Many do not like to take decisions. However, others would love to take over making your decisions for you. You meet both on an average business day at work. So which one are you? Let’s find out together and what it means for your life and your career.
Meet Sammy: She is a very decisive person. I tried to count how many times she tries to give an opinion to others on an issue that is totally none of her business. I quickly lost count. She is always on the lookout for someone who needs a piece of advice or needs help with a decision. Dishing advice is her specialty. Are you like that? I am not far off from Sammy. Neither are many of us. Many of us are Decisive. We like to make decisions. We even do not mind making decisions for others. We can also form and give an opinion rapidly on any subject under the sun. These are the decisive bunch.
Depending on the profiling method you use, some call them Decisive, Directing, or Commanding. They want to tell others what to do. They want to lead. They are a very proactive bunch. so there decisiveness is not necessarily all good nor all bad. Let us say it has its pros and cons.
Sammy is such a micromanager. she needs to get her hands in everything in the company. Delegation is not in her vocabulary. Sure she would let others do the work. But she has to tell them how, when, what, and why. I heard her once tell her team “I do not want anyone here to think. Just work. I will do the thinking.” As outrageous as such words are, to her, it is just his way of showing frustration with others wanting to make decisions for themselves when she wants to make all the decisions.
Another friend, Ahmed, is almost the opposite. He loves making decisions, but as he puts it “I feel I have to sit on my hands to remind myself to give my team a chance to make their own decisions.” He sighs: “It is not easy for me, but I learned the hard way that I need to give people room if they are going to excel.”
Both Ahmed and Sammy are on one side of the spectrum, while Robert and Lana are on the other side.
Lana hates to make decisions. She is an excellent team leader. Her team respect and appreciate her ability to bring them together and keep them motivated. However, she does not like decisions at all, especially difficult ones. At times I feel she prefers I make decisions for her. I also notice that she is relieved when I make the wrong decision for her. She is relieved that she did not make the mistake herself. She seems happier about that than being distressed for the impact of the mistake. To me, that is amazing.
I also notice Lana waiting on a decision and ignoring it for too long a time. I feel sometimes she wishes the decision would somehow go away and she does not have to make it. Sometimes the decision does go away because the window of opportunity that the decision offered is gone, like getting a discount on an early order, or buying a good piece of property, etc.
Another interesting thing about Lana, she does not consider missing opportunities a problem. For her, the opportunity was not hers to start with. So it is not like she had something and lost it. She always plays it safe with decisions. She prefers the status quo.
Lana has not moved much in her career, she is where she is and she happy about it. She prefers to stay away from the risk, hassle, and limelight further career advances would put her through.
Robert also does not like to make decisions, but he knows he has to take them. Robert knows that if he is left to his emotions, he will take too long to make a decision. He knows some decisions have to be taken fast. He does it even though he does not like it.
You must know people like Ahmed, Robert, Sammy, and Lana. How well have they done in their careers? Which one of them is you like? It is important to observe these things. It is not necessarily good or bad in our performance styles. It is our understanding of our style, acceptance of who we are, and relating to others that help us excel regardless of personality style.