RSS Importance of “I think” vs. “I feel”

I recently attended a seminar entitled “People-Centered Branding” and one of the speakers was Mark Herbert of New Paradigms LLC. Mark, a long-time business acquaintance, specializes in human resource management.
While much of his presentation dealt with building an employment brand, I was particularly interested in his description of “The Principle of Congruency” - which by the way he noted is a trademarked concept.

In essence, this principle deals with employee motivations to create organizational value, and attempting to maximize the alignment of employee thoughts and feelings with personal initiative. Specifically, Mark shared that the best outcomes are derived when employees are able to congruently align the following:
• Their view of the activity
• Their view of their ability to do the activity
• The relationship between the activity and their values
• Their commitment to do the “work”
• Their belief in the product or service

While leaders will see these as inherently important considerations, what was profound to me was learning that what employees “feel” about their work is more important than what they “think.” An interesting statistic shared was that when your “I feel” is in conflict with your “I think,” the “I feel” sentiment wins out 85% of the time. Talk about an important consideration when trying to discover the individual motivations of your team members!

In a recent posting on his own New Paradigms LLC blog (, Mark discusses his loathing of the term human capital because it de-humanizes people and infers that they are a disposable or diminishing resource. He prefers the term partner because that term means a sharing of equity and mutual respect. (Personally I prefer the term talent because it infers a performance expectation built on a certain level of knowledge and skills, and an acknowledgement that management is responsible for its proper “fit” in order to achieve organizational objectives.) Regardless of the preferred terminology, successful leaders will find a way to create an emotional congruency such that their talent not only “believes” they can perform a certain activity, they “feel” confident in doing so.

If you are a leader in your organization, how are you feeling about your work these days? If you are not emotionally in tune with your role as leader, then I wonder what the ramifications to your organization might be. This thought certainly resonates with me, does it with you?

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One Response to “Importance of “I think” vs. “I feel””

  1. Patty McConnell says:

    Thanks for the ‘musings” Mitch! I also want to thank all of the ‘talent’ at Pacific Continental for the evening CEO gatherings!

    I’ll be keeping an eye on this blog

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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