The Hyper-Rational Saboteur
How leading and logic are not always healthy bedfellows.
How might a hyper-focus on thinking and analysing see you getting in your own way?
It’s a phrase we hear very frequently in schools ….’Let me think about that’. Indeed, in education we actively encourage students to develop ‘thinking skills’. Certainly, in leadership there can be great value in considering issues, to working through things and focusing on cognition.
I wonder how often we consciously, or unconsciously for that matter, actually engage in ‘Hyper-Rational behaviours’ or even ‘logical thinking’ in an extreme or excessive way? How often do we feel the compulsion to shift from instinct and intuition (that ‘gut feeling’) towards checking what the data and evidence might suggest to us.
And how do we respond when we experience cognitive dissonance (that state of being when our beliefs and intuition are somehow inconsistent or even contrary with the evidence that is in front of us)?
After all, in leadership, if we can’t point to the evidence as a source of justification for a decisions or behaviours, how can we stand by our actions? Do you (or know others) that have:
An intense and almost exclusive focus on the rational processing of everything, including relationships?
Passion for the mastery of knowledge, understanding and deep insight?
High penchant for scepticism and debate, favouring intensely deep conversations where evidence can be cited in support of an opinion (often seeing opinion as either ‘right’ or ‘wrong’)?
A preference for cognition and processing to such an extent that it is almost visible?
Well, if so, it turns out you are not alone.
It seems that there are those in leadership who, despite having numerous admirable qualities and well-developed skills, feel an inner compulsion to be analytical and logical, to give great consideration to issues and processes, being driven by data and facts.
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