5 Decision-Making Patterns You Can Avoid
Maybe you’re a deer in the headlights when a choice is coming your way. You’re just hoping the decision will swerve out of your way before you have to make it, because all you can do is stand there and watch it coming. Or maybe you make decisions so fast that you question them only after you see the wreckage they created.
We all have decision-making patterns. Some help us. Some hurt us. Here are 5 patterns you can learn to avoid:
- Thunderstorm Thinker: Some of us focus too much on risks and drawbacks when making a decision. Let’s say you’re considering taking your first job as a store manager. The Thunderstorm thinker would focus on what’s bad about being a manager and what’s bad about remaining a cashier. This person would go for the decision with fewer bad aspects. A balanced decision-maker thinks through both the pros and cons of a decision.
- The Feeler: All of us have made decisions in the thrill of the moment without considering drawbacks. A sixteen-year-old who tattoos Justin Bieber’s face on her neck is likely a Feeler. The full-time, working student who accepts a second job on the spur of the moment may also be a Feeler. A balanced decision-maker considers a decision logically as well as emotionally.
- The Decision Disowner: Some of us deal with decisions by asking for advice from everyone around. We want others to make the decision for us because we don’t feel capable of making it ourselves. Some of us also cave to other people’s desires when we are trying to make a decision because we feel like we have to please them. A balanced decision-maker gets input from others, and considers how decisions affect others, but makes his or her own decision.
- The Rusher: Sometimes even when we have time to make a decision, we feel like we need to hurry. The Rusher often feels pressured because others are waiting for the decision. In many circumstances, we can say, “Let me think about it,” or “I don’t know,” while we consider the options. A balanced decision-maker takes enough time to thoroughly consider the decision.
- The Staller: Sometimes it’s easiest to avoid decisions we don’t want to make. The Staller often fears the uncertain results of a decision. Life is full of uncertainty, and receiving this uncertainty is part of being able to make decisions. Making a decision sometimes requires a leap of faith that you can meet whatever challenges you face afterward. A balanced decision-maker is willing to take the risk that making choices requires.
Keep your eye out for these patterns in your own decision-making. You can become a balanced decision-maker once you become aware of your weaknesses. Always remember, though, that you can work through the challenges of even a bad decision. Good luck in all your choices!