With deliberative being one of my Top 5 strengths via StrengthsQuest, you’d probably think I’m pretty good at making choices. But being deliberative isn’t always a great thing. Here’s why decisive is my #OneWordSA for 2017.
I’ve always been an indecisive person; it’s just in my nature. I can struggle with deciding between options A & B, worried that I’ll regret not taking the other one, or unseen option C. I’m not saying I’m frozen by choice, or that I can’t make a decision in the moment, but I’m likely to overthink the options, even after I’ve already made a choice.
Even though deliberative literally means “characterized by thought”, thought seems to be the thing that prevents me from making choices. Overthinking every choice is exhausting. And it can often lead to frustration from others who would rather have a quick decision.
Now, I’m not saying you can just shout out the first thought that comes to mind when presented a problem. That idea literally makes me cringe. But what can be done, and something I’m going to be doing as often as possible this year, is putting every decision through a simple test. It may not help me decide what to have for dinner, but it will help me in dealing with students.
Questions to Ask
Who are the parties/stakeholders in this issue?
What option/solution best addresses the issue to the benefit of all parties involved?
Is that option morally/ethically/ legally sound?
Now, I’m realistic that this isn’t going to fix everything with my decision making process. I also understand that most of the decisions I make aren’t really “high-stakes”. But taking steps now to fix it will help build a better habit. And isn’t that what resolutions are all about?
This post is part of our #OneWordSA series for January. Student affairs professionals are goal-oriented, change positive, individuals. One word mantras for 2017 are a great way to create focus in the new year. Find out what all kinds of pros are choosing as their #onewordSA this year. For more info, please see Sabina’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!