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Guiding Your Client: Introspective Decision Making Part 2

Practical Approaches for Diverse Decision-Makers

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the initial steps in guiding your client toward introspective decision making. We touched upon the importance of understanding decision-making styles and addressing negative emotions and fear. In Part 2, we will explore practical approaches for different types of decision-makers.

The Impulsive Decision-Maker

Impulsive decision-makers often act without thorough consideration. To help them become more introspective, consider the following:

  • Encourage them to pause before making decisions. Suggest setting a "cooling-off" period to allow for reflection.

  • Ask them to list the pros and cons of their choices to visualize potential consequences.

  • Help them recognize and manage impulsive emotions by practicing emotional regulation techniques such as journaling.

Those who act on impulse often do so because only one option is considered or worth considering to them. By creating space for your client to slow down just enough to think about the decision before them, this can help make an actual informed decision, rather than a “gut feeling” or trying to “just do something.” 

You can help your client manage impulsive emotions by showing them how to assess what sort of decision needs to be made. For an example related to their pregnancy, if your client knows how far along she is, then she can better determine how much time she has to consider all three of her options. This helps her to see she does not have to make a decision today when she actually has ___ number of weeks to decide.

The People Pleaser

People pleasers tend to prioritize others' needs over their own. To assist them in introspective decision making, consider the following:

  • Teach them the importance of setting personal boundaries.

  • Encourage them to identify and articulate their own desires and values.

  • Work on assertiveness skills to help them express their needs and preferences.

Often, people pleasers do have their own ideas and preferences. By helping them to articulate these to others in their lives, they will be more empowered to make the decisions they truly desire. To help your client, you can allow them to roleplay conveying their desires to someone they have concerns about. With this practice – allowing them to figure out which words to use, where to place emphasis, etc. – they will be prepared for future conversations.

The Reluctant Decision Maker

Reluctant decision makers often procrastinate or avoid making choices. To support them, consider the following:

  • Break down decisions into smaller, manageable steps.

  • Identify any underlying fears or anxieties and address them directly.

  • Set deadlines for decision making to prevent prolonged indecision.

Like the people pleaser, these clients do have preferences on which decision to make. However, they often put it off to the extent that some of their options are no longer available to them. By helping them set deadlines and small goals, you can help equip your clients with being more proactive in their own lives. 

The Thorough Decision Maker

Thorough decision-makers meticulously analyze every detail, sometimes leading to decision paralysis. To guide them in introspection consider the following:

  • Suggest time management techniques to avoid overthinking.

  • Encourage them to focus on the most critical aspects of a decision.

  • Help them recognize when "good enough" is sufficient and perfection is not necessary.

Much like the reluctant decision-maker, the thorough decision-maker may take too long in making decisions, but for very different underlying reasons. It is good to praise your client for taking the decision seriously enough to think through it so thoroughly. Then transition into figuring out what the most important factors are to them, and help them set deadlines for decisions. 

Continuation of the Introspective Journey

It's important to emphasize that introspection is an ongoing process. Decision-making is not a one-time event but a skill that can be developed and refined over time. Encourage your clients to:

  • Regularly revisit their values and goals to ensure alignment.

  • Keep a decision journal to track the outcomes of past choices and learn from them.

  • Seek feedback and advice from trusted sources, but maintain their autonomy in making decisions.

Helping your clients become more introspective in their decision making is a valuable service. By helping them to understand their decision-making style and address negative emotions, you can guide them toward more thoughtful choices and therefore less regret. 

Download this guide to help your clients Effectively Explore Your Pregnancy Options

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