Should the heart rule the head?

RECENTLY, I was asked by an associate: “What does your heart say?”

This is a question that has caused me many dilemmas in the past, but a dilemma that some of us are faced with on a daily basis. So I wanted to explore this question further.

In my personal life I am someone who uses emotion to direct me down a path that I believe to be the correct one to follow. I use my intuition to hear the messages behind the words I hear in my head, and it almost always ends up as the correct choice.

It leads me to ask myself should this be the same in business?

I have spoken with various people in different industries; when asked: “Do you think with your heart in business?” some look at me in amazement as if I am alluding to some kind of taboo statement. This is where the debate starts!

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Everyone has their own way of making judgements within their own company or organisation. We tend to assume that businesses decisions are made based upon rational grounds rather than emotions and feelings.

I asked 20 of my friends in business “Do you use your heart or you head?” A simple question surely? It turned out it wasn’t the black and white issue I had been expecting; it got people thinking very carefully about the subject, and I was shocked at the differences of opinions, particularly the ones from my like-minded friends who had an answer that opposed my own!

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The end results were completely divided. Comparing the professions listed in each column there was a strong correlation between the nature of industry my friends were in to their answers. This could even be looked into further and linked with the personalities my friends demonstrate, together with the industries they have purposely chosen to work in.

Perhaps the ones who do not use emotion in business have to beat targets and deadlines, and therefore cannot allow themselves to get stressed or emotionally involved in what they do?

I have come to understand this through my own research though I do have one point to raise about this matter.

To the friends who said flat-out: “head – my heart doesn’t come into it, business is business it’s not personal,” I am sorry but I just don’t get it. Everyone has emotion, we all use it in business and from time to time it comes out whether we like it or not. We are not machines, simply human.

In my opinion when our heads get in the way, we cannot hear what our emotions are saying, it tunes out the real messages and we reinterpret what we want to hear. To listen with your heart requires a different kind of listening.

I have been thinking about this in detail and have come to the conclusion that perhaps you need to have a little bit of both? With logical thinking and a strong heart you could construct a well-balanced outcome.

Things do seem to be evolving in the business world; have you noticed lately how many companies seem to be “passionate” about their product or service? Tell me that this is not emotion being used in business.

My challenge to you is this: the next time you have to make a decision, ask yourself “‘What does my heart say?” Take the courage to act on those feelings and trust yourself; your heart always knows best.

Or if you aren’t quite ready to take that “leap of faith” just yet, use your head to find a way of explaining why the emotional argument makes sense. Becoming successful in life, especially in business, involves risk taking, being flexible and being discerning.

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