Over the last month, I’ve had the opportunity to continue developing skills in areas outside of my comfort zone with the goal of becoming more effective working with and leading others. One of the primary areas of focus for me revolves around decision making - specifically, making decisions in a timely manner without having all of the information available to me. This is VERY challenging for me.
At our Behavior Styles workshop, the self-assessment indicated that my primary Behavior Style is Analyzer-Stabilizer. It was eerie how spot on the style pattern description was for me! One of the statements that really spoke to me was, “Making the ‘right’ decision is important, even to the point of not being able to make any decision.” At work, I want to continue analyzing things until I have uncovered every possible detail that could affect the outcome of a decision. In teams, I often want to do all of the work so I know what exactly was done every step of the way. I know this is not realistic or productive because there is not enough time to do this. It is not a good use of resources. Even knowing this, it is still my natural tendency to gravitate toward wanting to work this way. At the same time, the Stabilizer in me has a strong distaste for confrontation and always wants all parties involved to be happy, which can also lead to indecisiveness.
My intent at work is to provide the most value to my group and company by performing studies that are detailed and accurate and make sound decisions based on the results of those studies. My intent is to do the RIGHT thing. It is also my intent to do this in a non-confrontational environment. However, the Behavior Styles workshop reinforced that although my intent might be positive, the impact of getting caught in the details could potentially be negative to others, especially when working with people with different Behavior Style preferences. I need to choose to be more flexible to meet the Behavior Style needs of others (especially Controllers and Persuaders) and this means making decisions in a timely manner (that are still sound and based on engineering judgement) without feeling the need to uncover every last detail to confirm that I’m right and without the need to make everyone happy.
At a recent training I attended at work, we discussed what makes us trust a leader, and a lot of emphasis was placed on decisiveness. Like so many other things, this is unnatural for me, but I’m hoping that with intentional practice it will become easier. I need to remind myself that even when making decisions without all of the details, by using sound engineering judgement, I usually come to the same conclusions that I would have from digging into the details further. More importantly, I realize that I need to be more comfortable with the fact that I might not always make the right decisions. I need to work on toning down my strong fear of failure.
Meeting the Behavior Style needs of others and being more decisive will have a positive impact on others and myself, and increase my credibility. It will result in increased trust, which is an integral part of being an effective leader and team member. So, here’s to being more decisive and becoming more comfortable being uncomfortable!