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BBI of Chicago
August 2021

The brain during the decision-making process 


By: Monique Rios Cunha.

The decision-making process, contrary to what it seems like, is not entirely logical and rational. In reality, many emotional and cognitive factors influence it. 

Our brain can be divided into the right hemisphere (more intuitive and emotional) and the left hemisphere (more logical and rational). “Our left brain thinks, uses speech, and solves problems. Our right brain is intuitive, emotional, and involved with the functions of the body. When we are overloaded with emotion and can’t think straight, our right brain takes charge. When we are overly analytical and distanced from our emotions, we are stuck on our left brain. However, when we are feeling integrated and performing well, that is when our right and left brain are interacting with one another with efficiency.” (GRAND, 2013, p.11). Several times we make wrong decisions because we let our emotions take control. Furthermore, when a human being feels overly pressured or overloaded with information, they can have a mental block for more complex decision-making. 

According to Blount (2018, p.64), “What distinguishes the super sellers from the mediocre professionals is the fact that they are conscious of their deficiencies and blocks. They:
- Interpret with precision their emotions.
- Recognize their emotional blocks.
- Are realistic about their strengths and weaknesses.
- Understand their styles of communication and how they affect other people.
- Are conscious of their emotions and the negative effects they might have on their relationships and performance.” 

Consequently, we must understand what influences our brain and know how to interpret our emotions so that the decision made is the closest to perfect as possible. “The best we can do is an agreement: learn how to recognize situations where mistakes are likely to happen and make an effort to avoid significant mistakes when there is a lot to lose.” (KAHNEMAN, 2012, p.33).

Considering the previously mentioned aspects, we can conclude that it is hard to predict mistakes based on our intuition, and it is not always possible to avoid that emotional and cognitive biases interfere. Consequently, it is impracticable to always question oneself if the decision being made is coming from the right or the left brain. So, it is important to get to know our emotions, blocks, and try to predict as much as we can the situations that are predictable. In that way, we can make more efficient decisions, develop our negotiation skills, and solve complex problems, in addition to developing our strategic thinking



GRAND, David. Brainspotting: A nova terapia revolucionária para mudança rápida e efetiva. Brasília: TraumaClinic Edições, 2013. 

BLOUNT, Jeb. Inteligência emocional em vendas: Como os supervendedores utilizam a inteligência emocional para fechar mais negócios. São Paulo: Autêntica Business, 2018. 

KAHNEMAN, Daniel. Rápido e devagar: duas formas de pensar. Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva, 2012.

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