When interviewing candidates for Dosh I am always willing them to respond with the perfect answers which will help them achieve maximum points. 

Sitting across from a candidate during a recent series of interviews, I asked the question “what is your approach to decision making?” – on paper it looks straight forward as we probably make more than 100 decisions a day without analysing our approach on how we make those decisions, so perhaps this is the reason some of our candidates get a stuck on a response.

As I ask the question, I wonder how I would respond if I was the candidate? My next thought is, I know someone who has a number of different strategies for making decisions and if ever I am asked this interview question and want to score the maximum points, I think I will ‘borrow’ Bettina’s approach.

Bettina lives at home with her family and we spend lots of time with her every day, however, during this weekend I have given it extra thought, observing Bettina’s approach to decision making. Some of these strategies may not come as a surprise to you; although some may give you pause for thought.

Bettina’s 5 Approaches to Decision Making:

  1. Bettina uses her senses

I observe how Bettina uses her five senses:

  • At the dinner table, especially if Joyce has created something we have not had before (this is not unusual as Joyce is an amazing cook and baker).  All 5 senses are in play, including hearing: what are the others saying around the table about our meal?
  • To multi task.  Sitting on the sofa with Bettina watching YouTube videos together, I can see by the tilt of her head she is listening for movement from the kitchen, she can smell cooking so Bettina knows soon we are both going to be called into the dining room.  Before this happens though we continue watching YouTube videos as well as watching the TV in the background (is there a better option on view for Bettina?).  At any moment Bettina will make her decision to stand up, remove her spectacles, and be ready to be first in the dining room. (I would get knocked over in the rush if I tried to compete!)
  • Trust – in the people who are significant in her life to support you with a decision

We often need those people who are significant in our lives to help us make decisions.  Bettina is no different; she places great importance in ‘Trust’ before she will allow you into her decision making process.  Trust is something to be earned:

Reliability.Someone whom you can believe in and rely on

Honesty– By being honest, she becomes confident in you and your support.

Responsibility – You take your obligations to Bettina seriously – she is incredibly vulnerable so you can never let her down

Consistency – As Joyce tells me, stick with the plan! If you say you are going somewhere with Bettina and you have communicated each stage of the plan with her, you must always stick to it

Belief – You demonstrate that you believe in Bettina – her hopes, dreams and expectations

  • Trusts her instinct

Bettina has always lived by her instincts which are also part of her survival mechanism living in a world that can be confusing, at times distressing, and often frustrating.  (Read more about Bettina’s 5 lessons in trust)

Bettina relies on her instinct to make quick, (sometimes) impulsive decision(s), respond to emergencies and perceived dangers based on:

  • Experience
  • Self belief
  • The right to make a mistake
  • Procrastinates on Purpose

There are ‘decisions’ Bettina knows she needs to make but doesn’t feel she needs to make them right now.  Bettina refuses to be pressured by others. 

Bettina will procrastinate on purpose when:

  • She feels she does not have all the information or facts in front of her to make her decision
  • She doesn’t feel the decision is important and/or urgent
  • Bettina has other priorities that she needs to work through first
  • It is possible the decision will no longer need to be made and the issue simply goes away
  • It is an opportunity to delegate e.g. if I can leave it long enough my Dad will do it for me.
  • Bettina ‘shapes the ground’ if the occasion demands it – and only when the ground is shaped to her satisfaction, will Bettina make the decision.

Without prior warning Bettina often makes the decision because the time is right for her.

“When I feel lost & can’t make a decision, I just stop & get quiet. I take time out” Kim Cattrall

  • Commits to the decision

Whether Bettina makes an impulsive decision or whether she has taken her time, once she has made the decision she commits to it totally and there is no going back. 

Bettina brings concentration and relentless focus to her decision:

  • Getting her game face on – a look that I recognise that says that mentally she is getting into her positive mind-set.
  • I could almost hear her brain ticking as she makes her plan and what her priorities are going to be
  • Her body language (and her facial expression) is clear and open. She does not want to be disturbed until she has finished.
  • She repeats a mantra to her herself. She does this often and I believe it helps her concentration and keeps her focused on the decision she has made
  • Bettina brings all her thoughts to bear on the activity, fixing her attention and efforts on the decision, not allowing anything to distract her until she has fulfilled her objective

(Read more about Bettina’s lessons in concentration and focus.)

Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.” Caroline Myss

Bettina’s Five ‘Quick Tips’ for an approach to Decision Making

  • Don’t be rushed into making a decision until you are ready
  • You can only make the best decision with the information in front of you – so don’t second guess
  • Just because it is urgent for someone else, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is urgent for you
  • Don’t make their problem your problem
  • Have you made this decision before? Did it work out ok? Then do it again.  No point in reinventing the wheel
  • Is the decision the best one not just for you but also for the people who are significant in your life?
  • Once you have made the decision, commit to it.

Bettina makes a decision for me……..

Bettina takes a step back in front of me and examines both shirts I am holding up.  “That one” Bettina is pointing to the shirt in my left hand. We are both in a ‘Crew Clothing’ shop in Southwold (Suffolk, UK) and I couldn’t make up my mind which shirt to buy.  I’ve always trusted Bettina’s judgement!

There are times when it is ok to take a break from decision making, well that was my excuse. Thanks Bettina you made the right decision (for me!)