The Most Important Data Source
Without reservation I can say feelings are the most important data source. First, successful people use their gut, hunches and intuition to fuel their choices. Columbo, MacGyver and Jessica Fletcher, all icons in their own right, show how they use their feelings as information. As a result, their feelings inform them which steps to take, which to avoid and show them what to do next. Secondly, Darth Vader, Harry Potter and the Charmed Women all work tirelessly to reconcile their feelings and use their emotions as their power.
This kind of data is valuable in every aspect of my own daily operations. Often my feelings are complex. I use a tool called the feelings wheel to understand the origin, shades and depth of what is going on. For me, it is all too easy to misunderstand and get sidetracked. My emotions are often an untapped tool, a muscle that needs exercising to assist my decision making.
If you are like me, I want to rush right in. Mellowing with age, I am slowing down. I have learned to take in information and wait, wait, wait. And then use it. There is less drama and more understanding. There are much better decisions. Learning how to harness these emotions is easier said than done.
1. Let the Feeling Happen
I, for one, do not like feelings. They nag at me and pull my mind into a corner. This just delays the inevitable. I have to let the feelings happen. Whether I like it or not.
2. Don’t Judge. Feel.
If you move to judgement, you are blocking a feeling. Don’t point your finger at someone else, know that the three you have pointing back at you are indicators. Use those feelings to tap into inner strength and foresight.
3. Name It.
Identifying an emotion and giving it a label makes it much easier to understand. As a result, whether you like it or not, you can start to think about the actions you need to consider to get you and the situation (mostly you) under control or as I like to say, rightsized.
4. Do Something. Just Sit There.
We are trained to rush, take action, solve the problem. Take a step sideways and slow it down. Take the time to really dig into your gut feelings and then formulate a plan. Consider all angles to fully address the core issues, not just the symptoms or immediate discomfort you may be feeling. Read this blog about how your actions are seen by others.
5. Consult the Feelings Wheel.
Use your feelings for your own good. They are telling you valuable information. If you can’t name it, you can’t use it. Identify and name the emotion. It’s an untapped data source that will boost your intuition, strengthen your resolve and put you back in the driver’s seat of your interactions.