As promised, here is our blog post on decoding your Intuitive Compass®. If you missed our “How you Make Decisions Questionnaire”, check it out here. For more information about the Intuitive Compass® please check out our July 6, 2015 blog post or our book.
In this quadrant you can see how analytical and methodical you are about making a decision, how focused you are on getting the results you want, how you manage the time you have, an how you organize your environment and your resources to come to the best decision. A high score in the northeast quadrant mans there is a high level of logical thinking and organization involved in your decision making; it shows your determination in the decision-making process and how well your organizational skills are mobilized for this. Conversely, a low score means that for you the process of decision-making does not follow a logical scheme. When circumstances call for swift, insightful or instinctual ways of making a decision –a capacity very much associated with the southeast quadrant –then little organization makes sense and being methodical is not relevant. But a low score under regular business circumstances means you would benefit from adopting a more rational and methodical approach to optimize your process of decision making. You may want to talk to a friend who makes good business decisions and manages his or her time, environment, data, and thoughts well.
In the southeast quadrant, you get feedback on three aspects of your approach to the decision-making process: your level of commitment to doing whatever it takes to make a decision, regardless of how challenging it may be; your degree of clarity about the possible outcomes of your decision; and finally, your determination to make the best decision possible. A high score indicates a clear sense of about two or three of these aspects. A low score indicates a lack of commitment to making a decision and/or making the best one, and/or a lack of evaluation of the potential outcome of your decision. Depending on what you seek or have to achieve with your decision making you may want to analyze and try to understand why you’re not more committed. In your analysis you any want to question whether you approach serves you well in your life; if it does not, consider how you can reframe your approach and empower yourself to be more committed when making decisions. You may also want to spend time reflecting on the potential desired outcome of your decision so that you become more motivated to achieve it. A lack of determination to make a decision may be the result of a desire to avoid dealing with certain feelings: discomfort, pain, fear, and so on. This is why if you have a low southeast score you may want to put in in perspective with your southwest score and look for a correlation between the two low scores as the potential reason for your low score in the southeast quadrant. Compare both scores in the southeast and the southwest. If they are both low it means that whether it is about being efficient and getting results or whether it is about play and free flow it is hard for you to commit beyond what’s logical. You may consider looking into your ability to trust and examining whether you have underlying trust issues when making a particular decision or making decisions in general. If it is the first case (trust issue around a particular decision), you may want to review the circumstances around this decision and the consequences of this decision. Try to evaluate whether these are significant enough to justify your low score. If it is the second case (a trust issue around making decisions in general), you may want to either discuss it with a good friend whom you consider grounded and perspicacious or talk about it with a professional coach.
The northwest quadrant tells you about your openness to new perspectives and to the various options available to you in the process of making a decision. It also gives feedback on your willingness to analyze and reflect on your expectations about the potential outcome of your decision. If your score is low, chances are it will be difficult for you to evaluate precisely how successful your decision was, how successful it could have been, or what it is that you gained from the fact you made a decision, because you don’t have clear expectations. If, however you made a decision with a clear strategy, chances are it will be easier for you to accept the outcome of your decision no matter what. Even more important, it will be easier to improve your decision-making process, thereby increasing your satisfaction with the potential outcome. This is because the clearer you are about what you wish to achieve and the path to it, the more flexible and open to improvisation you can be in the process of getting there—and the more prepared you are to accept the outcome of your decision, because it was planned out and thought out rather than random and thoughtless. It is much easier to accept failure after you have strategically thought out a decision than it is when you did not do your homework; in the latter case, playing the victim of circumstances can be an easy cop-out yet completely disempowering. Moreover, a lack of clarity about making a decision will induce a lack of openness, which in turn will inhibit you from exploring various options for decision making and different motivations to commit to making the decision. A high score in the northwest means that you have clarity about your expectations and an open disposition to new ideas and discoveries about your decision making process, your ideas and your beliefs. A high score in the northwest combined with a high score in the southeast will further optimize your chances of making the best decision.
The southwest quadrant shows your ability to be comfortable while making a decision even when circumstances are uncertain and require you to explore beyond the bounds of logic and let go of mental control over the process. This quadrant is key in approaching creative decisions, as these often require either subjective evaluations or estimations beyond what we know and what is logical. Such questions ask for another type of decision-making process: using our intuition to explore our gut feelings and tolerate the unknown. A high score indicates that you are comfortable making decisions with what many people might consider incomplete data points, or in situations where there are apparently conflicting data. If you have a high score here, you probably can tolerate a high level of ambiguity, and you may very well pursue potential solution in unusual ways; for example, by looking for inspiration outside of the immediate context of the issue at hand. There’s a potential downside to a high score in the southwest: if it is not balanced by high scores in the northwest (where you connect great ideas to actionable strategies and plans) or the southeast (where you put those plans into action and turn them into concrete results), your imaginative, intuitive ideas may never see the light of day or at the least, may not realize their greatest potential. Conversely, a low score indicates that you could benefit from a more experimental approach when you make a decision. It would probably be useful for you to reflect on how you much trust more—within the thresholds of integrity and prudence—when encountering new situations. You may want to improve your tolerance for confusion and try developing a sense of playfulness that will enable you to explore your decisions more easily and enrich the process. If your score in the southwest quadrant is low, you may also want to reflect on how southwest capabilities have become key to making successful decision in today’s economic environment. Of course, you need to consider your southwest score in relationship to your scores in the other three quadrants, as optimum results and the deepest breakthroughs will be gains when the scores in all four quadrants are high and are therefore in balance with one another.