We make multiple decisions every day. Some are seemingly small decisions while others seem to be of huge importance. No matter the level of importance, all decisions lead to an outcome or a series of actions. We make the best decisions when rely on our strengths rather than try to shore up our weaknesses.
Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents and others from the time we were growing up, we end up living lives that have been influenced by them. This results in working on our weaknesses while neglecting our strengths and our dreams.
Have you ever given any thought to the fact that 88% of the decisions you make on a daily basis rely on your natural talents and tendencies and that these are part of your subconscious.
Your subconscious is an important, powerful, and much needed tool. The unconscious handles all of your basic physical functions like breathing, your heart rate, your immune system, etc. The subconscious mind holds the blueprint of your body as it is now and also the blueprint of your perfect health.
Because your subconscious mind’s main objective is focused on survival, it can cause you to make decisions based on limited knowledge or beliefs or sometimes even false knowledge. Understanding how we subconsciously use our talents to make decisions can dramatically improve our performance.
In the early 1950’s Dr. Robert S. Hartman created the science of Axiology which studied and created an assessment to determine how we each make decisions when we are in low velocity (when we are thinking about thinking) or making conscious decisions, and how we individually make decisions when we are in high velocity (when we are not thinking about thinking) or making decisions at the subconscious level.
Hartman’s science says there are three dimensions we all consider when making decisions.
- First, there is a dimension called Systems Judgment, which focuses on process, details, and methodical steps we use to accomplish something.
- Next, we use a dimension called Practical Thinking, which focuses on outcomes, getting things accomplished, meeting deadlines, etc.
- The last dimension is Empathy, which is how we include people, our teams, in the decisions we make.
Everyone has and uses all three dimensions in a unique pattern. The question becomes, how and in what pattern do we use these dimensions? The assessment Hartman created gives us that data in great detail. Hartman’s assessment also tells how we use the three dimensions in concert with each other, and what a person’s preference may be for one or two of the dimensions: Systems Judgment, Practical Thinking, and Empathy. If a person has a preference for a particular dimension that also means that they could have a potential blind spot to a particular dimension. What does that mean?
Let’s say, for example, you have three employees. John has a higher preference for Systems Judgment. Amy has a higher preference for Practical Thinking, and George has a higher preference for Empathy. Each of them is standing on his or her respective mountaintop. All three have a very different view of the same village.
At times, it may be hard to quantify, but here are some questions for you to ponder as it relates to your business, division, or department.
- How much money has been left on the table due to improper decisions?
- How many deadlines have been missed because of poor decisions?
- How many opportunities has your team missed because of a decision-making preference that was too narrow in focus?
Successful employees and teams make or break a company. Putting together well-balanced teams who complement each other in their decision-making preferences can lead to measurable results quickly. Find the strengths of everyone on your team and leverage those strengths.