Essential Decision Making Emotions: Are You Using These? | #Leadership

Instead of eliminating all emotion from your decision making, use these essential decision making emotions. It’s time to embrace valuable emotions and give up the myth that all emotion is risky and bad. So as you read journals that continue to press you to eliminate all emotion, think about how you will lead any human being if you do.

Decision Making Emotions: Image is brain w/ heart shape embedded in it.

Are You Using These Essential Decision Making Emotions? Image by Yasmeen via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Yasmeen via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Essential Decision Making Emotions

Let’s first look at why so-called experts still tell you to eliminate all emotion from your decisions. Are they incapable of balancing emotion with critical thinking? Do they fear that you can’t balance it either? Moreover, do they think that cognitive thinking and emotion are two steps you must keep separate? Well many people can process and balance both at the same time. And those who can have seen the quality of their decisions go up.

Balancing mind and heart gives leaders the ability to lead morale as an everyday practice. Leaders who make decisions about people with empathy and other positive emotion sustain and retain the talent they hired. So combining emotional intelligence (EQ) and IQ is essential for leaders and the results show it!

    Use These Decision Making Emotions

  1. Showing respect. Showing respect to those you lead is a part of decision making. As you include them in decision making or report decisions you have made, the respect you show is an emotion that they value tremendously.

  2. Expressing empathy. Verbalizing that you understand what your employees are going through matters. Then as you help to remove obstacles to their success, you not only make them more productive, you also get their respect and trust.

  3. Decision Making Emotions: Image is quote that empathy is highest form of knowledge.

    Decision Making Emotions: “Empathy is the highest form of knowledge.” ~ Bill Bullard

  4. Considering human impact. For example, before you lay off employees, consider the impact on them. This doesn’t mean you won’t lay them off. It does mean that you may be able to offer them retraining or job search assistance to help them land on their feet. Great leaders/companies do this and this emotion matters.

  5. Recognizing and appreciating talent and effort. As you develop the culture for your organization, include the emotions of recognition and appreciation. Study after study shows that recognizing and celebrating employee talents increases contribution and results. Appreciating their effort, commitment, and resilience — especially in tough times — sustains productivity after the struggle.

  6. Valuing altruism. Today’s employees and customers expect and value altruism. Caring for the environment and helping the under-privileged are just two examples of emotion that leaders now include in their decisions. It is a marked change from past decision making and it is here to stay.

  7. Decision Making Emotions: Image is Heath Herber quote about importance of listening.

    Listening to other’s feelings is the most important thing I’ve learned in 20 years of business. ~ Heath Herber

    Eliminate These Harmful Emotions From Your Decision Making

  • Anger. Decisions you make in anger will sink you and your organization.

  • Panic. Similarly, panic produces extremes in decisions that you will regret later.

  • One-sided compassion. When any one emotion controls your thought process, step back for a moment. Ask yourself, what else must I consider?

  • Fear of conflict. When leaders are afraid of conflict, the decisions they make can be disastrous. The single focus to avoid potential conflict can lead you and your organization to more conflicts down the road.

  • Uncontrolled passion. Passion is positive because it gets you moving. It is risky when it takes over everything. Capture its energy and apply critical thinking to keep it positive.

So now what?

Positive emotion plays an important role in decision making today. Don’t fear it. Practice it. Above all, remember that to lead people, you must deal with emotion. As you develop your skill of balancing emotion and critical thinking, you will be the model for your employees to do the same. If you shut out all emotion, label it all as bad, don’t be surprised when your leadership falters. Because if you’re not leading morale every day, you’re not leading anyone.

Decision Making Emotions: Image is Eleanor Roosevelt Quote

To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

When has emotion helped or hurt your decision making?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2020 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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2 Responses to “Essential Decision Making Emotions: Are You Using These? | #Leadership”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    I agree, we don’t want to become cold, heartless, robots. Emotions give us the ability to connect, feel compassion, and share our humanity. I am a firm believer that leadership happens through relationships and without the presence of positive emotions coupled with action, we’re not able to foster those relationships with our teams or clients. The negative emotions you’ve outlined here are interesting too. The one that struck me is uncontrolled passion. We praise passion in leaders and entrepreneurs but that passion can cloud our decision making. Great point.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Agreed Alli. And as for the “uncontrolled passion”, I often think that people who claim we should eliminate all emotion, are picturing uncontrolled emotion. Then they label all emotion as bad.

      Always happy when you share you insights here.


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