Thinking With the Heart

We could dramatically improve our daily management thanks to the Chinese concept of “thinking with the heart”.


I derive this concept from Zheng Lu Nian, International Consultant and Management Professor. He rightly outlines the major difference between the Western world where the heart is the symbolic location of sentimental perception only, whereas in China, it is considered as the location of overall consciousness.

When the Western world identifies two separate entities – heart and spirit – , the Chinese concept makes no difference between feelings and understandings: there is only one word xin i.e. heart., which means both.

Even more so, out of this ‘heart-spirit’ unique/dual concept, feelings and sentiments by pass the mere reason.

Zheng says: ‘The Chinese are like thermos bottles: hot inside and cold outside’, he asserts that for them feelings are of decisive importance, far more than Westerners ever perceive.

Say differently, the Empire nationals think much more with their heart than with their brain.

Mencius, a Confucius disciple clearly stated: ‘the role of the heart is to think’.

Imagine the breakthrough difference this mix makes in Management behavior.

The mere foundation of a business department, where genuine reference to ‘clan’ implies a constant personal appraisal by every other member of his own contribution, while contrived within such closed economic system of reciprocity.

Within such a demanding framework, an efficient management relationship implies that any preference, whatever its dimension, is paid back in all fairness.

Ultimately, this implies that any business team member is geared, at any given time, to maintain a clean balance between his own contributions and the ones the others provide him with !

A network has two pillars: interests and feelings. It cannot be efficient without any of these. Feelings should not be undermined as they create the core of what links people.

Can more Executives, while standing at the ‘coffee machine’, feel more deeply and behave more often like the ‘thermos bottle’ do… Warm inside!

JP. Caude

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