Logic is not enough

No matter how much we use data and logic in making decisions, every decision we will ever make will ultimately be made emotionally. Eyal Winter, Professor of economics and director of the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem explains, “The final trigger takes place after the process in which we analyze things. When making decisions, the final trigger is emotional.”

Emotions also have a significant impact. Eyal Winter goes on to say, “Emotions not only do not destroy or reduce the quality of our decision making. In most cases, emotions help out, they facilitate our decision making.”

So, it’s important for us to be self-aware of our emotions and how they impact our decisions, but also to be aware of other’s emotions and motivations whose decisions we are trying to influence.

Identify motivations: tools

There are many tools that can help you identify motivations. I’ve worked with quite a number of them and found four tools that do an excellent job of helping you discover them. SIMA®, MCORE®, PRINT® and DNA®. Unlike the other tools out there, these four focus purely on identifying your motivations. You can learn more about these tools at www.lancetanaka.com.

Build a discipline to identify emotions: EQ

There are many techniques to increase your emotional intelligence (EQ). I’ve found these two to be most effective.

Be observant

Many people may not openly share their feelings or emotions with you, but most people cannot hide them. If someone doesn’t agree with what you are saying, they may in the Asian way be silent. However, if you are carefully watching them while you are speaking, you may notice their heavy sigh, or the rolling of the eyes, or the subtle shaking of the head back and forth. This explains volumes on how they are feeling about what you’re saying. A critical skill to develop as a leader is to embrace the power of silence or simply “pause”. Pausing is as simple as taking a moment to stop and think before we act or speak. This also allows us to observe others, to see how they are reacting and feeling. You may disagree that every decision you make is ultimately made emotionally, but I’m sure we can agree that emotion is critical. This being the case, we need to better understand how emotion impacts not only our decisions, but those of people we are trying to influence.