Unique Personal Characteristics & Their Role in Decision Making

Diagram illustrating the four distinct brain regions as per ACTION TYPE theory.

Every individual possesses distinctive traits that shape their thoughts and reactions. Through various studies, intriguing patterns emerge regarding personal characteristics and responses. In this analysis, I delve into the theories of researchers like Jan Huijbers, Peter Murphy, and Bennie Bouwes, focusing particularly on the ACTION TYPE approach.

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Understanding Personal Characteristics

Throughout history, numerous studies and theories have been developed to understand human behavior. The ACTION TYPE theory by Huijbers, Murphy, and Bouwes suggests that everyone has four distinct brain regions, each uniquely functioning. Everyone has a dominant style, and neurophysiological research reveals that thinking within this preferred style consumes minimal energy. However, deviating from this style can be significantly more draining.

An intriguing study involving over eight million American employees found that a whopping 80% of them used non-dominant styles in their daily tasks. This inefficient brain usage often leads to mediocre performance, chronic fatigue, decreased resilience, or even burnout.

Our thoughts, stemming from our brains, vary from person to person. The ACTION type identifies various characteristics based on these preferences, ensuring that every individual reacts uniquely to different pieces of information.

The Dominance of Negative Thoughts

Negative reactions towards actions, disappointments, or mistakes are not uncommon. Astoundingly, research shows that 70% of our thoughts are negatively charged. This negativity arises from fear, which historically served as a significant motivator for human behavior. While in the past, this fear was rooted in physical dangers, today, it is often centered around emotional threats such as rejection, loneliness, or depression. This is especially evident in sports, where the theory of ‘Endowed Progress’ comes into play, illustrating how teams may lose focus and advantage because of misplaced priorities.

The Role of Mindset in Performance

Arguably, the most vital concept in achieving success in sports is one’s mindset. Carol Dweck introduced the differentiation between the Fixed Mindset (traits are static) and Growth Mindset (continuous development through effort). An analogy by Train Ugly compares it to a caged tiger versus one in the wild. The former, having everything handed to it, would struggle to survive in the wild, despite being physically identical to the wild counterpart.

Applying this to our lives, many of us confine ourselves to comfort zones, reluctant to make mistakes. However, embracing a Growth Mindset, where mistakes are opportunities for learning, is crucial. Every thought should be geared towards self-improvement, especially in high-pressure situations like sports.

A prime example can be seen in football. Feyenoord’s performance against Ajax was impeccable at home, showcasing a stellar mindset. But their away games told a different story. Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Feyenoord’s coach, emphasized the importance of having the right mindset every second of the 90-minute match.

For an inspiring display of the Growth Mindset, check out this video:

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