To be objective in face of uncertainty

uncertainty-risksUncertainty triggers many emotional responses when making decisions. It is common to hear that the best decisions will take facts into account but will still consider the emotional aspects, the “instinct” of the decision maker.

But why is that? why is “instinct” even taken into account? what is the right balance between “emotional” and objective or factual decision making? what can we have in mind when we are looking to be objective in face of uncertainty?

1. INSTINCT: The way of the pack leader

The value of “Instinct” will increase when unexpected success is reached. Instinct is to “blame” when someone takes decisions that will defy the apparent facts and reach a very successful outcome. Personalities are built upon their use of their “instincts.” It is “the way of the pack leader.” Success builds a following and the following pushes into further success if the “pack leader” is a good one.

Experience is also related directly to instincts. Age is directly related to experience. Old “pack leaders” are therefore more common than young ones.

pack_leaderMaybe all of this is common ground to you and me, what matters, in fact, is to understand that behind most “instinctive” decisions there are facts and intelligent analyses.

The “pack leaders” will likely be very analytical people who are always looking out into elements that can contribute to their decision making. The difference with these people is that usually they are looking into less expected information, and making less expected correlations.


2. THE BALANCE: should we get personal about everything?

Oh, the joy of getting personal!

Isn’t it great to just rant and get into things from such a personal point of view that you can almost not think when speaking out? almost as a session with your shrink where all your traumas are put out?

Maybe not.

When the aim is to reach any useful outcome, the less personal the better.

Politics is a field where we see too much of personal views involved. People judge politicians by very personal aspects, and not by factual political actions that are taken. When it matters, the same people making the very personal analyses will take the worse decision, voting for the most corrupt and least qualified candidates for the position.

In business, personal elements in decision making are usually directly related to “happiness.” When the objective is to reach a point where the “happiness level” is the highest, then there is nothing like a very personal analysis. What works for one person will not work for the next, of course.


When decisions impact more than the individual and the micro-universe of personal connections, then it is time to leave the personal aside and become very objective.

The balance, therefore, is less about “a little bit of everything” within each and every decision, and more about “the right amount of ‘personal vs. objective’ in face of each decision.” In some decisions a 100% analytical view can be the way to go – business decisions qualify highly into this trend.


3. BE OBJECTIVE: Get the right information first, check your sources.

In conclusion, one last note: CHECK YOUR SOURCES.

The internet is flooded with fake news and fake data, but the internet is not the only problem.

Even “qualified” news channels will bring very bad and opinionated information. When the press starts bringing opinions instead of facts, don’t follow blindly.

Opinions will include the context of the source. Depending on who (or which channel) is bringing out such opinion, the information will be distorted towards the interests of such source.

Check the facts. Know your stuff. Do your homework. Understand the context of information sources. Understand the context that matters to you and your objectives.


note: the image above is an example of fake news in the internet – a Yoda quote, signed by Dumbledore, with a Gandalf image. 🙂



Alex Gonçalves

Born some time ago, close to the sea and a huge statue of Christ upon a mountain, in explainable ways yours truly has built a love for the understanding of the world around us. This constant 'groove' of curiosity has branched in a love for all things business and marketing related, touching into the arts and a lot of what happens in between.