Emotional vs Rational Decision making

At work, who makes the decisions? The heart or the head?

Raise your hands if you make completely rational decisions at work, keeping emotions at bay.

Historically we’ve been told to keep emotions out of decision making. If that means to not allow our emotions to take us on a roller coaster – yes. But if it means to ignore them and not give them a seat at the table – maybe not.

The book ‘No Hard Feelings’ discusses emotions at work and how they can help us succeed. According to the authors, the science of listening to your gut will reveal how emotions are not mystical signals but is rapid information processed based on experience and expertise.

Our feelings are not facts. But are they not a part of our (daily) decision making?
At home, is a car only a product of the petrol prices and mileage and not a reflection of status and power?
At work, is a new job offer only a product of the CTC and benefits without a personal consideration of the company’s culture?

How best can emotions be a part of the equation? Acknowledge + Manage.
E.g. when in a conflict, if we are cognizant of our emotions, we will hit pause. We will buy in time and return to the argument. We will respond, not react.

Acknowledging and managing emotions doesn’t mean playing by them. Infact, its the only way we don’t give in to them and let them have the better of us.

Sometimes we may have a feeling in our bones that’s difficult to explain. That’s fine.
Eventually, we may make a decision tangential to our feelings. That’s also fine.

Name your emotion. Honor it and give it a seat at the table. An increased consciousness of our emotions gives us a better grasp over them.

Coming back to our question on who makes the decisions at work- Does it have to be an either or?
Marry the heart and the brain and allow either side to be heard. The results would be less regrettable.

Emotions don’t wreck decision making. Unmanaged emotions do.


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