When you come to a crossroads in your career, you know you have to make a decision. If you are a mid-life, mid-career professional, you know your decision can have long-term, serious consequences. Your decision can impact your finances and family as well as your ability to enjoy a career and lifestyle.
Therefore, it’s helpful to understand your decision style. What are you most likely to do when confronted with a challenging decision?
Today the question has become even more critical because often we make decisions about situations where we have no knowledge. In fact, sometimes there is no way to predict logically what will happen after our decision.
I’ve identified two kinds of decision styles: jumpers and clingers.
Faced with a cliff, jumpers will leap. They won’t always check for safety nets. They’ve landed on their feet before and expect to do so again.
Clingers hang on to their metaphorical rock. They agonize over questions like, “How will I know if I’ve made the right decision?”
Jumpers buy round trip tickets. Clingers go one way. Jumpers figure, “I’ll find a place to stay.” Clingers want hotel reservations.
Once you know your style you can make it work for you.
Jumpers are likely to take big actions that can lead to trouble or to big rewards. In a more treacherous environment, their challenge is to take smaller steps and take a few moments to plan even one small action.
A jumper’s greatest assets include willingness to take risks and almost always a high-energy approach to new projects. A clinger tends to have a solid track record, a reputation for steadiness and reliability, and planning skills.
Clingers tend to plan – and plan action – before taking action. They need to take a step – ANY step! – because they tend to analyze so much they never get around to taking action.
It’s especially important to recognize your style before you hire a coach. Many coaches like to encourage their clients to take action, but if you’re a jumper, you need someone to tell you to slow down. If you’re a clinger you’ll need someone who will walk you through the next steps – but beware of anyone who pushes you so enthusiastically you crash and vow never to do this again.
So … are you a jumper or a clinger? Comment below!