The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Rational or Reasonable

Some leaders favor an approach to business decision-making that is based on focusing on being rational. That is making decisions “based on facts or reason and not on emotions or feelings” as The Britannica Dictionary describes it.

It can become hyperrationality which involves a denigration of feeling.

It’s an approach that assumes that biases or other less conscious elements of our thinking can be excluded by being rational.

But it often backfires as it can exclude much of what is reasonable or common sense from the decision process.

The point that is often misunderstood is that feelings can very well be included in decision-making.

Understanding the feelings of those affected by the decision may for example transform the way a decision is delivered or explained. It doesn’t necessarily mean to change a decision, nor does it mean to hide the core of the decision. It simply means that one understands that people can be affected by a decision and may not appreciate its consequences.

It is also helpful to understand that a leader may be affected by the need to make a decision he doesn’t like. Realizing it makes it possible to review the decision in the light that one would prefer not to take it or to take a different decision. That may then help to see how this decision is being delayed or transformed to avoid presenting the decision.

A possible explanation for why people seek ways to reach a rational decision is that they understand the risks of making decisions when they are emotional themselves. They learned that it can prevent reaching a reasonable decision.

And thus, instead of finding ways to regulate their own emotions, they bury them in a process of rationalizing their decision. Which ends up being a way to denigrate any feeling.



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