How Your Preferences Play Into Your Decision-Making

Every day, you make countless decisions, from trivial choices like what to eat for breakfast to significant ones like career moves. Often, you believe these decisions are purely rational, but in reality, your personalities and preferences play a crucial role. Understanding this interaction can lead you make more informed and balanced decisions.

The Interplay of Personality and Decision-Making:

When you recognise that your personality traits significantly influence your decision-making process you then understand it doesn’t have to govern your decision-making process. For instance, extroverts, known for their outgoing nature, might make quicker decisions in social contexts, valuing immediate rewards or responses. In contrast, introverts may take longer, weighing their options more deeply, especially in introspective matters. This dichotomy extends to other personality dimensions as well, such as openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and change, each adding a unique tint to our decision-making lens.

Research in psychology has long established this link. A study by Hirsh, Morisano, and Peterson (2008) found that individual differences in personality traits seem to correlate with decision-making styles. They noted that people high in openness to experience and extraversion tended to make more intuitive decisions, while those high in conscientiousness were more analytical and deliberate. Whether this is right the evidence is there that your personality causes bias in your decisions. As a leader this can lead to lower quality decision-making. So how do you acknowledge your bias an mitigate it towards better quality decisions?

Practical Steps to Mitigate Bias in Decision-Making

1. Self-Awareness – Start by understanding and exploring your personality traits. Tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Five Voices assessment by GiANT can provide insights. Recognise your predispositions and consider how they might colour your decisions.

2. Seek Out Diverse Perspectives – To counter personal biases, actively seek opinions from people with different personality types and backgrounds. This diversity can provide a more rounded view of the situation, helping to challenge your automatic preferences.

3. Reflect Before Reacting –  When faced with a decision, pause and reflect. Ask yourself if your immediate preference is truly the best option or are you being overly influenced by your personality? This step is crucial for those of you who may act impulsively when making decisions or those who tend to rely heavily on intuition.

4. Pros and Cons List – Although it has been around a long time it is worth going through this exercise. This simple yet effective tool can help you visualize the different aspects of a decision, thus reducing the influence of your personal biases.

5. Long-Term Thinking –  Consider the long-term implications of your decisions. Sometimes, our preferences favour immediate gratification or comfort, but long-term thinking can provide a different perspective, leading to more balanced choices. Urgency must be balanced with longer term consequences.

Our preferences, flow out of your personality traits, and play a significant role in your decision-making process. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate their influence, being aware of this interplay and actively working to mitigate your biases can lead to more thoughtful, inclusive and effective decision-making. By embracing these strategies, you can navigate your choices with a clearer, more balanced approach, leading to better outcomes in both personal and professional realms.

To gain more clarity contact me for a discovery call here.

References:

– Hirsh, J.B., Morisano, D., & Peterson, J.B. (2008). Delay discounting: Interactions between personality and cognitive ability. Journal of Research in Personality, 42(6), 1646-1652.

– Personality and decision-making: the role of impulsivity and rational thinking. Psychological Reports, 82(1), 67-78.

– Myers, I.B., & Myers, P.B. (1995). Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type. Mountain View, CA: Davies-Black Publishing.

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

Mark Billage

Mark Billage

Mark’s passion is to help realise individuals’ potential, be they leaders or team members, through empowering organisational culture. He has spent 7 years leading an organisation based in the non profit sector. In that time, he focused on creating a culture that enabled and empowered individuals, with the aim of seeing a high performing team better able to achieve the organisation’s mission.

Our Vision

To train and equip leaders to transform culture, build successful teams and organisations where everyone is seen, heard and valued for their unique contribution.

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