Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

A Rational Approach to Leadership and Management

A Rational Approach to Leadership and Management

A Rational Approach to Leadership and Management

The thing that separates you from all other animals, is your power to reason. It is your rational mind, that sets you apart from gorillas, monkeys, tigers and tadpoles.

Other animals are driven by two factors, their Instinct and the environment. But humans have an additional factor that allows us to do all the things that are distinctly human. That additional factor is the rational mind. It is the capacity to think rationally, to deduce consequences, to discover causes, and to think logically, that make us more than a mere, Naked Ape.

It is your rational mind that allows you to think about science, politics, economics, art, psychology, history, architecture, ethics, mathematics and technology. Animals can't do any of that, but humans can, because humans are the Rational Animal. Be a rational animal.

The advice I would like to offer is this:

Treat all problems and all people according to the principles of reason

Apply reason to every issue. And treat all people reasonably.

If you don't treat people reasonably, then you are treating them unreasonably, and NOBODY wants to be treated unreasonably. For best results, treat all people and all problems according to the principles of reason. The next question is.... what are "The principles of reason"?

Here are a few to consider.

1. Being a rational person means primarily: operate according to the facts, not your feelings

You know two things about the world around you: You know the facts, and you know how you feel about them.

But sometimes there is a battle between what you know to be the facts, and your feelings. For example:

Factually, you know you should do your homework. But emotionally you don't want to.

If you were a Fact-first kind of person, you would do your homework even if you were not in the mood.

If you were a Feelings-first kind of person, you would NOT do your homework, because you were not in the mood.

The point is this, the world operates according to the objective facts of reality. The world does NOT operate according to your mood. (As you may have noticed!)

So, a rational person complies with the facts; she does what she knows needs to be done, irrespective of whether she likes doing it, or not.

A non-rational, person does only what he wants to do, and he puts off doing things he does not like doing. An irrational person operates according to his mood, not his mind.

2. Being a rational person also means: be honest with yourself about the truth of the situation

Remember, facts are facts, whether you like them or not.

A rational person always looks honestly at the facts. Even facts that represent bad news. Even facts that seem to suggest your opinion was wrong.

A non-rational person engages in selective perception. They ignore the facts, they don't like. They evade evidence that contradicts their existing opinion.

They bend and buckle the facts to suit their assumptions. A non-rational person gets angry or upset when the facts prove him wrong. He fights all efforts to force a change of opinion.

On the other hand, a rational person is empowered to find out that his old thinking is wrong and is very keen to update his thinking and reformulate his theory of how the world works.

3. A rational person thinks first, then acts

Rational Rachel says to herself, "I will figure out what the right thing to do is, and then I will do that. I want to do the logically right thing."

A non-rational person acts firsts, and then, after he has acted, he tries to justify his actions. He acts according to whatever emotion is prevalent in the moment, and then after he has done something naughty, (because he felt like doing it, or eating it, or saying it) he then proceeds to try to justify why it was okay. Irrational Eric says to himself, "I will act according to how I feel. And then because I did it, it must be right."

In summary

Treat all problems and all people according to the principles of reason.

Being a rational person means primarily: operate according to the facts, not your feelings.

A rational person is NOT driven into action by their momentary emotions.

Being a rational person means be honest with yourself about the truth of the situation.

A rational person thinks first then acts.

A rational person does not act on whim.

Treat all problems and all people according to the principles of reason. We call this, Running on Reason.

Quiz: Do You Have Good Leadership Skills?

Try our quick Do You Good Leadership Skills questionnaire to discover where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager Leadership and Management Training Course Logo

Leadership Training - The Effective Leader Manager

As the team leader or manager, you know that, on the technical level, you are very good. In your role as an effective and inspirational leader-manager, you recognise that there may be some gaps. Now you are searching for a method to help you to improve your skills as a team-leader and manager - click here to find out more!

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Further Reading in Leadership and Management

  • Management Training: Problem Solving Skills
    If you are a manager, then you need to be a problem solver. Read our blog to learn about the three fundamental aspects to problem solving.
    Read Article >
  • Management Training Skills
    Management Training Skills The role of manager is difficult to fill: Not only must you possess technical knowledge, consistent with the product and service that your organisation offers, but also you need to have additional personal skills relating to: The proper organisation of work, together with The ability to inspire the...
    Read Article >
  • Practical Leadership Training
    Leadership ability is not a special quality given to a few people. It is possible to learn a set of identified leadership behaviours which, when practised correctly, will achieve the desired results. Have you got what it takes to be a leader?
    Read Article >
  • Effective Customer Service - The Fab Four
    Good customer service is vital if your organisation is to succeed. A business needs to ensure that staff receive training in the skills which will ensure that customers feel valued. Does your business provide these fab four customer service skills?
    Read Article >
  • Management Training
    Every manager is unique, but the role of all managers is specific. Managers organise the daily workings of the team. Bad managers can negatively affect the team, therefore it is vital that all managers have training in good management practices.
    Read Article >

Looking for Leadership and Management Training?

Are you interested in a good management skills course? If so, you may find this Leadership and Management Training Course beneficial:

Open Training Course Pricing and Availability

4 - 5 July
London - Central
£900 +VAT
7 - 8 July
Online - Teams
£900 +VAT
20 - 21 July
Manchester
£900 +VAT
3 - 4 August
Online - Teams
£900 +VAT
More dates and locations available
Save £100 on this course

Next Open Course Running tomorrow in London - Central, places available Book Now >