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Being One with What Is: The Connected Decision-Making Style

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Warm Up Discussion Questions:


  1. Are you good at making decisions? Why or why not?

  2. Tell me about a good decision you made.

  3. Tell me about a bad decision you made.

  4. Do you like to make choices? Why or why not?

  5. Tell me one of your long-term goals.

  6. Tell me one of your short-term goals?

  7. Have you ever made a decision then changed your mind? If yes, explain the situation.

  8. Have you ever asked the opinion of someone else before making a decision? If yes, explain the situation.

  9. Do you think people make bad decisions because of peer pressure? Why or why not?


Vocabulary:


Choice (noun): The act of picking or choosing.

  • Example: They want to go to Dubai or London. It's a difficult choice to make.


Setback (noun): A problem that delays a process or decision.

  • Example: There's a small setback in our plans to cook. The stove stopped working.


Risk (noun): The possibility that something bad will happen.

  • Example: There's always a risk when you drive a car.


Responsibility (noun): Something that is your job or duty.

  • Example: It's your responsibility to make the right decision.


Long-term (adjective): Lasting for a long period of time.

  • Example: Her long-term goal is to be a successful doctor.


Short-term (adjective): Lasting for a short period of time.

  • Example: Her short-term goal is to graduate with a Bachelor's in Science.


Peer Pressure (noun): A feeling that you have to do what others do in your age group.

  • Example: His decision was influenced by peer pressure.


Second Thoughts (noun): A feeling of doubt or worry after you decide to do something.

  • Example: They are having second thoughts about getting married.


Make Up One's Mind (expression): To finally make a decision.

  • Example: She needs to make up her mind about which university to attend.


Change One's Mind (expression): When you decide to do something else after you've made a decision.

  • Example: He changed his mind about becoming a doctor. Now he wants to be a pilot.

Connected Approach: (noun) A personal decision-making style that combines elements of various decision-making types, such as rational, intuitive, emotional, group, collaborative, routine, strategic, policy, ethical, and personal decision making, depending on the situation.

  • Example: In her professional life, Sarah employed a connected approach to decision making, seamlessly blending rational analysis, intuitive insights, and collaborative input from her team, which consistently led to innovative and effective solutions.


Urgency (noun): The degree of importance or need for immediate action in a decision.

  • Example: The urgency of the decision required quick thinking.


Values (noun): Principles or beliefs that guide one's behavior and decision making.

  • Example: Her values led her to make ethical choices in her career.


Input (noun): Information, advice, or feedback that contributes to the decision-making process.

  • Example: She sought input from her colleagues before making a final decision.


Alignment (noun): The state of being in agreement or harmony with one's true self or purpose.

  • Example: Achieving alignment with one's values is essential for ethical decision making.


Impulsive (adjective): Acting on sudden urges or instincts without prior planning or consideration.

  • Example: His impulsive decision led to unexpected consequences.


Fulfillment (noun): A sense of satisfaction and contentment resulting from achieving one's goals or desires.

  • Example: Her career choices brought her a deep sense of fulfillment.


Full Yes, Maybe, No Philosophy: (expression) A decision-making principle where a "full yes" indicates a positive choice, a "maybe" signifies uncertainty and may result in a negative choice, and a "no" is a clear rejection.

  • Example: His "full yes, maybe, no" philosophy helped him make decisive choices.


Divine Will: (noun) The higher, spiritual guidance that can illuminate one's choices when in alignment with their true self and purpose.

  • Example: She believed that following divine will would lead to a life of purpose and meaning.


Chakra System: (noun) An ancient system of energy centers in the body, with the throat chakra being one of them.

  • Example: Balancing the chakra system can enhance overall well-being.


Mind-Body Connection: (noun) The relationship between mental and physical health, emphasizing the influence of thoughts and emotions on the body.

  • Example: Practices like meditation strengthen the mind-body connection.


Integrity: (noun) The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

  • Example: Her choices were always in integrity with her values.


Heeding: (verb) Paying attention to or listening to something, often with a sense of respect.

  • Example: Heeding your inner guidance can lead to wise decisions.


Harmonious: (adjective) In agreement or balance, resulting in a pleasing and peaceful state.

  • Example: Living in a harmonious environment promotes well-being.


Peace: (noun) A state of calm, tranquility, and freedom from conflict.

  • Example: Finding inner peace is a lifelong journey for many.




