Continuing with our discussion on decision making from Part I, let’s look at another combination: Thought, Emotional Energy, and Incentives.

The Birkman Component Thought is one that is incorporated any time we are trying to make a decision. What will differ are the other Components that are being incorporated which is generally based on the external situation.

We will continue to look at just the Stress score combinations:

  • High Thought, High Emotional Energy, High Incentives: When under pressure, this Stress response will turn emotional. Instead of basing a decision on objective reasoning, it becomes about emotion and feeling. And instead of being practical and focused on the impact of others, it is impractical and self-focused. This is a dominant pattern and one of the main reasons for buyer’s remorse. When forced to make a quick decision, panic sets in, followed by the emotional desire for the self-benefit. But once the decision is made, the High Thought Stress remains, causing overthinking and then disappointment still stemming out of the High Emotional Energy
  • Low Thought, Low Emotional Energy, High Incentives: This Stress is somewhat opposite. It is still self-focused. But instead of getting emotional, it becomes too objective, cold, and detached. It still does not consider others in the decision-making process as decisions are made too quickly to think about how it might impact someone else. If there is some buyer’s remorse, it is short-lived and is followed by more decisions to try to change the situation until it looks like something that works.

When combining these Stress responses with the Stress responses from last week, there can be all sorts of things going on in someone’s mind when making a decision. This is why trying to gauge someone’s decision-making ability is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Each person follows their unique pattern, which then changes when in stress.

As leaders, we desire our people to make good decisions. But for that to be possible, we must first understand the environment each person needs in order to make productive and logical decisions and then help create that kind of environment for them.

How do you help your people make better decisions? After understanding some of the different Stress combinations and how they impact decision making, what can you do differently to help your people make better decisions?