Even people who normally don’t have any problems in making decisions can run into situations they perceive as so difficult that they absolutely do not know how to come to the right decision. When it comes to important decisions that have the potential to change their whole life, they are suddenly stuck, since all the decision-making strategies they successfully used to employ in the past are now for naught.
This was the case in a client who was very skilled at working with the decision matrix, but who felt blocked all of sudden when faced with an important decision. This feeling was entirely new to him since, as a successful businessman, he was accustomed to making difficult decisions all the time.
But now it came to selling his company! He had received a very favorable offer, but was not sure whether to pursue it or not. Although he had always known that he wanted to sell the company one day, this was a little too fast for him; he had planned to go on for another ten years or so. Nevertheless, the offer he had received was so temptingly generous that he just could not make up his mind about whether it would be utter folly to reject it, or whether he should rather stick to his original plan. He felt paralyzed, permanently musing about the pros and cons; he just wasn’t able to come to a conclusion, which pursued him even in his sleep.
When the potential buyer finally posed an ultimatum on which a final decision had to be on the table, the client asked for coaching, because the closer he got to this date, the more blocked he felt. At first I was not sure whether IntrovisionCoaching would be the tool of choice in this case; I went ahead, however, after considering that such decisions may well have an impact on the client’s entire life and that the difficulty was probably connected to the fear of making the wrong decision. I could well imagine that there might be an alarm attached to the fear of taking the wrong turn and thus having to live with the consequences for the rest of his life.
This assumption turned out to be right fairly soon when we quickly encountered the imperative, “I must not make the wrong decision under any circumstances!” Accordingly, the sentence, “It could be that my decision is totally wrong for my company,” sparked an intense alarm. Since the client had already been working with IntrovisionCoaching in connection with another issue, he was familiar with the method and able to evoke the attitude of observational broad perception easily. He succeeded in reducing the alarm, which initially clocked in at about seven on a scale of one to ten, to zero in the course of three sets of seven minutes each.
The very next day I received a feedback from the client that he had come up with a new way to come to terms with the decision that same evening. So far, he had only considered what he had to offer the buyers, and suddenly it was possible for him to turn the matter upside down, in a manner of speaking, and start thinking about what he actually wanted from the buyers. So he sat down and wrote out the conditions he wanted to have met in order to agree to an early sale. This filled him with great calm, he said, and that he had slept very well that night for the first time in a long while. About two months later, he told me that the potential buyer had resigned from the deal under the conditions he had set forth, but that this was perfectly fine for him – he was in no way mourning this supposed great lost opportunity.
This was the final proof that his problem had actually not been to ponder the pros and cons of selling his company on a purely factual and substantive level in order to come up with a “good” decision; the only thing that had blocked him was the fear of making a wrong decision. After this imperative was successfully deleted, he regained the freedom and capacities to be clear about what he wanted and to act in a way he was familiar with – strongly and decisively.