Background: Types of Decision-Making


Decision-making can take various forms, and it is often categorized into different types based on the process and criteria used. Here are some common types of decision-making:

  1. Rational Decision Making: Rational decision making is a systematic and structured approach where individuals carefully weigh the pros and cons of different options, consider all available information, and choose the option that maximizes their utility or achieves specific objectives. This type of decision-making is often associated with logical reasoning and critical thinking.

  2. Connected Approach: The connected approach to decision making is a personal style that amalgamates elements from various decision-making types, encompassing rational, intuitive, emotional, group, collaborative, routine, strategic, policy, ethical, and personal decision-making paradigms. This style is adaptable, allowing individuals to draw upon different approaches depending on the specific circumstances and context of the decision.

  3. Intuitive Decision Making: Intuitive decision making relies on gut feelings, instincts, and personal hunches. It involves making choices based on experience, tacit knowledge, and an individual's ability to read a situation quickly. Intuition can be valuable in situations where there is limited time or incomplete information.

  4. Emotional Decision Making: Emotional decision making is influenced by a person's emotions and feelings. Decisions made under the sway of strong emotions, such as fear, anger, or joy, may not always align with rational or objective considerations. Emotional decisions can be impulsive and may not necessarily lead to the best outcomes.

  5. Group Decision Making: Group decision making involves multiple individuals collaborating to reach a consensus or make a joint choice. It can be a democratic process where each member has an equal say, or it can involve leaders or experts guiding the decision-making process. Group decision making can be effective in generating diverse perspectives but may also be prone to conflicts and delays.

  6. Collaborative Decision Making: Collaborative decision making is a more inclusive approach where individuals work together to make decisions, often relying on open communication and shared input. This approach promotes cooperation and teamwork, emphasizing the collective benefit over individual preferences.

  7. Routine Decision Making: Routine decisions are those made regularly and frequently in daily life or work. They are typically based on established procedures, rules, or habits and require little deliberation. Routine decisions are often made quickly and efficiently.

  8. Strategic Decision Making: Strategic decision making involves choices that have a significant impact on an organization's long-term goals and direction. It requires careful planning, analysis, and consideration of future consequences. Leaders and executives often engage in strategic decision making.

  9. Policy Decision Making: Policy decisions are typically made by government bodies, organizations, or institutions. These decisions involve setting guidelines, rules, and regulations that affect a larger population. Policy decisions require thorough research, stakeholder input, and consideration of societal impacts.

  10. Ethical Decision Making: Ethical decision making revolves around determining what is morally right or wrong. It involves evaluating actions and choices in terms of ethical principles and values. Ethical decisions often require individuals to balance conflicting interests and make choices that align with their moral compass.

  11. Personal Decision Making: Personal decisions pertain to choices individuals make in their personal lives, such as career, relationships, hobbies, and lifestyle. These decisions can be influenced by a combination of rational, emotional, and intuitive factors.

These are some of the primary types of decision-making processes, and in practice, decisions often involve a blend of these approaches depending on the context, complexity, and personal preferences of the decision maker(s). Effective decision making requires the ability to adapt to different situations and select the most suitable approach for each decision.


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Being One with What Is: The Connected Decision-Making Style


When it comes to decision-making, there are many different approaches. Some of which can be used in different situations. Decision-making encompasses various types, including but not limited to: rational, intuitive, emotional, group, collaborative, routine, strategic, policy, ethical, and personal decision making, each characterized by its own distinct process and criteria. Individuals often adapt their approach based on the context and complexity of the decision at hand.


My personal decision-making style is known as connected. I like to incorporate a percentage of each style based on the situation. Factors that contribute to which style I use are based on urgency of the decision ie. is it an emergency or not, the type of decision ie. is it business or personal, is someone else there who has more experience than I do, and will what I do make an impact in some way. Rather than adhering to rigid plans or thinking through every option right there on the spot, I allow my experience and observation skills to guide me and give me input all at the same time and then once percolated I move with whatever combination I have deemed most effective and appropriate.


Here is a little bit more about why I say my decision making style, the connected approach, involves a little bit of each of the types listed in the first paragraph. It's rational because I weigh the pros and cons of each option within the decision, it's intuitive because it involves making choices based on experience and can be done very quickly by tuning into what I notice. It's emotional because I use the emotion I feel to guide me as to how urgent, or important as far as my values, the situation is. My decision making style is group or collaborative because I watch and am happy to allow others to lead unless I notice that potentially there is no one better than me at the moment based on my values and experience and I ask for advice or take input from people I deem as allies or with the relevant experience. My decisions can be viewed as routine because I inevitably am falling back on some kind of routine decision making aka experience or procedure I have learned or am familiar with, no matter how far off topic it may be for the situation I am making a decision in. My style is strategic because I look at the significant impact it will have long term and considers the strategies to achieve my goals of alleviating suffering off the planet and clean water and abundant resources, just like is possible, for all :). It is ethical because it involves evaluating actions and choices in terms of common principles and values, and it becomes personal sometimes if I know the person and can help in a way I notice no one else can.


