People versus Product

Many of us have a technical background, with a more "right-brain" orientation. While this certainly is a strength, it needs to be managed, or it can also be a weakness!

The issue is this:

The right-brain person thinks that logic will prevail.

How ridiculous! The fact is...logic does not always prevail! In fact, logic often gets lost in a seeming maze of illogical arguments! Engineers, for example, can often miss the point because of their attachment to and preference for logic...

Why is that? In one word, "EMOTION".

Dale Carnegie, one of my favorite personal training people, once said:

When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.

That being said, there is a place for logic! There is a place for facts and data!

So, how can you resolve this seeming disconnect between logic and emotion?

I think it's a matter of acknowledging the place of each in reality, and with that recognition, approaching situations in a two-step process:

  1. Research what your stakeholders want. Truly focus on the stakeholders, and not some "thing" that might be represented by the object of the project, such as a product, a particular outcome, or an object of some sort.
  2. Facts and data have a place. Once you've done step 1, use facts and data to make stakeholders feel good about how solutions, presumably steered by them, are solving their problems.

In other words, stakeholders want to be heard, and being heard more often than not contains a significant emotional component. The recommendations and decisions they make will be based at least in part by emotion about the problems they are trying to solve. However, once the recommendations and decisions are made, they will want to naturally see facts and data at that point to feel good about the recommendations and decisions they have made.