Friday, November 29, 2013

Why analytical people sometimes fail to get emotions right

The other day I was talking project management with a development manager, and I was not careful to wear my "member of the project manager club" social persona. Instead, I did what I usually do which is to focus more on competence and collaborations, and less on  titles. I little too late, I realized that I had just offended this person. The truth is, many of us include our job title in our social identity. Therefore when I did not show respect for the "social stance of project leaders",  this person felt personally aggressed, and to protect himself, needed to think that I was not being coherent.

My daughter wanted to write a story recently. I gave here the following advice:
You always have two choices:
You can start with events and then describe the resulting emotions,
or start with emotions and then describe the resulting events.

Just apply this rule over and over.
 An example:  "The man hit the dog, and everyone was sad" versus  "It was a sad day: the man hit the dog, (and possibly follow with more sad events)".

Emotions tend to be the weak spot of analytical people. Not because they do not feel emotions, but because their analytical system does not pay enough attention to the fact that simple statements can generate emotions that will change the rational perceptions of others.

All original content copyright James Litsios, 2013.

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