stretched, strengthened, and readied for action. The quickness and accuracy of your decisions is critical to the success of your company, and without being prepared, staying relaxed and trusting your intuition, you are inhibiting your business reflex. With these guidelines and some practice, you can sharpen your business reflex, leading to a more successful business and happy clients. Which I think we can all agree, is a win-win scenario.