4 Steps to Emotionally Realized Rational Decisions

v2-4-steps-to-emotionally-realized-rational-decisions.jpg

Should rational decision making of intelligent business leaders include their gut feelings and emotions?

As a business leader or manager you generally learn that decisions and actions based on rationally considered criterion are important for business success.

Identifying a problem and evaluating and weighing various options, clarifying goals and objectives, assessing resources and alternatives, qualifying potential outcomes and developing an implementation plan are all logical and rational steps in an effective process.

Does Rational Decision Making Include Emotions?

The definition of rational includes phrases such as ‘in accordance with reason’ or ‘following from logic’. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines rational as being agreeable to reason or understanding and ‘based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings’.

If you examine a ‘rational planning model’ the process involves many steps that are sequential, logical and systematic.

For example a rational decision making process could involve the steps of:

  • Identifying a problem or opportunity
  • Gathering information
  • Analyzing the situation
  • Developing options and alternatives
  • Evaluating these options and alternatives
  • Selecting the preferred alternative (including an A and B plan)
  • Taking action to implement the decision

This is a fairly straightforward and effective process. And, in fact, it is an appropriate process. Nowhere in this process does it say to stop and consider your feelings or emotions.

There are many business leaders who act based on the presumption that a logical decision should not involve personal emotions; that a ‘rational decision maker’ puts aside emotions to focus on the information, options and facts.

For a long time that is just what business schools trained leaders to be able to do; to step back and objectively evaluate the information and then take logical and rational steps to act. And indeed this is a good process to follow.

While it would be fair to think that good business plans and decisions put aside emotions in most cases that thinking would simply be wrong.

While it may be true that the most logical of people take steps to remove emotions from a decision the bottom line is that for almost all people it is simply not possible to remove emotions from the process and, in fact, decisions that include emotions such as empathy are often highly effective ones.

A Hunch and A Gut Feeling

Whether or not you are aware of them all most all people’s thought process always involve emotions.

There are very successful business leaders who report that they had a ‘hunch’ or a ‘gut feeling’ when making a decision. Those hunches and gut feelings may be the result of practiced reasoning and experience but those experiences were filtered through a lens of emotions and the decision to listen to and trust those hunches and gut feelings also includes emotions.

Lets take a look at where a hunch or gut feeling comes from.

A hunch is often considered to come from ones head (brain) and a gut feeling from the visceral sense or autonomic nervous system.

A Hunch:

Your brain, that seat of decision-making and behaviour control, is not a calm and rational place.

Within your brain are many systems including your limbic systems that are constantly impacting how you process the world around and within. Your limbic system resided in your brain but it is tied into your emotions, behaviour, motivation, long-term memory and even smell. If you smell a familiar scent a brief emotion associated with that event seep into your brain and your rational decision making process.

When making a decision and evaluating past experiences and learning you are tapping into that limbic system to recall the information.

When you consider your reasons for a decision you are connecting to what motivates you and that is based on many factors including your personality, early socialization and past experiences.

Next page: 4 Steps For More Emotionally Realized Rational Decisions

RELATED POSTS

4 Components of Small Business Agility in a Diverse Market

4 Components of Small Business Agility in a Diverse Market

Small business leaders need to understand diversity in order to be connected and create opportunities for success   The model of how to effectively navigate business leadership is changing. For decades stability and homogeneity were hallmarks of business across...

The Use of Philosophy to Build a Mental Fortress [Video]

The Use of Philosophy to Build a Mental Fortress [Video]

Stoicism teaches that before you try to control events, start with learning to control yourself. Editor’s note: This is part six of a six part Emotional Intelligence Series. Please find Part 1: It’s Never too Late to Create a Bold Self-help Plan & Execute It  ,...

Mindfulness in the Workplace- A Strategy, Not Trend

Mindfulness in the Workplace- A Strategy, Not Trend

The integration of mindfulness practices in the workplace is not just a trend; it's a strategic investment The world, technology and life overall seem to be moving at a faster pace than ever! Due to the amount of daily overstimulation, the concept of mindfulness has...

Video Gallery

Modern version of Stoic philosopher Epictetus
A professional leads a cybersecurity training session for employees, emphasizing best practices. The photography captures the engagement of participants, showcasing the educational aspect of safeguard
Hispanic bearded male businessman trainer teaching coaching new recruitment African American female businesswoman employee in formal suit sitting studying learning company graph chart strategy
The presence of a robot using a computer. Office keyboard being typed on by machine. future IT group,.
Latino Streetwear Entrepreneur Latin Biz Today
Chef Lorena Garcia cooking with a wok
Latina Chef Loren Garcia
Latin Biz Today partner Johanna at the San Sebastián Festival

Polls

Which item currently represents the greatest hurdle in the growth of your business?(Required)

Sign Up for the Latin Biz Today Newsletter

PR Newswire

Innovation & Strategy

Money

Four Basic Principles for Raising Capital

Four Basic Principles for Raising Capital

Outside investors want to understand a business' strategy as well as its financial statements.   The need to raise capital from outside investors requires a great deal of preparation across multiple dimensions. Among many things, investors look to understand...

Talent/HR

Legal

Marketing

Culture

Fashion

Food

Music

Sports

Work & Life

Mindfulness

Health & Fitness

Travel & Destinations

Personal Blogs

Pin It on Pinterest