Your Moods Influence Your Perceptions and Valuations of the People You Are Dealing With
Our brains are wired to react. It is how our brains have evolved, from primeval times when faster reactions meant longer lives and potentially more progeny. Fast reactions meant survival, plain and simple.
Unfortunately, this wiring favors the amygdala over the prefrontal cortex. The result is that decision making can be adversely affected by the overreacting amygdala hijacking the brain’s ability to produce rational and complex thinking. Fortunately, such hijacks can be controlled with practice and persistence.
Our emotional state in a given moment actually influences what we see and perceive, according to a study published in Psychological Science. What we see is not a direct reflection of the world, but rather a mental representation of the world that is induced by our emotional experiences.
“We do not passively detect information in the world and then react to it — we construct our perceptions of the world as the architects of our own experience. Our affective feelings are a critical determinant of the experience we create,” the researchers from the University of California San Francisco reported. “That is, we do not come to know the world through only our external senses — we see the world differently when we feel pleasant or unpleasant.”
The importance of this for leaders is to understand that your varying moods will influence your perceptions and valuations of the people you are dealing with, as well as the information, opinions, and recommendations you are receiving from them.
Emotions are powerful. They dictate your mood and, if left unchecked, compel you to react instead of responding to situations, events, and people. Gaining control over your emotions will enable you to become mentally stronger and empower you to respond to situations, events, and people instead of automatically and emotionally reacting to them.
This article is partially excerpted from my award-winning book Better Decisions Better Thinking Better Outcomes: How to go from Mind Full to Mindful Leadership, available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. The book is the recipient of a Silver Award from the Nonfiction Authors Association for bringing “a comprehensive plan of action for improving life through recognizing decision-making patterns that don’t serve us well, don’t enrich our lives, and don’t bring us to our goals and dreams.”