Have you ever wondered why you make “emotional decisions”? The brain has this cool “filing system”, where every memory gets tagged with an emotion, and that's why memories, are emotional. It's called "emotional tagging".
Say you're deciding whether to give an underperforming employee, one last chance. So you think of a similar past experience, and then you begin to “feel” that memory.
If you have a lot of similar experiences, the “strongest emotional memory” is going to stick out.
If you gave the person in mind another chance, and they rose to the occasion and became a top performer, the memory is going to “feel good”. And that “feel-good memory” is going to influence your gut instinct.
It works the other way, too.
Let's say you really like the employee in question, so you instinctively recall someone from your past that you “really liked”, but that employee “didn't” rise to the occasion. In fact, they really let you down and made you look bad. Then your gut instinct is going to tell you to move on.
So what do you do? You've got to give your “rational brain” a chance to catch up with your “emotional brain”, because research shows that your emotional brain operates five times faster, than your rational brain.
Remember, you can accept your emotional thoughts, but you don't have to act on them. Your emotional brain means well, and sometimes your gut instinct is spot on. But you've got to make a conscious effort to engage your more rational brain.
Your gut instinct is the opinion of your emotional brain, but you also need the opinion of your rational brain!
It's like seeking feedback from other people. You want to hear out your emotional brain, but you also want to hear out what your rational brain has to say.
So remember, memories are emotional, and they can lead to emotional decisions.
Your emotional memories are going to be top-of-mind, so you have to take a step back.
Emotional memories can cloud your judgment, but they don’t have to!
The best kind of hindsight is “non-emotional”, but you’ll have to separate the emotion from the memory!