I really like talking about this one! It is one of my Strengths and it is an often misunderstood Strength. One of the best metaphors I’ve heard about the Deliberative Strength is that Deliberatives see life as a minefield. Others can run through it recklessly if they so choose, but Deliberatives take a different approach. They are cautious and take their time to think before they act, anticipating risks and managing them as they come along.
Deliberatives like to not only think before they act, they also like to think before they talk, making them the traditional definition of introvert – someone who thinks inside their head, rather than someone who likes to think out loud, talking things through with others. The idea of stating a thought before it is fully-formed is anxiety inducing for a Deliberative. It’s the equivalent of that nightmare where you show up at school naked!
Deliberatives can be very good listeners because listening to you might help them better assess the risk of a situation, so they naturally do it. Your Deliberative friend would be a great choice to listen to a problem or concern you are having, and to help you make a decision. They probably also have very good memories because remembering details helps them navigate the minefield of life the next time they encounter a similar situation.
Are you a Deliberative? This Strength can sometimes be misunderstood. One super-power of a Deliberative is to be able to sense potential problems before anyone else, leading others to view you as pessimistic. Overcoming this label is a matter of timing and delivery. When you’re involved in decision-making and you sense potential problems, it is best to hear everything out first. Then when you have to point out a potential problem, fully explain your thought process and choose your words carefully!
Do you know someone who may be a Deliberative? Don’t count them out as pessimistic, slow, or procrastinating. Remember, if you work on a team with them, they need time in making decisions. Be patient… the decisions they make are often very good ones! Also remember that when a Deliberative is taking their time and thinking, the end result is always about action and once they make a decision they can act quickly.
Sometimes Deliberatives slow things down a little bit, but that isn’t always a bad thing. You want a Deliberative on your team, the same way you want brakes on your car. You will have to use them often in order to avoid an accident, and to get safely to where you need to go!