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I Feel Therefore I Think: If You’re A Leader, This Verbal Habit Could Be Undermining You

Source | | Shane Snow

In the early days of humankind, the universal way to resolve a difference of opinion was to bash the other person’s head with a rock.

Fortunately, today we’re able to handle most of those kinds of conflicts with words.

But our choice of words makes the difference between getting anywhere that a rock wouldn’t get us. In order to hash out differences—or even better, to build off each different viewpoints and make conflict productive—we need to express our thinking clearly

And that’s why I’m concerned about a linguistic habit that seems to have gone viral over the last few years:

  • “I feel like things are going to get better.”
  • “I feel that the sales team is too bloated.”
  • “I feel like Bob doesn’t like me.”
  • “I feel that we should go with Plan A.”

Each of these four sentences conflates what the person feels with what they think. None of them are actually expressions of an emotion or physical feeling, and each phrase is therefore inaccurate in its own way:

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