People-Skills: When Logic Blocks Success

Many a disagreement or impasse has emerged from the statement, That’s not logical. Professionals who say this to an employee, team member, or colleague believe they have right on their side. Ironically, when people use logic in this way, they are quite wrong for it shows poor people-skills and blocks success.

People-Skills: Logic Can Block Success

There are societal influences that feed (yet don’t justify) this twisted use of logic. How many times have we honored the phrase clear headed thinking? We describe successful business people as thinking with their heads not their hearts.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t take long for the sheen of these influences to wear thin and for all to see the effects of those who cast judgment on logic. These poor people-skills can block future interaction, openness, honesty, valuable exchanges of ideas, and teamwork. They can block success.

People-Skills Tip for Success
If you have used the phrase, that’s not logical, without harmful intent, it is easy to avoid the misstep in the future. When you disagree, allow yourself room to change course. Your words will explore instead of judge, discuss instead of declare, communicate instead of condemn.

With that mindset, you can easily replace that’s not logical with I don’t follow your logic or better yet, I see it another way.

Need to be Right; Need for Control.
If that approach unsettles you, your trip to success may be longer. Your need to be right and to control every situation can hold you back.

  1. Declarations and judgments show your limitations not the limitations of those you judge. People can see that.
  2. Decision makers will question your ability to handle change. You might believe they see you as decisive and valuable. Yet you appear rigid and inflexible.
  3. As you shut out others’ input and perspectives, you are driving blind. Your blind spots, unaddressed by those you have repelled, can undermine your success.

Stop worrying that people will misconstrue open-mindedness for uncertainty or weakness. Showing respect for others’ opinions doesn’t diminish you. It shows that you are confident and strong enough to consider all views.

Diverse professionals
— sales executives, negotiators, detectives, teachers, to name just a few — use listening, learning, and understanding to create success. You can do the same!

What is your biggest challenge in interacting with people in the workplace who declare instead of discuss? I welcome your perspective in the comments section below.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, has been turning interaction obstacles into interpersonal success for 20 years. See this site for info on workshops, keynotes, dvds, and customer results.

6 Responses to “People-Skills: When Logic Blocks Success”

  1. It reminds me of something I tell my staff.”No one ever wins an argument”.

    If you think someone is illogical, it’s probably because you either don’t understand their logic, or they make different connections between points.

    I think an open mind is a window to wisdom. Some people might see it as weakness (as you suggest), but the wise need to show people the window.

    But sometimes wisdom and open mindedness can also be construed as arrogance. It’s no good sitting on a chair pontificating and holding onces chin while agreeing with everyone. An open-minded person actively encourages a space between different views, but without arrogance or self-importance.

    Communication is a two way street, between your mouth and your ears (yes my own quote:)

    Great thought starter. Thanks again Kate.

    • Bill Butler says:

      I used part of Steven Di Pietro’s response as a tweet at @billbutlr. One needs to think about all that can mean.

      Communication is a two way street, between your mouth and your ears. ~ Steven Di Pietro #quote #wisdom

      Bill Butler

  2. Denise Green says:

    Author Susan Scott said that the most common outcome of conversations is misunderstanding. I help managers use her beach ball model for team discussions – it’s simple and effective. The metaphor is that every stripe represents a piece of the truth. Great teams must be composed of people who see the world differently and by nature, misunderstand each other. A finance person has wired her brain differently than her HR, Sales, or IT counterpart, because they pay attention to different things. I like to ask my frustrated logical clients, would you rather be right or effective?
    Thanks Kate for the post!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      So true Denise. Teams have people that see things differently and it can cause misunderstandings. Being aware of the differences is definitely the first step. It opens minds and from there communication can improve.

      Very pleased you added this perspective to the discussion. Hope you will visit often and share your experience.

  3. Greg Waddell says:

    Great post Kate! I just wanted to add that–if you agree with the Myers Briggs taxonomy of personality traits–you know that some people were made with a bent toward logical processes in making decisions while others toward a more emotional approach. I’m not disagreeing with you at all. I’m just wondering if there is a better way that those for whom logic is important can express themselves so as not to put people off. What do you think?

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Exactly my point Greg! We are different (personality types, communication styles) — yet the question is one of openness to hear others. If your mind is open, learning the words to express that openness is quite possible. Even if it is opposite your normal type. Desire and openness to learn feeds the words that come out.

      Excellent points you make and so glad you have chosen to visit and contribute to this post. Looking forward to your future comments on Smart SenseAbilities blog.


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