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Stacey Chillemi

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Newsletter Dated: 8/20/2006 6:10:28 PM

Subject: Inspirational Living

What kind of decision-maker are you?
Kathleen Richardson

Decide to be indecisive

One way of making a decision is to not make a decision at all. Behind this reasoning is the justification that you are putting lots of time and thought into the matter, considering pros and cons, day after day, week after week, and even year after year.

If you put a decision off long enough, it may eventually be taken out of your hands. You may feel an uneasy sense of relief at having the responsibility removed. Or you may be stunned by the ultimate outcome: surely all the time you spent considering the matter should have made a difference; all’s well that ends well. But, then, all does not always end well.

Consider the lengthy, in-depth cogitation you devote to your employment. It may be that you love where you work but are not sure this is the career field for you. Your supervisor is likeable but unmotivated and maybe holding you back from greater success. You get along with all your co-workers except for that one particular person who is driving everyone crazy. You do not mind the long drive, but you hate spending the money on gasoline. Anyway, you stay in this job, doing occasional online job searches.

Then, layoffs begin and you have kind of gotten your wish. You are out of the career field – at least for the time being. No more uninspiring supervisor. No more unpleasant co-worker. No more long drive. No more paycheck.

This type of decision-maker will never lack for material for cogitation.

Backpedaling

Congratulations, you are able to make decisions after brief, careful review. Several days or weeks later, however, the matter is still on your mind and you decide to take another look. New facts, new directions of thought, affect your original determination and it no longer appears sensible. Maybe that first choice was not the best one and it is not too late to change your mind.

An example that comes to mind is health. A month after a bout with the flu, you’re still not feeling like your old self. As a matter of fact, you have cut your former 2-mile daily walks to one mile and even that little bit is tiring. Occasionally you feel a tightening around your chest. It only last a minute or two. You probably should have taken more time to recover from the flu. It cannot be your heart. You are too young and you take such good care of yourself.

Finally you decide to schedule a physical checkup. The appointment is in two weeks. A week after you call the doctor’s office, you are feeling pretty darn good and even walking two miles daily again. You cancel the appointment.

A month later, the twinge is back along with a slight shortness of breath during your walks. You schedule another appointment.

This type of decision-making can continue ad infinitum, or until something happens to break the cycle.


Odds-on favorite

Quick thoughtful decisions occur when


*You become aware of an unsettling situation
*You quickly think through the pros and cons, deciding the best first direction to take
*You take steps to implement that decision, knowing that once you have carried through you can decide on next steps if they are called for
*You let go of concerns or worry.


Again using health as an example, you have become aware of a mole on your back. The mole is changing shape and color. You are also aware this can be an indicator of skin cancer. Instead of going into depression over what might be, you call the dermatologist and arrange the earliest possible appointment. You make a deliberate decision to save any potential worrying until after that appointment.

Examine your style

These are only three types of decision-makers. You may have another approach. Are you comfortable with how you make and implement decisions? Is your method serving you well?

Or is your anxiety level constantly on high? If so, you might want to consider a new way of making decisions. Talk with supportive family and friends about your decision-making style. If you have observed others who are at peace with the decisions they make, ask them how they do it. Be willing to listen and then experiment until you find the method that works best for you."


About the Author
Kathleen Richardson is a graduate of the Coachville Graduate School of Coaching. She established Life Coaching On Your Way To The Top in 2001 and in 2005 she branched out as a Volunteer Management Coach where she uses 20 years of experience to help non-profits attract volunteers. Her monthly column, It’s Your Life, is featured in the Elmira NY Star-Gazette’s Health & Fitness magazine. Kathleen Richardson may be contacted at http://www.onyourwaytothetop.com. Click here to view more articles by Kathleen Richardson.


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