Posts tagged ‘Decision Making’

When You’re on the Hot Seat

Here in the Midwest, we are experiencing a heat wave. In nearby St. Louis, yesterday’s temperature rose to 102 degrees and today it is 101—never mind the heat index (I’m not even going to go there)! So it seems appropriate to write about being on the “Hot Seat.”

Many times we find ourselves on the hot seat. We are experiencing a trauma, a loss, a crisis, an emotional upheaval or trial. When we are in the midst of that time, the first temptation is to change things—do something different to escape the pain.

Let’s say you’ve had it with your boss. You’ve put up with him for years and you’re at your wits end. And one day he does something that you feel is the last straw. As you reel from the emotional hit you’ve just taken, your first thought is to quit and take the first job that’s offered to you.

Makes sense doesn’t it? You don’t like the abuse. You need a change, so you make a decision—any decision.

Problem is—it won’t work.

You heard me right. I’m going to go out on a limb and make an absolute statement about this type of situation. Whenever you make a decision as a reaction to a heightened emotional event, then you will regret it. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday soon—you’ll be sorry.

The reason it won’t work is because decisions made in the heat of emotion are distorted.  Actually, in those emotional moments, you are not making a well thought out decision at all, you are reacting. And reacting is the playground of fools.

Here’s a rule of thumb I tell my clients – Never make a decision when you are experiencing heightened emotions. In fact, if you can, you might want to wait several weeks, months or even years to really work through and pray through those emotions before making your decision. Once you’re no longer strongly affected by the emotions, then you can see clearly to make the right decision.