IQ: Can Only “Clever” People Make Good Choices?
In our complicated world with the myriad of interactions we are involved in, we make decisions thousands of times every day. Nothing affects our lives more than the ability to make the right decisions. Decisions have the power to change our lives forever. Every day we encounter happy, prosperous people as well as unhappy and suffering people, all because of the decisions they have made. A survey of the American Management Association determined that business people make the right decision only 50% of the time – surely that is not the acceptable standard of performance.
One way of ensuring a greater success rate is to understand and apply the key to successful decision-making: become more efficient thinkers by implementing the whole brain process.
The Whole Brain Process
When making decisions in a group setting, every role player needs to understand their own brain preferences and those of the other members. But, even more important is that each role player needs to understand that to make the best decision, a whole brain process has to be followed.
But what is a whole brain process? Within the brain there are different modes of thinking. The left hemisphere of the brain is analytical, factual, favouring linear structure and directness. The right hemisphere is more fluid, emotional, people-orientated, out-of-the-box and unconventional. A whole brain approach to decision-making is ideal because it incorporates the strengths of each modality of thinking available in the brain.
The final decision might not be whole brain (we may decide to institute a clock card system – left brain, or flexi time – right brain, to solve the problem of late comers), but to get to that decision, we need to follow a whole brain approach.
In the NBI® profiling system we differentiate between 8-dimensions of thinking in the brain, but for the sake of clarity the below descriptions focus on the main four quadrants encompassing those 8-dimensions, namely: Left front (L1); Left rear (L2); Right front (R1), and Right rear (R2).
During decision making we need L1 thinking when:
- …we are trying to determine what the real problem is and therefore have to analyse aspects of the situation
- …we need technical and statistical insights into the data
- …trying to come to grips with the facts about the problem
- …we must to be critical to determine what the best solution/ decision will be
During decision making we need L2 thinking when:
- …planning how to put an idea into action we need organizational aspects
- …we need to execute the work plan
- …there’s a need to fault-find to prevent errors and to minimize risks before implementation
- …organising the sequence of steps when planning the implementation
- …we set time-scales, time limits and cut-off dates
- …we have to structure aspects of the decision and test the practicality of decisions
During decision making we need R2 thinking when:
- …during teamwork, we need interpersonal aspects for collecting data and for meeting the needs of the client
- …good communication of the decision is needed
- …we need to consider potential ethical dilemmas involved
During decision making we need R1 thinking when:
- …the imaginative, wishful aspects are needed during the brainstorming phase
- …we need to define the problem and need exploratory, holistic, contextual thinking
- …we need innovative ways to implement the decision
- …intuition and innovation is needed when evaluating and judging ideas
- …the future has to be considered and synthesis is needed to understand the big picture being dealt with
- …goals are being set which may imply change and innovation
One can see that during the decision making process these quadrants of thinking are interchangeable. We can too easily get stuck in one or two types of thinking, preferring things to “stay to the point”. Or, on the opposite side of things, wanting to “let the ideas flow freely.” But, even in just these two examples, we can see that a fixation on the one immediately excludes the other. SO whether we are making a decision as a team around a board-room table or alone, the more inclusive our process is of the whole brain, the more holistic our solutions will be.
And in answering the headline of this post; singular ways of thinking are just as common among people who score high in IQ tests. A whole brain way of approaching life’s challenges is available to one and all.
The best place to start
Making the right decision by uncovering what your own thinking preferences are is the best place to start. Once you have done that, you can combine your profile with that of your team members to get an “overall” picture of what the average thinking preferences of the group are. In a relationship, for example, this can also be done in two’s.
Learn about the NBI and the NBI® Skills profiles on the NBI page of our website and start your journey towards becoming a whole brain decision maker and problem solver.