In their book Decisive – How to make better decisions Chip and Dan Heath put it simply:
‘When it comes to making decisions, it’s clear that our brains are flawed instruments. Whether we rely on complex analysis or gut reactions, the results are about the same’
1) Stop looking so narrow – widen your options
Do you use a 50/50, yes or no answer to make your decisions?
When you widen your options, you apply the magic of AND rather than OR. Remember AND can be used multiple times, increasing the number of options you can have. When you consider a variety of alternatives then you improve your chances of making the right decision.
2) Stop being so biased – reality test your analysis.
Bias can lead you to apply unjustified weight to a decision you prefer, it will also mean that you will collect evidence to support this view, resulting in any other option being dismissed before being properly considered.
When you reality-test your decision, for example get interview candidates to do real work not just answer questions, you are more likely to see who the right candidate is and it might not be the one you preferred.
3) Stop being so emotional – step away and get some perspective
During any decision-making process emotions run high, and high emotions can cloud any judgement about the right decision to be made.
Your job as a business leader is to step back ‘get some air’ and take a look at the short and long-term effect the decision will have on your business, so that you make the right one.
4) Stop being so confident – prepare to be wrong
Even the best of us can be overconfident. If Doctors can get it wrong 40% of the time then can you be completely certain all the time that you have made the right decision?
Your job is to prepare for things to go wrong, predict the issues and be ready with a back-up plan.
The bigger the decision the better you need to be at making decision.