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Chapter 11. Decision-Making The Root of ... > The Eight Decision-Making Styles - Pg. 114

Decision-Making The Root of All Action 114 If you're a pollster type, you do the opposite. You survey anybody and everybody to find out what they know about the options you're choosing among, or you ask them what they would do in your situation. Taken too far, the pollster style can mean that you secretly hope someone else will make the decision for you and will tell you what to do. Used responsibly, though, the pollster method is a good way to make an informed decision. It can also be useful for building consensus when a decision you make will affect the lives or work of others. Forecaster or Bean Counter? Forecasters are, as you might have guessed, futureoriented. They tend to focus on the implications of decisions they're making. They think through where various forks in the road would lead. This visionary approach ensures that a decision you make today won't mess up your life tomorrow, be- cause you've thought through its long range consequences. A common pitfall of this approach, however, is that you might see the forest but lose sight of the trees; in other words, you consider the big picture but overlook critical details. That's where the bean-counter approach becomes important. Bean-counters focus on the details and the bottom line. They gather the nitty-gritty data that's needed to make a fully informed decision. The key here is to strike a balance between the longrange view of the forecaster and the attention to detail of the bean-counter. Analyst or Feeler? I once saw a client in my career counseling private practice who was a 55-year-old engineering professor who had just been admitted to medical school. He was having an extremely difficult time deciding whether to embark on such a long, arduous route at that point in his life. This man was a perfect example of the analyst style of decision-making. He would come into my office with elaborate flowcharts, spreadsheets, and graphs that laid out his options and analyzed the pros and cons of each. Unfortunately, all that fancy data analysis wasn't getting him any closer to a decision. What was missing was the perspective of the feeler. Good decisions are based on the right balance of head and heart, on analyzing objective data but also listening to what your gut instincts tell you. Feelers listen to what their values tell them is the right thing to do, and they listen to their intuition. Those aren't things that can be plotted on a chart or graph, but they are often just as valid as the analyst's data. Hunter Gatherer or Settler? Do you tend to leave no stone unturned when hunting for information to help you make a decision? Do you gather so much information you can't begin to sort through it all? Or do you lose patience with the research process and become so uncomfortable about not having made a decision that you just settle on an option, even if you're not 100 percent sure it's the right one? As with all of these pairs of decision-making styles, striking the right balance between huntergatherer and settler is essential. You have to collect enough information to make an informed decision but not use the research process as an excuse to keep delaying it. You have to call an end to the debating, deliberating, and weighing of options at some point. But you shouldn't make too hasty a decision just for the sake of having one made.