It's not just who you know…
       it's what you know about who you know!

For Advice about Big Decisions: Ask Your Opposite

by Paul Tieger

You’re about to make a big decision – which college to apply to, whether to take one job offer over another, if this is the right time to buy that house. These are big deal decisions because your choice will set in motion events that can change the course of your life.

This got me thinking about how most of us go about making big decisions. It’s human nature to surround ourselves with people like ourselves, because it makes us feel comfortable. However, this can have some serious unintended consequences.

For example, when we have an important decision to make, we usually seek the advice of someone whom we (subconsciously hope) will reinforce our point of view, or tell us what we want to hear, and do go to someone who’s going to give us a hard time.

That makes sense. So what’s the problem with that? We run the very real risk of not hearing what we need to hear, which can prevent us from making the best decision. So who should you turn to for help making our most important decisions? Ideally, someone whom you trust, who knows you and who has your best interest at heart. But it should also be someone who is different enough from you – Personality Type-wise – to see what you cannot. For example:

If you’re a Feeler, you should consult a Thinker, who is more likely to give you the unvarnished, objective (although sometimes painful) truth.

If you’re a Thinker, a Feeler can help you sort out how important the issue is to you, and how your decision will affect others.

If you’re a Sensor, an Intuitive can help you see the big picture, and possibilities and options that you just can’t imagine naturally.

If you’re an Intuitive, consulting with a Sensor can help you see the reality of the situation – what really going on, and help you come up with some practical, workable solutions.

When seeking some one’s advice, here’s a suggestion: You’ll need to preface your conversation by acknowledging that your friend has strengths that you don’t, and you need to encourage that person to be very candid with you. And of course, you need to be open to hearing their honest feedback, if this is going to work.

Making a conscious decision to seek the honest opinion of someone with an opposite personality type preference can help you make much more balanced decisions and also improve your relationship, because you and your friend or colleague will now be even more valuable to each other than ever.

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