EQ: Emotional Intelligence – Decision-Making: Fact or Feeling?

EQ: Emotional Intelligence – Decision-Making: Fact or Feeling?

So much of human decision-making is emotion-based. It’s reflexive. The reflex is based on our feelings of the moment.

We don’t really want our country’s leaders, for example, making major decisions reflexively – knee-jerk emotion-based decisions – we expect them to reflect before deciding. Sure, we all assume that our leaders think before acting! Maybe not so…

Consider this for a moment. Did you buy your home or apartment based totally on a rational return-on-investment thinking? Probably not. Did you choose your vehicle based solely on the efficient cost of running it? Maybe, maybe not.

Did you decide to start dating that person (or to marry him) based solely on his earning capacity, or the amount of education he got? No, no and again no – you didn’t!

Emotions clearly carry the day in much of your decision-making… And then the mind finds logical, apparently factual or measurable reasons for your choice.

The best salesman knows this about humans. We will consider the facts, the costs, the metrics that demonstrate that his product is the best for our purpose. But in the end the salesman knows it’s an emotional decision. So he talks it up to us with that in mind.

Hindsight shows us how many of our decisions are emotion-based. Ah, hindsight! If we’re honest with ourselves looking at some of our current problems, we can probably trace the current problem to an emotion-based decision of the past.

How do we improve our decision-making, so that a decision doesn’t come back to create problems for us in our future?

The first thing to do is to simply recognize – admit – that you are making decisions based on both the fact and the feeling.

An example: The facts appear to say that buying this house right now is a good idea: the price is 20{44f93193654ee8e357ba54f38b49cfc3563b7d623a8103b2d4e387aa181f7fed} below market; the neighborhood has all the shops and businesses you are likely to need; it’s a 20 minute commute to your current job, etc.

The feelings, however, say that you must have this house right now because it’s bigger than your sister’s house; it’s in a much better class of neighborhood than any of your friends’ homes – and most of them rent anyway; you’ve always dreamed of a large yard; it has space to grow into; even if this is as much house as you can afford even at 20{44f93193654ee8e357ba54f38b49cfc3563b7d623a8103b2d4e387aa181f7fed} discount, this is a good deal, etc.

The facts? Well, things change, don’t they? Real estate values go up and down; neighborhoods get less or more prosperous; you take a job further away or become unemployed for a long spell…

The feelings? For most people, they are about desire. Pride. Lust. Wanting. Envy. Superiority. Inferiority.

We’ve all gone through this – we are so overwhelmed with feelings, that we cannot make sense of the facts. And so, we decide from the feelings. Oh, we won’t always be wrong! But when we are, all hell can break loose!

Understand the role feelings have in your decision-making. Improve your decision-making by looking not only at the facts, but also at the feelings that you are experiencing around this issue.

Just write the feelings down on paper. Write them down in the same way that you would make a list of all the pros and cons (facts and proofs) regarding this decision. Writing them requires you to first examine what your feelings actually are! Identify and write them down, just like you would the facts… and then walk away for a day or a week, letting it simmer, so to speak, for a while. Then look at your lists again and – if feelings are blocking a good decision, get the feelings out of the way. If the facts don’t add up to a comfortable decision, walk away from it. Make your decision knowing that you have weighed the facts – and considered the feelings.

Next Post

Which Diet Is Best for Heart Health?

It seems the controversy continues. Those who advocate for low-fat diets for heart health tell us a low-carb, high fat diet is detrimental to heart health. On the surface, it makes sense that this would be true. But is it? A recently published clinical trial conducted by a doctor and […]
Which Diet Is Best for Heart Health?

You May Like