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  • Pamela

"Head-to-Heart or "Heart-to-Head"?


Many years ago when my husband and I were dating, we would butt heads on certain conversations. We could go around and around, because we can both be hard headed, and think that we are the ‘right’ one! One day we were having yet another debate, and our friend was there with us. Walter, who is very observant, said to me the next day, “Pamela, you see things from your heart to your head, and Raul sees things from his head to his heart.” When I heard this, I said “you are magical, Walter. You nailed it!”. Why couldn’t I see this before? Since that conversation, I applied this concept to the things we would not agree on. Walter was right, time and again: it was the way we were downloading and processing the situation. I feel things with my heart first, and then logically put solutions together. My husband logically downloads information and then has an emotional reaction to the situation. I talked to Raul at great lengths about this observation from Walter. We processed this with our friend many times to really understand it thoroughly -yes, we are geeks like that, and we love it! Smile.

Do you find yourself disagreeing with the same people over and over again?

We labeled this process ”Head-to-Heart/Heart-to-Head”. Raul and I work together in our company, Mosaic Experience, where we do workshops on teamwork, leadership and effective communication. We decided to create an activity where we ask our participants, “Do you take information in from your head to your heart or your heart to your head?” We have been doing this activity for many years now, and the participants love it! The light bulb goes off! During the activity, they say to their co-workers, “Now I understand why you said that, or why you made that decision. I really thought those that stood in the the “Head-to-Heart” group were just cold hearted, didn’t care about people, and they were actually mean!”. On the other side, the folks that were “Heart-to-Head” were labeled and stereotyped as soft, too empathetic, not strong, cry-babies, impulsive and not rational. The characteristics that were listed on both sides were assumptions as to why they made those decisions. This experience with my husband changed my life. I truly see him in a different way now, because I understand better how his mind works. People get it every time we lead this activity! They become more understanding of each other. They try to see each other’s viewpoint, and it helps them work together more cohesively. The reality is groups and teams need both sides! The biggest problem is if you are too much of one or the other. The goal is to have both and if you know your personality slants more to one side, be aware of that bias and do a better job reaching towards the other side. Understanding “Head-to-Heart/Heart-to-Head” can save a marriage, friendships, and working relationships.

Are you a “Heart-to-Head, or Head-to-Heart’? What do you think?

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