360 Degree Decision Making

My son and his wife decided to move from New Jersey to Connecticut and spent considerable time getting their daughters on-board with the idea.  Lisa made several trips to Connecticut with the girls to familiarize them with their new home, schools and church prior to the actual move.  There was much excitement!

I asked the girls how they felt about moving during the school year, just before the holidays.  Alexa, the oldest, was able to articulate her enthusiasm as  well as her anxiety.  She loved the new house, the church program and her new school.  She  would miss her NJ friends but wasn’t moving that far away.  She preferred to begin in the new school  before Christmas break  which would reduce the anxiety over the holidays, and  taking Latin, while completely new, seemed like a good idea.   Kira was her usual positive self as she described with excitement the color of her new room, her teacher’s name, and the big back yard.

And then there was Eliza Grace.  Eliza is an “old soul” pre-schooler well beyond her years.  Rather than mirror everything her older sisters say and do, Eliza forms her own opinions and rarely wavers from her position.

Before the move, I went to see the new house. I listened to the two older girls say how they wished they already lived here.   Eliza was unusually quiet.  “What do you think about moving from New Jersey to this new house in Connecticut, Eliza?” I asked.   “I wish this Connecticut house was our  old house and we were moving to our NJ house!” she offered and  stormed off.

The popular family viewpoint was that moving to Connecticut was a good thing. Eliza saw it differently and didn’t mind going up against the status quo.  She re-entered the room, clearly with  something more to contribute on the matter.

“What is it, Eliza”? I asked.

“Gramma, do you think a nice family will move into our New Jersey home?”

I responded, “Of course.”

“Will they make cookies like we do with our mom? Will they play school in the basement and play princesses, too?”, she asked.

” Yes.  I think they will be very much like your family.”

“Good.” she said.”Then I am going to live in New Jersey with them!” And she stomped off with her arms folded across her chest.

Eliza carefully gathered only the information she needed to support her original position, somewhat of a 180° approach.   She avoided asking any questions about what life in Connecticut might be like.  She did not entertain anything other than living in New Jersey, what was familiar to her, and what she wanted to do. For Eliza,  living in New Jersey was the right answer, even if she had to live with a new family!

As women, we find ourselves at decision points throughout our day.  When our SUCCESSTROGEN levels are high we use a 360-degree approach, carefully scrutinizing the bigger decisions, entertaining the pros and cons, and  gathering all the information we can to help us make  informed decisions.  We open our minds to hear  opposing viewpoints.  We ask the difficult questions.  We think with a balanced combination of our heads and our hearts to ensure our decision is aligned with our goals and values.  Our  360° approach often brings us to a decision that is different from our initial view, but  one that has carefully measured the possibilities, probabilities, and the implications of the decision.

And what about you?  When faced with a difficult decision, do you apply the 360° approach or do you limit yourself by applying the 180° approach?

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