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Decisions are largely emotional, not logical: the neuroscience behind decision-making

Decisions are largely emotional, not logical: the neuroscience behind decision-making
Think of a situation where you had bulletproof facts, reason, and logic on your side, and believed there was absolutely no way the other person could say no to your perfectly constructed argument and proposal. To do so would be impossible, you figured, because there was no other logical solution or answer.


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Emotionally based decisions

Emotionally based decisions

Have you ever brought a well-constructed argument, convinced that your logic will sway the other party? Except that the other party refused to budge. 

According to the latest finding in neuroscience, what we believe are logical decisions are based on emotion.




Decision-making is not logical

A neuroscientist studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated. He found that they were unable to feel emotions. They were also unable to make decisions. 

They could describe what they should be doing in logical terms but found it very difficult to make even simple decisions, such as what to eat. 



Don't convince with reason

People who believe they can use reason alone to build a case might not succeed. They need to consider the emotional factors that are driving the other person.

The negotiator should create a vision for the other party to bring about discovery and decision on their part.



Building a vision for another person

Get the other party to reveal their problems or unmet objectives.

Build a vision for them of their problem and your proposal as the solution.

They will make their decision because you have helped them feel it is to their advantage and not necessarily because it is logical.




Using emotional intelligence in negotiations

  • Repeat the last 1-3 words your counterpart just said back to them - makes your counterpart feel safe enough.
  • Practice tactical empathy. Demonstrate to your counterpart th...

Your Final Decision

While making your final decision, keep in mind that:

  • You are clear about your deadline for signing the job offer.
  • Assert your deadline continually.
  • U...

Companies Love Negotiating

Companies like you to submit early in the negotiation and be done with it, so it's best not to fall in their traps and pressure tactics.

Respectfully moving forward, showing transparency and maturity signals to the company that you are not just playing games, and are moving towards a final decision. Being honest, open and communicative is the key.

Negotiating is all about relationship, with communication being the bedrock.

Not Just About Money

  • There are various dimensions in a job to be motivated by, not just what you get paid. Your training period, kind of work, kind of team, and the other things you value, like work-life balance, for instance.
  • You also need to understand what the company values. Salary is a recurring cost, that increases over time while being a subject of gossip due to inequality. A joining bonus is a one-time expense and isn't public.
  • There are other perks to negotiate for, like relocation bonus, which can be easier to arrange.

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... is a key life skill, an inherently interpersonal activity that requires a good understanding of human psyche, and it is vital to your success.

Negotiator perform 2 cognitive tasks:

  1. Judgement: Evaluate the content of the available options for its fairness.
  2. Choice: Determine which available option is preferred.

Use a Red Herring

Instead of making one single offer, try offering 3 possible scenarios:

  1.  Something that works for you but can be very expensive for the other party. A win-lose.
  2.  The red herring. Something that is a lose-lose for both parties. An option through which no one wins.
  3. Something that is a middle ground and a win-win for both.
Social psychology shows when you present  more options (the red herring), the other party will rarely decline all the options.