In each moment, I allow myself to be aware the opportunities, you could call them options, presented to me and make decisions based on my goals and what feels good to me in this moment. When faced with a choice, I follow a simple yet perhaps, under the surface, profound process. I begin by looking at the opportunities and quickly receive input. I note the input and then make a decision based on what I feel is the best choice. I am interesting in the way that if I am not 100% I continue to take in more input, if I am 100% certain that my potential course of action is the best I move forward by choosing it and taking action.


While the connected approach may not necessarily have a specific label yet it certainly a well known approach and can be likened to an effective combination of all the types. I have heard this style many years ago described as impulsive. I notice now that it is different than impulsive because I have made the decision well beforehand to be receive information from around me and allow the highest (aka best) possible outcome to flow through me therefore no impulse decision was made in the moment. I enjoy this connected style of decision-making because I feel good about it and my life therefore the choices I have made using this style have led to fulfillment which I believe is the idea of discussing choices.


It could be important for some people to note another part of how I generally make choices. I have a philosophy that is shared with many others. Simply put: if it's a full yes then it's yes, if it's maybe then it's no, and if it's no it's no.


Caroline Myss, in her book "Anatomy of the Spirit," explores the interconnectedness of the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being. In her view, choices and divine will are intricately linked. She suggests that divine will represents the higher, spiritual guidance that can illuminate our choices when we are in alignment with our true selves and purpose. It is through our choices that we either align ourselves with this divine will or deviate from it.


In the context of the chakra system, the throat chakra plays a pivotal role in this decision-making process. It serves as the direct bridge between the mind and the heart, and as a bridge from the Earth to the Stars - Our grounding to our connection with the Divine and facilitates communication and alignment between our thoughts, feelings, and inner truths. A persons throat chakra enables them to express authentic desires and make choices that resonate with our deepest self ie are in integrity with who we really are.


To maintain overall health in relation to our choices and decisions, it is crucial to manage and allow our mind-body connection. Many practices and ways of thinking, including mindfulness, meditation, and self-reflection can help us do this. This self-awareness enhances our ability to discern what truly resonates with us and empowers us to make choices that align with our authentic selves.


By heeding our inner guidance and making choices in alignment with our true selves, we pave the way for a more harmonious and fulfilling life journey. My decision-making style, characterized by going with the flow and listening to my inner guidance, is an intuitive approach that allows me to navigate life's choices authentically. This gives me peace. Caroline Myss's insights into choices and divine will underscore the importance of aligning our decisions with our true selves. In this endeavor, the throat chakra serves as a crucial mediator, facilitating communication between our thoughts and feelings. To maintain overall health in relation to choices and decisions, it is essential to foster a strong mind-body connection and to be attentive to the messages our body and emotions convey.






IELTS Discussion:


Utilize the following questions as a framework to initiate an engaging conversation with your tutor. Feel free to explore other topics if any intriguing discussions arise during your interaction.


Section 1 - Factors that Affect Choices & Decision Making

  1. How do people typically make decisions when faced with important choices in their lives?

  2. What factors do you think influence a person's decision-making process?

  3. Do you believe that making decisions based on intuition is as effective as making decisions based on careful analysis and planning? Why or why not?

  4. Can you give an example of a difficult decision you had to make in the past and explain how you made it?

  5. In what ways do cultural differences affect how individuals make decisions and choices?


Section 2 - Decision Making Strategies

  1. What role do emotions play in the decision-making process? Can they sometimes hinder effective decision-making?

  2. Do you think it's better to make decisions individually or with input from others? Why?

  3. How does the availability of information and technology impact the way people make choices today compared to the past?

  4. What is the significance of ethical considerations in decision making? Can you provide an example of a decision that involves ethical dilemmas?

  5. Are there any decision-making techniques or strategies that you find particularly helpful when faced with a difficult choice?


Section 3 - Discussion: Long Term & Short Term Goals, Risk Management

  1. How do long-term and short-term goals influence decision making? Give an example of a decision that involves balancing these two types of goals.

