Finally Learn How To Make A Decision You Won’t Regret

We’re all making hundreds (thousands?) of decisions every day, but the decisions we make about other people are some of the most important ones.  Have you ever wondered how to make a decision, and what that decision affects?

Our brains are wired to look for the simplest path with the least amount of pain.  If something starts taking “too long”, or requiring “too much effort”, we quickly lose interest and focus.

If you’re anything like me, you can think of many examples of this happening in your life!

Our decisions come down to 2 systems of thinking:

1. Intuitive – requires little effort, good for everyday tasks
2. Analytical – requires much effort, but is more accurate

Each system serves a critical purpose in our daily lives.  Gaining a better understanding of each of them will help us learn how to make a decision that will benefit us the most.

What’s The Difference?

So we have 2 systems of thinking that help us make decisions …. what’s the big deal?

It turns out that relying too heavily one one over the other can lead to a lot more “bad” decisions being made.

What happens when you make a bad decision?

– There can be a monetary cost in terms of retraining, research, or even severance
– You may see a snowball effect within your immediate circle, or to other people/organizations
– Usually there’s some form of personal cost in the form of stress or a hit to our reputation

Our best defense against bad decisions is understanding our decision-making process.

Too Much Reliance on Intuitive Thinking

Although intuitive thinking is amazing for getting us through our days, it can often cause mistakes when new situations arise or we’re put in situations with people who are different from us.

Intuitive thinking is based more on like and trust instead of competence.  It’s more concerned with the way things make us feel than what they truly are.

Since it requires less effort, we tend to pay attention to information that confirms our existing beliefs.  Often this can be at the expense of vital information.

People and things exist in our minds , and it's very hard to change our view of them. Click To Tweet

Some great examples are Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, or Martha Stewart.  For the majority of people it took much longer, and required much more evidence of wrongdoing to sway guilt than it would have for someone else with less original standing.

Pay Attention

We must pay attention to information that’s not consistent with our existing views.  It’s the only way to maintain an accurate impression of what’s really happening around us.

Our existing stories about others cause us to pay attention to select information, and make up the rest.

Our existing stories cause us to pay attention to select information, and make up the rest. Click To Tweet

Think of a time when you were with someone who you really didn’t like.  If they were to do something nice for you, or compliment you, what would you think?

If you’re like me, you’d wonder what they wanted from you, right?  What if it was your best friend performing the same action?

Now what if you were with one of your best friends, but they yelled at you for some reason?  Would you chalk it up to just having a bad day?  What if someone you didn’t like did the same thing?

Do you see how our preconceived ideas about people affect our reactions?

Improving Your Accuracy

When faced with how to make a decision, make sure you’re clear about what you want.

You must go much deeper than simply knowing what you don’t want.  Focus on your goal or what you’re really looking for.

Are there stories you’re telling yourself about the situation or people involved that could impair your decision-making abilities?  Make sure you gain other perspectives so you have all the information.

Lastly, don’t wait too long to make the decision.  Often your intuition is correct, and you should trust it.

Just make sure you’re considering all the facts!

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Resources

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