• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Dig deeper

A couple of months ago, in a conversation with a leader coach, we discussed several ways to understand how different members on a team function. This coach shared with me the following diagram.

Decision process

The diagram captures how people on a team can process and make decisions. For example, there are people who are rapid in processing the elements of the decision, but are slow to ultimately make the decision. It’s not that one column or way of processing and deciding is better than all the others.  The ultimate purpose of the grid is to help a person on a team learn from others and know how best to manage or navigate the  decision making process with others.

This is where the insight came for me. Rapid processors and rapid decision makers can digdeeperlearn a lot from ‘digging deeper’ into an issue through the help of those who process more slowly and take more time to make decisions.  However slow processors and slow decision makers can learn a lot from being ‘moved along’ in the journey towards a decision by those who process more rapidly so that a ‘divine opportunity’ is not missed because the team took too long to come to a decision.

Obviously, there is a lot of give and take needed in such a discussion. If we add in the other cultural elements in play from various members of a multicultural team, then the discussion can look extremely complex. However, that should not keep us from moving towards each other to learn from one another. A lot of times it begins by simply asking good questions to learn how others are processing a decision, and then seeing how that could impact our journey in the decision makingi process.

8 Responses

  1. That is a very interesting diagram. As a slow processor, why am I sometimes quick at making decisions and at other times (usually) slow at decision making?

    Take the quick decision first. If I have already processed something on my own or previously I am more ready to take a quick decision. However, sometimes I will frustrate people because I will want to readdress the question. This happens when I hear or think of something I had not considered before. Sometimes I simply intuitively feel something is right.(see below)

    The slow decision comes because I want to hear everyone’s input and in my mind process it with other things I know and believe, such as biblical values. In my mind I go through the details, consider who are the actors, and think about desired and unwanted consequences. Sometimes, I simply feel intuitively that something is not right!

    We do need to be decisive; but our decisions need to be carefully weighed. And in all this, we all want to be sure–I hope–that our decision is what seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us.

    • John, your reply demonstrates the benefit of this kind of interaction between people who ‘process’ differently. The diagram is not exhaustive in any way. I simply found it helpful to better appreciate and listen to others who may process differently than I do.

  2. I must testify; this topic reminds me of one of the many big reasons I am happy to be married to Beth. We SO much need each other …and I have learned a great deal in being married to a quick decision maker. There are situations that merit fast or slow decisions. My tendency is to process and decide slowly. Sometimes that is prudent and helpful for the long haul. Other times it wastes time and/or frustrates others along the way. I have grown (and need others in the community to help me continue growing) in discerning the difference and stewarding my contributions.

    It is encouraging in teams when others ask good questions that open our hearts and minds to considerations that I might not have had. Likewise, it is helpful when leaders acknowledge ‘process’ and guide us all in anticipating a point of decision.

    • Asking good questions is essential to any process, but particularly in decision making. May the Lord help us to grow in this area!

  3. Good points being made here David. Thanks!

    If I work to understand and learn from the perspective of the other, instead of simply “championing” my perspective, I will indeed learn, grow, and likely arrive at a better decision.

    In the heat of things – easier said then done… yet, the Holy Spirit provides the fruit of love, patience, self-control, gentleness… all relevant to this 🙂

    • Thanks Jacob! Now you have hit on the importance of the Gospel in these kinds of decision process discussions. Much can be stirred up in our hearts and we need the Holy Spirit to help us learn and grow from one another through this kind of decision making process.

  4. How about the element of outward processor vs. inward processor? I find that there is low understanding for outward processing with others among the inward processing folks – and vice versa. This complicates the chart as well –

    but useful chart – to even recognize these differences will help a lot in developing respect for one another and our perspectives. Awareness of other’s differences is key here – and allow our awareness to grow.

    We do so need each other in this -it’s one of the best parts of being married; you can get the benefit of a completely different view that leads to a much better joint decision….if there is awareness, communication and respect and invitation given for the HS to be at work in the midst of it all. We need His advocate leading.

    • Thanks Gwen! There are certainly other items that influence this diagram, but you caught the drift of the importance of learning from one another in the process, and in raising other items that influence the process and which we need each need to consider when working together with one another towards a decision.

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