  2. Do you think people tend to regret their decisions more when they follow societal norms and expectations rather than their own preferences? Why or why not?

  3. What are the potential consequences of avoiding making decisions or procrastinating in the decision-making process?

  4. How does risk assessment play a role in decision making, and how do people typically evaluate and manage risks in their choices?

  5. Can you discuss a decision you made in the past that you later regretted? What did you learn from that experience?

Section 4 - Spirituality and Societal Norms: Exploring the Connection

  1. Can a deep connection to one's inner source or spirituality lead individuals to transcend societal norms and expectations, and if so, what are the potential implications for personal growth and society as a whole?

  2. How might a strong sense of personal spirituality or connection to a higher power influence an individual's values and choices within their community or society?

  3. Are there historical or contemporary examples of individuals whose deep spiritual connections have led them to challenge or reshape societal norms in meaningful ways? Please share some examples and insights.



Sidenote:


What does it mean to push a narrative?


A good description of the idea conveyed by the synonyms for "pushing a narrative" or "promoting a narrative" could be:

"The concept behind these phrases involves actively and strategically advocating or presenting a specific viewpoint, story, or message to a wider audience. It often entails a deliberate effort to influence opinions, gain support, or increase the visibility of a particular narrative.


Depending on the synonym used, the emphasis may vary, ranging from straightforward promotion to more nuanced actions such as defending, spreading, or amplifying the narrative. The choice of synonym depends on the context and the intention behind the communication, whether it be in the realms of politics, marketing, media, or public discourse."


  1. Promoting a narrative: This is a straightforward and widely used phrase in both formal and informal settings.

  2. Advocating a narrative: Often used in formal or persuasive contexts, such as political speeches or academic discussions.

  3. Supporting a narrative: A common choice when emphasizing the endorsement of a particular viewpoint or storyline.

  4. Spreading a narrative: Frequently used to describe the dissemination of information, especially in the context of news and social media.

  5. Publicizing a narrative: Commonly employed when discussing how information is made known to the public, often in media or public relations contexts.

  6. Marketing a narrative: Typically used in business or promotional contexts to highlight the strategic aspect of narrative promotion.

  7. Amplifying a narrative: Common in discussions of media, social media, and public relations, especially when emphasizing increasing the reach and impact of a narrative.

  8. Disseminating a narrative: Often used in academic or professional contexts to describe the distribution of information or ideas.

  9. Championing a narrative: Frequently used when someone is strongly and actively supporting or defending a particular narrative or cause.

  10. Upholding a narrative: Employed when emphasizing the maintenance and preservation of a narrative's integrity or validity.

Discussion:


1. Are you good at making decisions? Why or why not?


- I try to make good decisions.

To make good decisions takes practice. To make decisions you need to practice all the time.


2. Tell me about a good decision you made.


- I think marrying my husband is one of the good decisions I've made.


3. Tell me about a bad decision you made.


- To met a harmful friend is a bad decision. or .. I think that having a harmful friend is a bad choice.

One time I decided to drink while driving. This was a bad decision...

I decided to trust someone and it turned out they stole my money..

I decided to go golfing with a headache, that was a bad decision.


4. Do you like to make choices? Why or why not?


- I'm not sure. I believe that life is a process of making continuous efforts to make good decisions.


5. Tell me one of your long-term goals.


- I want to be comfortable and live a happy life. I want to be comfortable and have a happy life.


6. Tell me one of your short-term goals?


- I have a few short-term goals. First, I want to speak English fluently. Second, I want to go on a trip to experience a variety of culture. Lastly, I want to play golf well.


7. Have you ever made a decision then changed your mind? If yes, explain the situation.


- I have a lot of experiences like that/ I have a lot of experience in situations like that/ That has happened to me many times/ I have made a decision and then changed my mind many times. I believe I am inexperienced in making choices that satisfy everyone. For example, yesterday I told my kids: "Today is a rest day, we will relax at home. Let's read a book at home." But I changed my mind and we went to the market. While my family looked a little tired, my second daughter's birthday is coming soon. So, I made the decision to go to the mall and she bought a birthday present.


8. Have you ever asked the opinion of someone else before making a decision? If yes, explain the situation.


- I often do that. For example my kids want to learned golfing, already I knew my kids thought but I ask my husband about my kids's class.


9. Do you think people make bad decisions because of peer pressure? Why or why not?


- I think that's possible. Because usually people can't make decision only for myself.





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