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December 08, 2022   |   Tagged Leadership

What is discernment and why do you need it?

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“People with high levels of personal mastery cannot afford to choose between reason and intuition, or head and heart, any more than they would choose to walk on one leg or see with one eye.” Peter Senge Harvard Review

In this article, NBC Basketball focuses on the importance of discernment and the ability to make decisions with wisdom and insight.

What is discernment? Discernment is the ability to make wise decisions based on the acuteness of judgment and understanding. For example, a chef has a discerning palette and can make decisions others cannot. A perfumer can discern the differences in fragrances that a novice cannot. Discernment requires both intuition and reason. It is the perfect marriage between your gut and your mind.

Why do we need discernment? The biggest task of any human is the task of making decisions. This commitment and courage to decide one thing and not another. Not only moral decisions but also relational, spiritual, and educational decisions.

Important questions to ask:

  • What are the qualities necessary for my close friendships?
  • What are the habits I want for my daily life?
  • What are the habits I don’t want for my daily life?
  • Where should I spend my time?
  • What career should I choose?
  • What qualities are necessary for the person I date?
  • What are the expectations I have of myself in conflict?
  • What are the qualities I need in a workplace, team, family, or school?

Necessary Qualities for Authentic Discernment

Openness vs Foreclosure: Are you willing to consider new information, different points of view, seeking diversity of thought, or have you already made up your mind and shut down any possible other options?

Generosity vs Scarcity: Are you coming to the decision with gratitude and abundance or a feeling there isn’t enough to go around, and I must get mine?

Courage vs Fear: Are you courageous enough to face the challenge or do you fear it so much you have to make a quick decision or an easy decision just to be finished and done with the pain or challenge?

Interior freedom vs Feeling Trapped: Are you free to feel that this decision won’t rob you of your inner joy and peace or do you feel trapped and cornered?

Conviction vs Compromised: Are you able to make the most meaningful and purposeful decision or are you feeling you must eliminate honesty, goodness, and truth to achieve your ends?

Self-Responsibility vs Blame: Are you willing to take the risks and reap the consequences of your decision without having to resort to blame?

Wisdom vs Proclivity:
Are you able to make the decision based on true wisdom or are you making the decision out of your own biases, reactions, and generational negative proclivities?

The Three Steps of Discernment

Awareness: What does your gut say? What does your head say? What does your heart say? What does your soul say? What do the experts say? What does Truth say? What is God’s spirit saying? What do the beloved others say? All these important voices can bring clarity to your decisions, but they require listening, silence, and being aware.

Understanding: Tough decisions require a deeper understanding and the ripple effect of those decisions. Who would be impacted by this decision? Who would benefit? Who would not benefit? What are the risks? What are the expectations I have riding on this?

Action: Discernment leads to actionable steps. It’s the ability to make intelligent judgments about the best ways to overcome difficulty, to separate what is important from what is not, or to differentiate between two remarkably similar choices.

About NBC Basketball
NBC Basketball is committed to the development of the whole person, physically, mentally, relationally, and spiritually. NBC Basketball began in 1971 and has grown to be one of the largest, most-respected overnight basketball camps in the world. Located in six countries, NBC Basketball focuses on skill mastery, intensity, gratitude, and personal faith. For more information about NBC Basketball visit www.nbcbasketball.com.

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