In business, being able to provide reasons for a decision is seen as a critical skill for any aspiring employee. Usually it is expected for those reasons to be based on solid facts and objective measures to withstand any cross-fire debate in the meeting room. Granted, the ability to gather objective facts for decision making is a good starting point, but I sometimes wonder: are we putting too much value on objective reasons and forget considering other valuable components in the decision making process?
"Feelings" seem to have a bad reputation in a decision-making context. It is true, that it puts related discussions on a different playing field. Feelings can't be argued and they also make the person sharing their feelings vulnerable. The decision making process suddenly becomes personal, and haven't we all learned that being professional means NOT to make it personal?
However, great success stories in various industries seem to have their roots in decisions that were largely based on feelings. It was the belief that something was possible which led them to a certain decision, rather than what the facts in the market research report suggested. Steve Jobs realised that in our complex world, there is no way that a decision-maker can know all possible, relevant facts, so it requires other aspects like trust, believe or gut feeling when making decisions.
The reason, I believe, why we are often focusing so much on the thinking, rather than the feeling part of the decision making process is because we are well educated (since childhood) to verbalise and feel secure in communicating our thoughts. As the world currently stands however, most of us have not learned to verbalise our feelings in a confident, meaningful and value-adding way. Often, we therefore try to rationalise our feelings, which is not only impossible but it also adds to the complexity of our thinking and stands in the way of good decisions making.
So, in my opinion, it's time to learn how we can effectively harvest the value of our feelings in the decision making process. What do you think?
Katrin is an experienced Senior Commercial Manager and certified Executive Coach; making an impact in business, while being passionate about inspiring others.