Yin and Yang Thinking


Yin means “shady side”, while Yang means “sunny side”.

My husband and I sometimes Yin and Yang – I’m usually the Yang, seeing the opportunity, the upside, the benefits, why and how it could work.  Hubby considers the Yin – the downside, what can go wrong, the risks to be managed.   We often switch sides.

It’s a drag being the Yin – but someone has to do it!

Both Yin and Yang are important.  Neither are necessarily “right”.  They are complementary, balancing them usually improves decision making and results.

Do you have a Yin for your Yang?

All human decisions are essentially emotional, and then we justify them with logic and reason.

We make poor decisions when we are overly attached, optimistic or risk adverse. But if there is a Yin for your Yang then you‘ll make better decisions after having considered the opportunities as well as associated risks and downside.

We can exercise Yin and Yang thinking for ourselves by considering both the advantages and disadvantages, the pros and the cons, the risks and the potential rewards.

Confirmation Bias

We are drawn to people with thinking and views similar to our own.  They are fun to be with, we generally see “eye to eye” with them.  We enjoy the pleasurable “me too!” sensation.  They confirm and validate our current thinking.

Conversely, people who challenge us can be frustrating and annoying.

When recruiting we are drawn to, and often hire, people like us.  However, a strong team requires different skills sets, different thinking, and diversity.  An important leadership responsibility is building a strong, diverse team.


We can all benefit from Yin and Yang.  Different viewpoints can be annoying because they challenge our thinking. But to grow we need to be challenged!

“If everyone’s thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking”.

George S Patton



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