State of Mind and Decision Making

mind processing

What happens when someone gives you advice?  Whether you asked for it or not, sometimes you take it and other times you disregard it. You go through a process of assessing whether it will work for you.  You don’t just accept what someone else is telling you as absolute.  The same happens when you are learning.  You decide what to take on board and what to discard. There is a judgement process happening unconsciously and we find that when people understand that process, and the factors that are impacting it, they can use their minds to make good decisions more of the time.  And it’s simpler than you might think. 

When our mind is doing this judgement processing it’s like a computer.  It takes everything we know about our self, our team, the work, the organization, the people and it critiques all the ideas, suggestions, models, tools, techniques etc., assesses their appropriateness or usefulness and provides an answer based on all of that information. The answer being variations of ‘yes I’ll go with that’ or ‘no that doesn’t make sense to me’. Often we don’t notice the processing we just notice the answer.  This process is in play all of the time, whenever you act, whenever you make a decision, whenever you interact with another person.   

Without understanding how it works the decisions made are not always failsafe.  Some of the information that the mind uses in making decisions is out of date data, it is influenced by old habits of thinking that may not be so helpful any more.  Sometimes it’s informed by old fears, anxieties, sometimes it’s informed by ego thinking.  These can be unhealthy habits of thinking.   When these inform decisions things don’t often turn out as we’d like.  When this thinking is in play we can discard potentially useful ideas etc. 

Within us we have the capacity for purely healthy thinking.  When thoughts, ideas, decisions come from healthy thinking it feels right.  It’s easily recognized because it has a good feeling attached to it. Often it is a very quiet voice, but when we listen to it, it can be totally relied upon.  This is what we refer to as wisdom. And when wisdom tells us what would work best for us, our team and our organization it’s usually right. 

We all have this capacity for healthy thinking, whenever we want it.  It comes from a part of us that is strong, quietly confident, sure of itself.  A part that holds no judgement or criticism.  It is not worried, not anxious, not fearful.  A part of us that is ego free.  It doesn’t need to prove anything.  When an answer comes from this place it feels right, it feels good.  And we just know. 

We access wisdom when our minds are quiet and calm, free of mental clutter.  Often wisdom comes to us when we least expect it.  People report getting their best ideas or solutions in the shower, whilst running, whilst walking the dog – times when they have relaxed and often when they’ve stopped thinking about the problem!  When our thinking has slowed down, when we’re calm, quiet, relaxed, wisdom shows up.  

This is what we think of as an optimum state of mind for a leader. When we know that this is how it works, that we have this natural capability, we can trust it and use it more often.  We find that once a leader realizes how this works for themselves, they can stay in the optimum state of mind more of the time, they worry less, stress less and their teams flourish. 

This entry was posted in Leadership , Article, State of Mind, tagged Leadership, Judgement and posted on March 3, 2017

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