One of my defining personality traits is curiosity. Thus, it is not surprising I am always trying to learn something new and place huge emphasis on facts when it comes to decision making. I realize one may be influenced by his emotions when making decisions which is why I place huge emphasis on gathering required information so as to minimize the impact of emotions on final decisions. Facts and data help me remain objective and improve the quality of my decisions. But at the same time I also realize information is not always available or it may not be possible to gather required information in a timely fashion. In such a case, I do rely on intuition but at the same time I also seek the counsel of people I trust. I do try to make sure I listen to different point of views so that I could compare their strengths and weaknesses.

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My willingness to learn to different point of views describes another personality trait which is openness. Being open to different point of views is not easy and not long ago, I avoided or strongly resisted views that clashed with my positions. But over time I have learnt that being open to different point of views is one of the most important steps towards recognizing personal biases that may negatively affect the quality of decisions.

Making decisions is not always an easy task, especially when it requires personal sacrifices or sacrificing someone else. But I believe in being decisive which means decisions should be made even if they are difficult. But even when sacrifices are involved, I do compare the costs against the benefits and many times, the benefits accrued to many may justify sacrificing few even if that involves me. In the past, I would sometimes avoid difficult decisions like these but I have learnt that problems do not go away and often become bigger over time. Thus, it is better to tackle a difficult problem while it is still manageable.

One of my major weaknesses is perfectionism though it could also be considered strength. The desire to do everything perfectly well sometimes influences me in having unrealistic expectations from others. I expect everyone to show the same level of dedication that I display which may not be reasonable because different people have different lives. I believe a better strategy is to realize people are different and they may have different priorities. While there may be nothing wrong in demanding more from others, it may be counterproductive to expect others to behave exactly like you since they may have different personalities and personal lives.

I believe in having good relationships with others because it makes it easier to get others behind your decision. I have realized it is a double-edge sword. While others may become more loyal to you, it also makes it more difficult to make hard decisions so as not to disappoint anyone. Thus, I need to draw a clearer line between professionalism and friendship so that I could make hard but higher quality decisions, whether in personal or professional life.

Decisions usually require comparing costs against benefits. I often focus more on quantifiable costs and benefits rather than cumulative costs and benefits. Quantifiable costs and benefits make it easier to make decisions but life is full of decisions events where information is inadequate or doesn’t exist at all. Past data is not always a reliable indicator of the future, thus, I believe I should rely a little more on intuition and give more weight to even those costs and benefits that may not be easily quantifiable but which, nonetheless, are real.