I wonder if other couples have difficulty making decisions together?  Although my partner and I often agree on the final decision, we have very different ways of reaching it.  And the process of how we make the decision can be a source of conflict for us.  This applies to both big decisions and small ones.  

I think this comes down to our different personality styles.  He likes to make thought-through decisions, thinking ahead and having a plan for whatever might happen.  He follows a sequential process to reach the decision and likes to make the decision in good time.  These characteristics are typical of the Navigator style of interaction. 

I have a more random process and prefer to gather information on all options before deciding which one will give the best outcome and meets all our criteria.  I like to leave the decision until the last minute as until then, I don’t feel pressure to decide.   This is typical of the Synthesiser interaction style. 

We are decorating a bedroom this week and needed to decide on the colour for the walls.  My approach was to gather information, (eg. colour charts, curtain samples, my partner’s likes and dislikes), and then basically to carry on thinking about it until the day before the decorator was due to start.  My partner was ok with me making the final decision – as long as he liked the chosen colour – but he did not want to be involved in the information gathering phase and he would have much preferred an earlier decision.

Colleagues at work often have different approaches to making decisions and this can lead to frustration and conflict.  If you are aware of these differences, it’s easier to manage your frustration and deal with conflict – and maybe even make a better decision as a result!