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What’s Most Effective – Cerebral Versus Emotional

Some topics are very prone to become inflammatory. Most people have strong opinions on subjects like religion, politics, race and sexuality. They identify with those opinions and view criticisms of those opinions as personal attacks. That is when tempers will flare and debates will turn into scrambles. Once this has happened, the debate is over. No consensus can be reached and even a narrowing down of the diverging position is rendered impossible.

Basically we are not pragmatic creatures of logic. Dale Carnegie said, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” Whether we like it or not, Carnegie was basically right. We start out primarily as emotional being but it does not mean that we don’t have the capacity to evolve and grow.

Growth is essential if we have any hope of influencing others into our way of thinking. A statement inspired by anger has no chance of being taken constructively. The anger comes through but the rhetoric falls flat. The message becomes overshadowed by the spirit that formulated it.

Effective communication is difficult enough that it does not need to be clouded any further by emotional knee jerk reactions.

People will be further swayed into holding previously held beliefs by emotional appeals but that technique will be counterproductive if a change of perspective is sought.

Anger is such a powerful emotion that the message that it sends completely obliterate the effectiveness of the words that accompanies it. Anger represents the possibility of danger and warding off that danger becomes the priority.

When trying to convince, the mature mind will reach beyond the world of negative emotions to get its message across. The mature mind understand that anger implies a sense of inadequacy and insecurity. Anger is the last resource when everything else has failed and danger is eminent. Not the hallmark of a strong and resourceful person.

Cerebral and not emotional. Reason before passion. The keywords in debating, the keywords when seeking to advance an agenda, implementing a point of view or changing someone’s mind. That is what great leaders do and they do it because they know that it works.

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