There are a lot of practices and programs out in the market designed to help people achieve their goals. Some of these programs are focused on helping people to focus on being more rational in their approach. This is what is being coined the “rationality movement”.
One of the approaches to greater rationality being put forward is to encourage people to become aware of their emotional cues and then have a process to analyze those emotions into a library. Then designing a new action plan around the goal to be achieved or the person they want to become.
The question is whether these rationalist approaches lead to the over thinking of the decision-making process. Is it helping people to make better choices?
What one has to realize is that we all have a natural “hard wired” DNA Behavior that is driven by our instincts which instantaneously takes over when we make decisions, particularly under pressure. The point being that it is very hard to control your natural biases when making decisions. This thinking is supported by psychologist Dr. Kahneman who won a Nobel Prize in economics for research into decision-making in 2002 by saying: “Preferences come to mind and emotions arise, and we’re not aware that we’re making [decisions and assumptions] and therefore cannot control them”.
Another psychologist, Dr. Stanovich from the University of Toronto concurs that these natural automatic biases cannot be removed. However, people can train themselves to slow down and question them, and learn mechanisms for managing them.
From behavioral finance research it is clear that individuals will behave irrationally and it is difficult for them to change the natural way they behave. However, they can better manage their natural DNA behavior with greater levels of emotional intelligence developed through a very high level of self-awareness and then with that a heightened ability to control themselves.
So, learning more about how you naturally make decisions and your biases, is a good starting point for making better decisions. However, given our natural instincts is not easy to do. To learn more, read this article from Angela Chen in The Wall Street Journal: “More Rational Resolutions”.
Hugh Massie is a Human Behavior Strategist, successful entrepreneur and a leader of the “behavioral awareness” revolution in businesses worldwide for unlocking human potential. He has 26 years of unique and diverse international experience in developing client centered human behavior solutions.
Visit the DNA Behavior website to learn more about managing behavior through greater self awareness.