Decision Making Process? Spoc or Captain Kirk? Who are you and what works?

My family and I recently attended the latest Star Trek movie and it made me think of this post that Shaun wrote . As I watched the partnership between Spoc and Jim play out, using the logic of Spoc and the emotions “what feels right” of Jim they often were able to make a decision between them and sometimes not.

Being in business can be just like this but often for many of us the fight between logical and feeling right is going on in our own head.

For Family businesses it can be even more important that it feels right. This can be quite a challenge if you or one of the team are more like Spoc very logical and resist or avoid ‘feelings’ and it can be a great partnership just like Spoc and Kirk if you understand it and can work with it.

Metaphors allow us to explore and understand things like emotions easily and they allow teams to communicate in a logical way about emotional things. I love the impact our metaphors have on our own team and family.

Shaun our Business Development Manager attended “Take a Break” in order to understood the benefits of our programmes before he went out to tell you about it. This blog shares some of his learning about his own decision making process as a result of it.

How to make a good decisionShaun says:

“Probably without realising it we all know more than we know when we are making a decision.

The idea that has prompted this statement is the continuing realisation that my decision process is made up of two areas.  What I know in the way of logic and facts and how I feel. I am now recognising what emotions decision making can bring to the surface.

It turns out that the second part of the process the emotional part is going on mostly in the unconscious and resists analysis precisely because it is not logical and is a representation of all we know but don’t perceive directly.  (well it does for me as I am one of those logical kind of thinkers) I have observed others in the group who could quite easily break down the emotion through metaphor to give them self clarity and understanding, I on the other hand did resist a little.

I have noticed that the emotional part of our brain is especially good at making hard decisions where lots of conflicting facts opinions and emotions are in play.  It is capable of processing in parallel much like a modern computer chip rather than in series like the logical part of our brain.

The reason this emotional intelligence is so powerful is that it is capable of turning our mistakes into knowledge and education that we can draw on when making decisions in the future.

It made me realise therefore that it is vital (logical) that I understand this part of how I make decisions better in order that I can make faster more effective decisions in the future. I went onto develop a metaphor for when a decision ‘felt’ right it was like a bowl of steaming porridge, it was not too hot or too cold it was just right. The recipe was perfect.

How does this help me in business now?

Being a logical thinking person the resource of a bowl of porridge gives me something tangible to measure my feeling against. When I am making a decision I can ask what is happening to porridge and I can usually ascertain the missing ingredient needed to make the decision ‘feel’ right quite quickly.

Can you spot the bowl of porridge in our team metaphor below?

how to make a good decision?
How to make a good decision?

This knowledge brought to light for me also the fact that the only way we can generate this powerful type of learning is by making mistakes and being allowed to learn for ourselves what does work and what doesn’t.

Knowing I need to make a mistake in order to learn makes me realise why I work better in some environments.  When I have enjoyed working with a person or organisation and even for myself it is where I have had “permission” to make a mistake without this becoming the entire focus of why I might be stupid or how much it has cost the company or someone else’s time.

Knowing this makes me a better student, which makes me more effective and more resilient.”

As someone who works with Shaun if I can see he is stuck with a decision I can also ask what is happening to porridge and perfect recipe?

With this all in mind the questions to ask yourself today are:

What happens in your business when you or one of your team make a mistake?

Where is your attention on the loss and problem or the learning that can be gained from it?

Do you understand yourself well enough to explain to others what you need to learn, to work at your best and make decisions or solve problems?

Please do share your thoughts below.

We would also love it if you joined our next Introductory Session to find out how 8 simple steps can help you to develop your own bespoke communication solutions. Can’t make that time or date but keen to find out more drop me an email and together we can make it happen.

Thank you for listening

How to make good decisions






Founder and Power Group Facilitator


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