logic vs emotion cartoon

Balancing Logic and Emotion: Building Meaningful Connections

In my Peak Resilience Accelerator programme, we are working with Positive Intelligence® to uncover our ‘gremlins.’ Find out which inner saboteurs are holding you back here. This week, I’m looking at the Hyper-Rational gremlin, and how we can learn to understand the impact of hyper-rationality on relationships and learn to become skilled at balancing logic and emotion. It’s time to enhance your interpersonal skills and foster deeper connections!

The Hyper-Rational Gremlin

People with the Hyper-Rational saboteur think their intelligence protects them from any ill-effects. No doubt these are smart people, but balancing logic and emotion is where real strength originates. This ‘gremlin’ thinks of their intellect as their sole shield in a chaotic world.

This means they don’t always engage with others as well as they might. This was especially true for a coaching client, Miranda, who was senior in a drug discovery firm. 

Hyper-Rationals seem: 
  • Dedicated to knowledge – ‘I’ll succeed if I master knowledge.’ 
  • Inventive and curious – ’There’s always more to discover.’
  • Analytical and private – ‘I need to shut out intrusions.’
  • Intellectually arrogant – ‘I think, therefore I am.’ 
  • Sceptical and cynical – ‘Most people are sloppy in their thinking.’
  • Distant and cold – ‘Emotions are distracting and irrelevant.’ 

Do Teammates Dream of Closer Relationships?

These people are fantastic for setting up worthwhile goals, but their sole focus on rational thought over emotion ultimately costs them relationships. It limits the depth and flexibility of relationships, as people feel they are being analysed more than genuinely cared for. Balancing logic and emotion, and not weighting logic beyond everything else, is key to getting people on board for your ideas and decisions.

Indeed, Miranda said that while she had no problem initially attracting people to her lab because of its ground-breaking research, her feedback suggested they didn’t always feel as much of a team as she ‘reasoned it was good for them to feel.’ She came to our session, initially thinking people weren’t working hard enough, but soon discovered it was her lack of balancing logic with emotion that was the problem. She had to remember she was working with people, in addition to computers.

Sharpest Tool in the Shed?

Hyper-Rationals’ escape into the mind gives a false sense of security and intellectual superiority. Not always an attractive trait. This makes balancing logic and emotion all the more important. This means they can be seen as distant and self-important. Indeed Miranda was also an introvert who liked alone time in her office to ‘think things through.’

Hyper-Rational gremlins feel the best way to show commitment, feelings, and passion, is through ideas. They benefit from seeing that reason and rational thinking is solely one tool in their ‘toolbox’ and that adding others takes nothing away. But balancing logic and emotion requires the entire toolbox. 

Does This Sound Like You?

If this sounds like you or someone you love, ask yourself: 

  1. If your rational mind was just one tool in your toolbox, what would that mean?
  2. Would you rather be right all the time, or happy?
  3. Which challenges might be better served with a different tool, such as empathy or intuition?
  4. How could you show empathy while not necessarily agreeing with the other person?
  5. What’s the difference between being smart and making a wise decision?
  6. If you went even 10% beyond your comfort zone, what might that give you?

‘Yes, And …’

The fourth question in particular moved Miranda on as we explored the ‘Yes, and…’ game. In this game, she was challenged to not dismiss all ideas she didn’t instantly like, as she was known for doing. If she could find the 10% of the statement or idea that she appreciated or identified with, she could build on that instead.

After all, no one idea or where it came from is 100% wrong. In our next session, Miranda confided that this approach had worked far better with ‘prickly others’ than she’d even expected, and that she’d be using it more routinely with everyone! 

Consider: what could a ‘Yes, and…’ approach do for you? 

If you want to learn more about what your saboteurs might be doing to hold you back in your career, keep an eye out for my next round of Peak Resilience Accelerator sessions! Or get in contact for some executive coaching sessions, or a webinar talk.

Balancing Logic and Emotion: Building Meaningful Connections
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Balancing Logic and Emotion: Building Meaningful Connections
Understand the impact of hyper-rationality on relationships and learn to strike a balance between logic and emotion. Enhance your interpersonal skills and foster deeper connections.
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InclusIQ Ltd.
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