Decision Making in Student Affairs

I was approached last week by one of our peer mentors who had scheduling difficulties with leadership responsibilities he had in other organizations. As the discussion progressed, my graduate assistant and I listened, nodded, and were ready to address how we could work with the student to find some scheduling middle ground. To our surprise, the student felt it was best that he resign from his position. I could tell he had given this a lot of thought, so I confirmed his intent, thanked him for his candor, and upon his departure, immediately jumped into action.


“Pull the updated course schedules of all peer mentors,” I quickly instructed a student assistant as I began scrolling through my cell phone numbers to contact the student’s co-leader. While schedules were being printed, I sent a text to the co-leader for a meeting after her classes. As I dashed between offices, checking class time availability and sending text replies, I stuck my head back in the door of my office where my graduate assistant was still seated.

“Do you want to sit down and process this so we can decide what to do,” he asked?

Sandy McMullen addresses questions like these over at Personality Plus in Business. Sandy, an artist and consultant, shares that the MBTI decision making functions of Thinking and Feeling have equal worth even though the quick deciding “Thinkers” are frequently valued in the workplace. She discusses the linear, logical processes utilized by those with the Thinking preference are in contrast to the more subjective review of values and merits required for those with a Feeling preference. Recognizing and using both of these processes can actually benefit our decision making.

Acknowledging that my graduate assistant was using his Feeling preference and was still in processing mode, I took a few steps back to invite a discussion as to what our next steps should be, even though, with my Thinking preference, I had already arrived there. We were able to have a good chuckle over viewing our preferences “in action”.

What does your decision making function look like?
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