Emotional Decisions

It’s perfectly fine to make emotional decisions…..so long as you take the emotions out before you decide anything. We humans are impatient people, we’re also a pretty reactionary bunch and when you add emotions into that mix you’ll often find yourself making some pretty poor decisions.

Everything can be going just fine and then, right out of nowhere, you receive some inexplicable information that completely turns your world upside down. You might be shocked, hurt, afraid, unhappy, and even just plain mad. You naturally want to put your world back where it belongs and the sooner the better. When that happens my best advice to you, and myself, is to just take a breath. Maybe several breaths, maybe several thousand breaths.

The best decisions are patient, careful, well crafted decisions, devoid of reaction and certainly with as much emotion removed as possible. Patience requires waiting, making a plan minimizes the tendency to react and talking, thinking, and careful consideration can help diminish the emotion.

It’s very possible, actually quite likely, that when you first receive the shocking information you really don’t have enough information to make a sound decision. Good judgment is a hallmark of effective leadership and emotions mixed with speed tend to remove the “good” from good judgment. 

So slow your roll!

Learn to live upside down for awhile, get to know your new world, inform yourself with facts not opinions, accept advice but decide on your own. Avoid the herd mentality that leads to rushed judgment. Don’t base your new reality on the experiences of others, your positive leadership influence could lead to very different outcome than you first anticipated. 

Not making hasty, poorly thought out decisions is actually the best way for you to maintain some level of control when your world starts spinning. You may not have complete control of where it stops but you can control how and when it stops. Making quick emotional decisions may make you human but it doesn’t make you a leader. Leaders know that control is more likely to come from patience than speed.

Your very human instinct to return to “normal” as soon as possible may be exactly the wrong thing to do. Trust yourself, trust your skills, trust your attitude, and trust your experience to eventually “right your ship.” And learn to embrace “eventually” because not everything needs to be “fixed” the same day it’s broken.

Hang in there and know for certain that a good decision beats an emotional quick decision every single time.

And one more thing….

If this shocking information affects your job remember it’s your job, not your life. You really only lose control of your life when you surrender control of your attitude. Your attitude is your greatest asset in times of turmoil but only when you choose to keep it positive. No one can take that choice from you but you can give it away. Never, never, never give it away.

4 thoughts on “Emotional Decisions

  1. LF Knudson says:

    “Don’t base your reality on the experiences of others…” Wise words but also challenging to achieve when those “experiences of others” are from people you trust, respect, and admire. However, I agree that positive leadership may result in a far different experience for yourself than what you were told.

    • Sometimes we have to hope the experiences of “others” will be different than our own experiences. Sometimes we have to work hard to make them different and sometimes we have to make ourselves different to adapt.

      Time is the only teacher that can truly inform us in these things and time is in no hurry to do it. I guess that’s why “they” say patience is a virtue.

      In any case, you can always count on those you trust, respect and admire to help you anyway they can.

  2. Very Powerful Steve! “Your attitude is your greatest asset in times of turmoil but only when you choose to keep it positive. No one can take that choice from you but you can give it away. Never, never, never give it away.”

    Easier said than done! …But absolutely a skill worth learning!

    • Thanks Chery, you’re absolutely right that it is easier said than done when it comes to choosing our attitude. I think the first step in maintaining a positive attitude is simply remembering that it IS a choice. When we forget that it becomes easy to slide into negativity and to see the down side of any situation.

      Maintaining a positive attitude is kind of a fight but it’s sure a fight worth having ☺️

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