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Celebrate the Slow Thinkers

Many of my friends think of me as a fast thinker, in that many times I have very snappy answers to their quips or stories, but it took me a while to figure out that while I do have a quick mind, my initial ideas and response to most problems that I am confronted with is wrong!

That is correct I am a quick wrong thinker, but I am a much better slower thinker, if you give me enough time, I will eventually figure out the correct answer to a problem.

I used to think not getting the correct response right away was a sign of a weaker mind, but now I realize that some problems need time to view all the possible different angles, before they are acted upon. There are a few remarkably quick and smart minds out there, but there aren’t that many out there (trust me, I have met many folks who think they are quick thinkers, but they are usually as wrong as I am).

Countless times I have made “snap” decisions which at the time seemed great ideas, but in the end they were wrong (or effectively wrong) when I look back on them. There is no shame to ask for time to think about things, and if someone pressures you to make a snap decision follow the advice of a noted child psychologist, who says that when  your child confronts you with a snap decision simply answer:

If you need an  answer now, the answer is NO, if you want to wait a while, we’ll see what I decide.

This is the mature way to deal with any decision (now I am not saying get into over-think gridlock, however, under thinking a problem is just as bad).

The next time you think that someone is somehow inferior because they take longer to make decisions, ask yourself if they end up making good decisions or not, that is really the real barometer. As my wife points out to me many times, if, instead of listening or looking at a problem, you are attempting to formulate a quick “solution” you are in danger of choosing the wrong “solution” or worse the right “solution” for the wrong PROBLEM.

The Great Wall of China Did not Get Built Overnight, it took a while, just like a good decision!

This is a great picture my brother took when he visited China. Sometimes good things just take a while, so be patient, and don’t rush things too much, you might not like how the rushed version turns out.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Decision making is one important aspect that will aid our performance any where and also our finances.A lack of the skill to make and take the right decision is really a problem i see with many today.Some time we have to take prompt decisions,but if other wise in other not to regret the outcome later it is adviceable you go and brainstorm and be sure

  2. Good Points. I guess it depends on the situation where some require an immediate decision. (we just hope it’s the right one) You are right though as there is no shame in saying “I’ll get back to you” or “Can I have some time to think about it”.
    When it is a superior asking questions sometimes employees jump the gun and feel they want the answer now. Most supervisors I know want employees to make informed decisions. So if that means a little research to get it right, then so be it.

    Don’t be afraid of anything in life. Assess the situation and make the a decision based on the necessity of time frame. If it is now, you have to make the decision now, if it can wait, take the time to put your name stamp on that decision.

    Great post, many will relate.

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