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How do you keep your feelings separate from your decision making?

I find this especially hard when you need to make very tough decisions like firing an employee that is a friend, spending more time at the office vs. being with the family, selling your business, etc.

6 Replies

Nigel Dessau
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Nigel Dessau Entrepreneur
Chief Marketing Officer at Wellsmith, LLC
I think you always need to take your feelings into account when making a decision - but not just your feelings. It's just one of the many things you need to take into account - including financial, legal and equity for the whole team. What you do need to do is separate out how you make your decisions and how you execute them. As someone said to me one "make every decision with your head but execute them with your heart." Just because you make a tough decision, it doesn't mean you have to do it in a crappy way. Also, avoid telling someone you are about to let go what a tough decision it was for you - in the end they don't care. FYI - work life balance is a myth - that's just another choice you have to make.
Sidney Sclar
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Sidney Sclar Entrepreneur
SID the SECURITY PRO at sidthesecuritypro.com
There may not be a fountain of youth, but you have exposed the value of truth. Some people make better employees than Business Owners. You know the difference. If you can't do what is needed to be the Boss, don't try it and change your mind later.

Rod Abbamonte
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Rod Abbamonte Advisor
Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute
We can't keeping feelings separeted from our decision making. What we need is to understand our feelings and keep them under control when we need that take a decision.
Mike Pritchard
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Mike Pritchard Advisor
Experienced Insightful Market Researcher. President of 5 Circles Research, and Principal at Pricing Gurus
Edward de Bono's Six Hats Thinking gives a framework for separating emotional and rational aspects of decision making. As other responses pointed out, heart and head are both involved. Acknowledging both makes thinking and decision making more effective.
Susan Marie Laws, M.A.
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Strategy, Organizational Transformation, Talent Consultant, Capital Markets: Author & Presenter.
Hi Mike,
Approach this conversation with confidence and do it right away - conflict is healthy when its authentic and kind.
1) Ask for permission to have a conversation. 2) It's best to stay away from the word you and speak with I messages....for example: I really love you and have a great deal of respect for our friendship.3) Speak to the concerns...
The other question of how to balance a healthy lifestyle is something we all struggle with. I suggest a quick audit of the day and then commit to having quality me-time (30 mins at the same time every day ) and family time (supper & bedtime stories, whatever), until it's possible to create an even greater balance.

Lastly, there are several really good studies that support the gut decision/ intuition (feelings) in the process of decision making. If you're curious and want to learn more about this take a look at my profile post on intuition.
All the best,
S
Joseph Wang
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Joseph Wang Entrepreneur
Chief Science Officer at Bitquant Research Laboratories
I don't.

In some situations, I figure out what my feelings are and then try to "correct" for any biases. In others, I quickly realize that it's hopeless for me to make any rational decision, and then I find someone else who isn't me to either advise on the decision or to make the decision themselves.

Still other situations, the feeling doesn't influence the decision, but it impacts how I feel afterwords. Trying to be totally unemotional just doesn't work since my feelings impact pretty much everything that I do.
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