This cliché refers to someone who is outwardly emotional and who will tell you what he thinks and how he feels without exception.
I have always appreciated people who wear their heart on their sleeve. In part, because I think it is easier to get to know someone when you can clearly read their emotions and in part, because I also wear my heart on my sleeve. Not that I really have a choice in the matter. I have never been very good at hiding my emotions and I don’t have the slightest idea how to internalize my feelings.
I think I have always subscribed to Shrek’s way of thinking, which is “better out, than in.” Although I am pretty sure he was referring to something else entirely, the concept applies here. I also think it is healthier to let go of and display your emotions than it is to bottle them up, however, there are some flaws in this thinking.
It is sometimes in your best interest not to let everyone know how you feel about something and, in those cases, some discretion is advised. You also want to make sure that you don’t go overboard either. Sharing your feelings is one thing. Imposing them on others is a different matter altogether.
So, you might ask, what does wearing your heart on your sleeve have to do with decision-making? The only tie I can think of is the correlation between the quality of your decisions and your level of interest in those decisions. I know that I always make better decisions when I am vested in them, mentally and emotionally. I am also convinced that my decisions are more likely to have a positive influence on others if they clearly understand the benefits of the desired outcome and why it is important to them.
It is certainly up to each of us to generate on our own passion and our individual passions are personal to us, however, causes and goals worth fighting for often create unity where there had previously only been individuality. Plus, enthusiasm is infectious.
By Scott Arney, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union.
This article is part of Arney's new series, entitled A New Use for an Old Cliché.
This installment is part of Arney's educational series, entitled The Serial Decision Maker.