Logic VS Emotion Part 2 of 2 [Career Coach]

By: Don Oehlert
Managing Partner,

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A woman screaming seemingly in frustration or anger, an explosive and persuasive showcase of emotional expression in the logic vs emotion issue.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
A solved rubiks cube to showcase the logical and definitive side of the logic vs emotional issue.
Photo by Miguel Padriu on Pexels.com

Welcome back!

So last time we met, we talked about the possible set of emotions that can run through a person’s mind when they are in job search. Logic vs emotion is a rather strange battle but compromises are possible!

This time we’ll talk about the logic of job search. It’s really very simple.

Remember this. Logic makes you think, but emotions make you act.

This is the good side of emotions as they relate to decision-making. When they get out of control, and you feel like you are spiraling out of control is when emotions become more than a speed bump in this process.

When you are in a heightened state of emotion, you cannot necessarily make the most-reasonable decisions. It’s hard to act in a reasonable manner when you’re overly emotional. Especially scared and desperate. That last one is the worst in job search.

Why do I say that? Simply put, when you are desperate, the person on the other side of the table will see it. At least they’ll sense it.

Desperation also causes you to act in a fearful state. Your eyes are too-wide-open. You may sweat too much. Talking becomes erratic and fast. You talk too loudly. Your actions are too quick. You laugh too easily.

This is all way beyond nervous.

The logical approach to tamping down this emotional state is to sit back and really think about things as best you can, as logically as you can. You may ask “how can I do that?”

Purportedly, Benjamin Franklin used to take out a piece of piece of paper, and draw a vertical line down the middle. At the top of the page, he’d draw a horizontal line low enough from the top so that he could write a heading over each column. Here’s an example:

An image of a T chart with "pluses" and "minuses" on either side. This is meant to help you weigh your decisions easier to overcome your logic vs emotion kneejerk reactions.
A Franklin T-Chart

Write a heading of the left column that says “Positives of _______ ” and on the right column write the heading “Negatives of ________.” Fill in the blank for whatever is bugging you emotionally.

If it’s deciding whether to move to another city or state, or if it’s time to decide whether to have a baby, buy a house, or accept a job offer that’s not quite what you were looking for, write it all down. Both the negatives and the positives.

All of them.

Now, put down that piece of paper for about 3 days. Come back to it, and look at it again. See if the items you put in each column still apply. If they do, leave them there. Are there new ones that need to be added? Add them. Again, give it 3 days, and look things over again. Add or delete as necessary. When you’ve finally found no need to add or delete items, then you’ve arrived at a place where you can look at all of the items and decide whether you should move ahead with the decision. Congratulations you’ve worked out a possible solution to logic vs emotion!

“Now, put down that piece of paper for about 3 days. Come back to it, and look at it again. See if the items you put in each column still apply.”

– Don Oehlert
As found in his eBook “The Not Just for Executives guide to Job Search.”

The benefit of writing things down is to get them out of your head and down on paper where you can see all of the positives and negatives that go into making a decision, and you can see that whatever it was that caused all that stress is just a few words.

If the right column has more items in it, then you can see that the negative items outweigh the positive items.

Of course, you can put weighting on each item in each column to help focus your thinking if you’d find value in that approach. The idea is to make sure that you see all of the decision points clearly, and make a logical decision as a result.

None of this is to discount the value of emotions in making decisions. There is always the gut-feeling to use in each side of the T-Chart. Especially if there are just as many positives and negatives in the columns.

In a nutshell, when you are overly emotional, then you can’t see the right tree in the forest. With these two articles I think you should be able to properly figure out a way to conquer those pesky logic vs emotion scenarios.


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