Daniel Taylor November 17 2020

Facet5 and Decision Making: What can I learn from my profile?

In this blog from Facet5 specialist Daniel Taylor, he looks at how our Facet5 profiles can give valuable insight about the way we like to make decisions.

Let’s step back a bit today and take a look at what we mean when we say decision making because, depending upon what we mean, there can be many ways a Facet5 profile might point to how an individual makes decisions…

To begin with, anybody familiar with their profile will normally go directly to their Will score to find out how assertive or decisive they could be. It is entirely true that those scoring high average, or high on Will are most likely to be people who are seen as forthright and sure of what they believe, but it does not actually mean that if you have a low score you don’t make decisions. It just means the way that you do it is very different. This means that we have to consider the other factors and subfactors to get a more rounded picture of an individual’s decision making style.

In a broader sense, decision making style can encompass where we get our view from, its balance of pragmatism versus idealism, what informs the decision and finally, how we get the ball rolling… If we think about it in this way, there is a good case for considering most of our profile to get the complete picture.

Will: Where does my view, idea or opinion come from?

When presented with a decision to make, there are various ways in which we will go about establishing a viewpoint. Will is described as the driving force behind the promotion and defence of your own ideas. This means that some of us will hold a fixed view on a particular topic; the degree to which we hold on to that view and remain inflexible will be dictated by how high our Will score is. We may demonstrate this commonly, or only about certain topics, in which case we may have a midrange score.

Alternatively, our viewpoint may be something that we choose to establish through advice and consultation with others (lower Independence scores); this means that whatever decision needs to be made, we may not necessarily have a viewpoint until we’ve done our research…

Commonly, we see high Determination but lower Independence and Confrontation. This gives us a profile of somebody tenacious, but who may be more tentative in expressing their own view without reference to others first. Those high in Determination may be quick to give direction and appear assertive but they might need to validate, or gather views first.

Affection: Am I pragmatic and solution oriented, or aspirational and idealistic?

We are used to describing Affection as self, or others focused. Looking beyond this reveals qualities related to openness and curiosity.

Low Affection scorers (who often get a bad press when it comes to people skills…) are blessed with the ability to see the facts and have a very practical viewpoint (low Support and Altruism). This will doubtless affect the kind of decision which is made; being shrewd and not making assumptions will drive decisions deemed to be well-judged and pragmatic. This can be very useful in commercial situations, applying objectivity and rationale.

What we see in those with high Affection is a very different kind of focus. Mapped closely to the trait of ‘Openness’, higher scores will take a more aspirational approach. They believe in others, have high expectations and enjoy exploring opportunities (high Trust). Anything is possible if you have high Affection and so your decision making style will likely incorporate a wider series of options.

You may find with midrange, that an individual will vary their focus perhaps to balance out the prevailing mood of debate. They may also flex, dependent upon the topic under discussion.

Control: How do I evaluate options?

If we look at a TeamScape profile, for example, the team process known as evaluation concerns the weighing up of options and how much discipline we apply. There are differing styles, both with advantages.

High Control scorers place a lot of emphasis on process and precedent. When faced with a decision to make, they will trust their experience and consider what the ‘right way’ of doing something might be. They are less likely to improvise or take risks and so may exercise caution in doing things in new ways. Given a series of options, they may use the one which is tried and tested, or considered best practice. We also cannot mention high Control without talking about rules, which are there for a very good reason!

Weighing up decisions will feel very different with a lower scorer on Control. The preference here is for a more creative, less structured approach. They may take a more flexible approach and be less consistent in the rules they apply when weighing up options. Improvisation is something which may come more naturally and so there may be less emphasis on process, with more willingness to try something new.

Energy: how do I get things going?

When we talk about decision making, we often think about how quick people are to act.

Our Vitality score on Energy will indicate our tendency for excitement and enthusiasm. High scorers are action oriented, often impulsive, and so will be quick to get things going. Remember also that our Sociability and Adaptability subfactor scores may indicate that we like to involve others; a decision may have been made but it is executed either through the mobilisation of others or by going and doing it ourselves.

If we have low Energy, we will give much more thought to a task before carrying it out. This may create the impression that we are slow to act and therefore less decisive, when what we are really doing is thinking things through. Lower Adaptability and Sociability may also mean that activity goes unnoticed, because less people tend to be involved and there is less ‘noise’.

In summary, we can see here how there are different behavioural indicators which suggest we are making decisions. As always, consider what a midrange score might mean; it would suggest there is a conditional nature to how much we are able to flex our preferences. Remember also that our Emotionality score, as with the Family profiles, may have an influence on how much risk our factor scores might carry but also on how vividly we experience someone’s profile as a whole.

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