Snap Judgements

tend to go hand-in-hand with the blame game. Leaders often need to act quickly when making decisions. But making a snap judgement rarely pays off. This sort of decision is usually made on the spot and without benefit of all the details. It is usually based on emotional reaction rather than an intellectual or logical one.

Would there were such a thing as logical emotions this might not be a problem. As William Tully explains in his Blog, which is aptly named LOGICal eMOTIONS , “Typically we have an emotional experience (significant or not), and we apply logic afterwards.” Ahh….there’s the problem. Taking it personal, not being objective. Even the best leaders can get caught up in an emotional whirlwind before logic has a chance to come to the rescue.

What can leaders do to avoid making questionable snap judgements? Well,  effective leaders stay well informed and aware of their best resources. This helps to prevent some situations from reaching the boiling point, or if they do to enable the leader to think on their feet, as they say. But, another action thoughtful leaders can take is to do nothing – at least for the moment. Often taking some time to pause and think things through will help in making a better judgement call.

Like a lot of behavioral advice, that sounds almost too simple. But, it takes practice to keep your cool and derail those risky snap judgements. Lora at Success Connections has a great post called Use Your Pause Button that applies to really anyone who might need to chase their emotions with a little logic. She details the usual suggestions of taking a deep breath and thinking it over. Her final advice is to “respond intentionally rather than react to raw emotion.”

As is often the case, that leads me to another thought, The Power of Intention. I believe Wayne Dyer wrote a book about that. Have to look it up for future reference. Until then, hit the Pause Button… 🙂

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2 comments so far

  1. logicalemotions on

    What about gut instinct? It’s an emotional response which we apply logic to immediately afterwards.

    I just tossed a post onto my site that has been sitting in the draft mode for a couple weeks now and it walks down the path of judging books by their cover. Essentially it’s not a bad thing and it can be used to our advantage, much like a CEO making a snap business decision that needs to be made. There is an instantaneous emotional response to each choice to which logic is then applied to.

    It’s a tricky game this snap decision and your suggestion of “taking some time to pause” hits the nail on the head ESPECIALLY if there has been a debate of sorts before.

  2. francies on

    Oh, good question. Don’t you love how one thought, one action leads to another – no dead ends here!

    I’d say gut instinct, as the name implies, is more instinctive than snap judgement. But, they’re certainly related – maybe second cousins. I’ll have to look into it more, and I’ll be checking out your post, too.

    Thanks for the feedback!


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