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Why it’s important for individuals (& businesses) to use their '3 brains' to make win- win decisions

‘My head is saying one thing, my heart is saying another, however I have a gut feeling…’ A common cliché bandied around when making a tough decision. Many people find that making choices is difficult, and struggle between what their head is saying and what their heart is saying is likely to be all too familiar.

However, studies actually suggest that the conflict when making an important decision is often not only between the head and the heart, but also their gut feeling too. Studies into behavioural modelling suggest that we actually have three ‘brains’, all of which can help in important decision-making. But which ‘brain’ should we follow? Our head, our heart or our gut? Each of these brains has a specialised purpose and one can be more beneficial than others in particular situations.

Head brain

The ‘head brain’ is specialised in strategic thinking and aids us in producing new ideas. It is responsible for leaders’ rational thinking and, in instances where a calculated decision must be made, the head brain should be followed, as long as its not your reptilian (primitive) brain you are following, but that's a whole new blog! In today’s fast- paced world, many people in leadership roles need to be able to develop new ideas to allow their organisations to meet changing conditions at just the right time. If leaders fail to adequately use their head brain, their reasoning might be flawed and as a result they could potentially ignore signals from their environment or make incorrect judgments. Often people find it hard to make decisions for fear of upsetting someone else or because of the fear they have of being judged, criticised or laughed at.

The head brain is best followed in the rational side of decision-making such as drawing up lists of pros and cons for each decision, making SWOT analyses, (SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), seeking rational arguments and convincing family, friends or colleagues that their idea is the best idea.

Heart brain

The ‘heart brain’ holds a persons values and emotional intelligence, allowing them to connect with others and express their feelings and concerns. It also allows them to build relationships and trust with others in a business environment, and helps build better relationships overall, with others. The heart should be used in family and business choices that affect a varied group of people. If one uses their heart brain they can better consider others in decision-making, choosing the best outcome for all involved.

The heart is best followed in tasks where leaders are required to make decisions that involve connecting with others, listening to their feelings and needs, and showing sincere curiosity for what they have to say. The heart should be followed in instances of conflict resolution and decision-making related to sensitive issues.

If you learn to trust and listen to your heart, you won’t come across too many issues and obstacles, at least that is my experience.

Gut brain

The ‘gut brain’, or gut feeling, enables leaders to instinctively respond to challenges, opposition and danger, and gives one the courage to challenge the status quo. It allows leaders to instantly acknowledge threats to their business, and stops them from taking any unnecessary risks involved in decision-making. Not making full use of this gut brain will make it difficult for one to implement plans and take strong action in any situation in life.

The gut brain should be utilised in instinctive decisions, allowing one to avert choices that could potentially have disastrous outcomes, such as important financial decisions.

The gut brain allows us to implement plans and take strong action, ensuring we have a good judgement of the risks involved in doing so. It is important that a person open up to these gut feelings, and put their intuition front and centre when making instinctive decisions.

For the best outcomes, it is vital for a person or business to learn how to utilise all three of their ‘brains’ in the most effective way possible. The challenge for organisations is to provide strong training for their leaders, helping them to identify which ‘brain’ is best suited to deal with each situation that they encounter, and which should be listened to when making important individual decisions to ensure individuals and leaders are as effective as possible in their decision-making.

mBraining in which i coach allows for the three brains to work together to ensure the best outcome for an individual or business. The trick is to ensure that everyone feels like a winner and using the three brains does exactly that.

With love, always x 💚

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