Topic 11: Emotions and Feelings
This chapter explores the red hat in more detail. De Bono states, “If we had no emotions and feelings it would be very difficult to make decisions or choices” (p. 137) and “Emotions and feelings are the way we apply value to a situation. Our sense of values arouses our feelings, which then become emotions if they are strong enough” (p. 138).
Selective perception is when our emotions and feelings focus us on what we want to see and reinforces what we believe already. The way we see the world is filtered through our emotions and feelings, controlling our perceptions. De Bono points out a paradox. Feelings affect our perceptions but “without feelings we would not be interested in perceiving anything at all” (p. 139). When making choices between options that are basically identical we use our feelings to figure out which feels the best. Many rational decisions are based on underlying feelings and emotions.
De Bono distinguishes between subjective and objective adjectives. Objective adjectives support logical decisions more than subjective adjectives would. Adjectives are simple and describe our feelings and emotions most effectively.
First reactions tend to be based on feelings and emotions. First reactions may add to the conversations; however, in some other conversations, listening, asking questions and considering all factors are more helpful before a first reaction is shared. Body language will often give away your first reaction.
Describe a situation with your mentor when you shared a feeling or emotion at the beginning of a conversation and a situation when you shared a feeling or emotion at the end of a conversation. What criteria did you use to state your feelings early in the conversation versus to state your feelings until later in the conversation.
Topic 13: Diversions and off-course
How would you deal with diversions in a conversation? It depends on the purpose of the conversation. Is the conversation serious, boring, entertaining, or scattered? Conversations that move from person to person or topic to topic too quickly can be challenging to follow. Conversations that very few people can participate in are boring and conversations that are repetitive and routine are boring, too. Provocative questions can make conversations more interesting. Elaborating on points can make conversations more entertaining and informative as well.
De Bono writes, “The repetition of conventional points of view is boring unless there is an effort to reconcile the points of view and to design a way forward” (p. 165). Suggesting new ideas, creating doubt and finding ways to move a discussion forward minimize diversions.
Humour is also an important element of conversations, lighting things up, adding fun, allowing things to be said that may otherwise not be said, allowing for speculation. New information, new ways of looking at information and listening to new insights make a conversation more enjoyable.
Describe an example of a diversion in one of your conversations with your mentor. How did this diversion affect the rest of the conversation?