Have you ever struggled to make decisions?

If you are anything like me, stress can take indecisiveness to another level. 

During those times of indecision, wouldn’t it be great to have a set of procedures in place to help you along the way?

In their book “Decisive,” Chip Heath and Dan Heath aim to help us make better choices in life. 

The first thing to remember during decision-making is to avoid a narrow mindset. For example, the correct decision may not be “this OR that.” It’s possible that the better decision could be “this AND that.” Try to broaden things as much as possible. 

Another important thing to try to avoid during decision-making is confirmation bias. Practice caution when gathering data that only supports current beliefs or attitudes. This is a tough one because most of us don’t even realize when this is happening. Seeking the truth and seeking reassurance can be two very different things. What/who can provide a reality check for your decision?

Closely related to confirmation bias is our short-term emotion. Lack of a proper perspective can leave us with decisions we could regret.  Our emotions can also lead to no decision being made at all, also known as over-analysis. 

One last thing to avoid is overconfidence. None of us can predict how the future will turn out. We should prepare for the possibility of being wrong. As I have said in the past, you don’t know what you don’t know. 

With all of the above being said, Chip and Dan Heath point out that we can use our intuition, as long as it has been trained in predictable environments. We should aim to train our intuition where we can get a lot of feedback and repetition. Practicing and receiving quick feedback is a great way to exercise your intuition so that it becomes second nature. 

Towards the end of “Decisive,” the authors discuss group decisions. If decisions are being made within a group, there is the added component of the perception of fairness. Compromise will weigh heavily so that each member perceives a sense of fairness. 

This book has been a great tool in my decision-making process. I try to remember the four things to avoid whenever I need to make a decision. It has become easier and more automatic for me the more I practice. Although, I still get stuck in over-analysis sometimes. It’s a process…

Thoughts on this process? Comment below and thanks for reading the blog today!

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