Decisions need both Logic and Emotion, but in Sequence.

People say emotions are stronger than logic in a business setting. Others push the opposite, reason beats feelings any day. I think both are right, but they get one key component wrong, to make good decisions, you need to include both logic and emotion, but separate them clearly.

If you have a business problem and you try and solve it with emotions, you will surely be out of business very soon. If you want to convince a lot of people and you try and do it with logic alone, you will most probably fail.

What my team uses to make sound business decisions without failing in the change management process afterward is pretty simple: we strip off all emotions to logically reason our way “down” to a sound business decision. And then we add all the emotions we stripped off before to go “up” again, meaning, adding emotions to communicate and execute the decision we just made.

We needed to implement that because we often had emotions creeping into our discovery phase of problems like: “she will never agree to that” or “they won’t like that”. But that doesn’t matter — it must not matter — for the first part of the process. While you reason your way to a solution, potential reaction of others must not cloud your thinking. We found that if you follow this approach, you are more likely to get to a good solution for the company.

Once you figured out what the best solution is, you need to think emotionally how you can get “them to like it” or “her to agree”. And you won’t succeed if you don’t primarily solve for emotions in your communication and execution.

So, logic “down” and then emotions “up”.

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