Have you ever experienced frustration when you donʼt understand why someone else acts, reacts and makes certain choices, especially when they are ones that you yourself would never make?

Each person has a set of go-to behaviors. Unfortunately, others seem oblivious to them. It”s as if humans are blind to them just as they are blind in certain spots in both eyes. The brain just automatically fills in the blind area.

That”s what you could be doing when it comes to your customer”s go-to behaviors.

People exhibit characteristic patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. Yes, we are all different and unique. But we are all different and unique is surprisingly similar ways.

As someone who interacts with different types of people and customers (and don’t you know it!), how good are you at reading their behavior?

People could make their lives a lot easier with just a bit more insight into certain patterns of go-to behaviors: especially those who they meet and do business with.

Both successes and misses in dealing with people – prospects, customers, clients, business partners, managers and employees – are seemingly random events. Sometimes your approach works, sometimes not so much.

Here’s the secret to increasing your success rate:

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think about their go-to behaviors.

When you donʼt understand how someone else could make such an illogical, uncaring, data-starved, or reckless decision, it isnʼt wrong, it is just their go-to behaviors for decision-making is innately different from yours.

Their go-to behaviors engage different information gathering and decision-making skills, ones they have honed, trusted and relied on to get them through life.

Just as a CEO can spot a troubling pattern in the P & L for a remote division, leaders and managers should be equally adept at spotting a go-to behavior that is being displayed in the same room during a meeting or on a customer visit. But yet, our own behavior preferences “fill in” the blind spot and we project our own go-to-behaviors on others.

What if you could read that your key customer talks to think? You would understand that your discussions are not as disjointed as they appear but rather insight into his or her decision-making process.

What if you could read that your technical customer”s caustic attitude is the result of his intolerance for inefficiency, a known behavior based on his particular go-to behaviors, not a character flaw causing turnover in the IT staff.

These are the benefits of having direct knowledge of go-to behaviors a key data point in business, personal interactions, and relationships.

Direct knowledge about go-to behaviors in another person can only be gathered by that individual taking a short online assessment and sharing their results with you.

Gathering Information. Which is your go-to behavior?

Every person has two go-to behaviors that they have used all of their life to either gather information and make decisions. The most interesting aspect is that each person believes that their go-to behavior is the one everyone else uses. Letʼs look at the four information-gathering ones:


History means the person keeps an internal database of details that they have learned in the past. This person compares todayʼs data with past data to make an informed decision. A person who uses History as their go-to behavior for gathering information will check their memory, make comparisons to the past, and in general look to the past to verify their information.


Action means the person is very adept at identifying details about something that is happening right now and can be acquired through their five senses. A person who relies on Action as their as their go-to behavior for gathering information will be very aware and in the moment, seeking tactics that they can implement right now. They look to the present and the immediate moment for solutions.


Insight is the process of identifying seemingly disconnected patterns that result in instant insight into a problem or situation. People who use Insight as their go-to behavior for gathering information visualize their goal or end result, focus on strategy, synthesize data almost unconsciously and predict results with surprising accuracy. They look to and visualize the future for answers.


Ideas is what might be described as brainstorming, a verbal questioning to identify patterns that provide insight. If you look to Ideas as your go-to behavior for gathering information, you prefer seeking answers through brainstorming, identifying patterns and innovation. You look outside the box for answers, seeking something new.

Details (History and Action) or Patterns (Insight and Ideas)

Organizing these another way, you have two concepts about gathering information: a person with a go-to History or Action is great with details, either those in the past or those in the present.

A person with a go-to Insight or Ideas behavior is great with identifying patterns, either through an internal insight aha moment or through external brainstorming.

If you are managing people or working with customers or clients, it is important to make sure that

  1. you know your own go-to behavior when gathering information, and
  2. that you have the people whose skills are different from yours to put together a truer picture of the data and patterns.

This will give you all the perspectives, a 360 information-gathering process, if you will.

Now that youʼve gathered the data, letʼs move on to making decisions.

Making Decisions: Which is your go-to behavior?


Analyze is an internal, logic-based decision-making process that focuses on what is correct or incorrect. People who use Analyze as their go-to behavior for making decisions use their mind to create order, to organize and categorize information, identify anomalies, deduce probabilities and understand how things work. You look inside to create order.


Organize is the planning, organizing, scheduling and structuring of the decision-making process by directing and interacting with other people. Focuses on measurable goals. People who use Organize as their go-to behavior for making decisions think out loud, notice quickly when something is out of sequence or order, set objectives and criteria for success, and create step-by-step procedures. They look to influence and organize the world around them, even when not solicited to do so.


Empathize gives the other person”s personal needs high importance in making a decision. It gives priority to the feelings of others. People who use Empathize as their go-to behavior for making decisions are friendly and considerate, try to create harmony between other people, act with kindness and will disconnect with people who do not show that they care. They look to help others grow.


Values connects with others to decide in a way that promotes win-win decisions with the priority on other people’s feelings and the decider”s own personal ethics and morals. People who use Values as their go-to behavior for making decisions focus on what is right or wrong according to their internal values. They express their internal values through external actions.

Numbers (Analyze and Organize) or People (Empathize and Values)

A person with a go-to Analyze or Organize behavior examines data, metrics and numbers to make an informed decision; a

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person with a go-to behavior of Impact or Values considers other people”s reactions as their primary criteria in making decisions.

Summary: Gathering Data, Then Making Decisions – The Impact of Go-To Behaviors

Each person has a dominant go-to behavior and a supporting go-to behavior. Either the information-gathering behavior or the decision-making behavior can be dominant or supporting.

The order of the go-to behaviors can provide leaders with insight into known temperaments and personality types.

For example, if Insight is dominant and Empathize is supporting, then you can expect the personʼs natural expertise to be future planning with an emphasis on understanding the impact on others. Think the ideal marketing manager.

If Insight is dominant and Organize is supporting, then you can expect the personʼs natural expertise to be future planning with an emphasis on objective theory and strategy. Think technical manager.

The only way to know who has what go-to behaviors is to ask. For more information about how to do this, contact me.


To find the blind spots in your eyes, follow these instructions:

The human eye has a blind spot at the area of the retina where the optic nerve leads back into the brain.

The blind spots in each eye are aligned symmetrically so that most of the time, one eye’s field of vision will compensate for the loss of vision in the other.

To find the eye’s blind spot, you can do the following tests.

In order to find the blind spot of the right eye, it is necessary to close the left eye, focus the right eye on a single point, and see if anything vanishes from vision some 20 degrees right of this point. The following diagram has a set of characters on the left hand side, and black circle on the right. Keeping your head motionless, with the right eye about 3 or 4 times as far from the page as the length of the red line (that is pretty close to the screen), look at each character in turn, until the black circle vanishes.


The opposite idea works in testing the blind spot of the left eye as well. Just do the exact same as the image above, but with the left eye opened and the right eye closed.


It’s amazing how the brain fills in the blind spot despite the fact that the eyes cannot actually see what is there.