Why It's Easier to Make Decisions for Someone Else - Deepstash

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Why It's Easier to Make Decisions for Someone Else

https://hbr.org/2018/11/why-its-easier-to-make-decisions-for-someone-else

hbr.org

Why It's Easier to Make Decisions for Someone Else
Executive Summary Whether it's about someone deciding to pursue a new job, or ask for a raise, or someone simply mulling over which ice cream flavor to choose, we seem to see the best solution with a clarity and decisiveness that is often absent when we face our own quandaries.

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Cautious mindset vs. an adventurous mindset

  • When choosing for ourselves, we focus more on a granular level, something we describe as a cautious mindset.
  • When it came to deciding for others, we look more at the array of options and focus on their overall impression. We are bolder when we're operating from an adventurous mindset.

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A different mindset when choosing for others

We adopt an adventurous mindset that stands in contrast to the more cautious mindset that rears when people make their own choices.

We see the best solution with clarity and a decisiveness that is often absent when we face our own dilemmas.

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Taking an outside perspective

Taking an outside perspective

We should work to distance ourselves from our own problems by adopting a fly-on-the-wall perspective and act as our own advisors.

Another distancing technique is to pretend that our decision is someone else's and visualize it from his or her perspective. By imagining how someone else would tackle your problem, people may unwittingly help themselves.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Anchoring Bias

A common occurrence of heuristics in which we use an initial starting point as an anchor that is then adjusted to yield a final estimate or value.

Example: estimating the value of an o...

Being Too Optimistic

People who are told that the risk of something bad happening is lower than they expected, tend to adjust their predictions to match the new information. But they ignore the new information when the risk is higher.

Part of this overly optimistic outlook stems from our natural tendency to believe that bad things happen to other people, but not to us. 

You Often Make Poor Comparisons

Sometimes we make poor comparisons or the compared items are not representative or equal.

We often decide based on rapid comparisons without really thinking about our options. In order to avoid bad decisions, relying on logic and thoughtful examination of the options can sometimes be more important than relying on your immediate "gut reaction."

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Think in Years, Not Days

Before jumping to a conclusion, think about the long-term consequences of your decision.

We may respect those able to fling themselves into a hard problem and make a quick choice with seemingly little thought, but making a meaningful decision needs to be done with care for the long-term effects.

Understand Decision Fatigue

It’s important to be aware of what state of mind you’re in before tackling a hard choice.

Decision fatigue happens when the mental energy required to weigh the tradeoffs of our decision becomes too much for us to handle. 

Decision-making obstacles

Decision-making obstacles
Psychological reasons why we find decision-making difficult right now:
  • The realness of the present threat: the new virus is really contagious and people are dying from ...

The pandemic and our biases

The threat, uncertainty, and anxiety related to the pandemic lead us to make short-sighted decisions:

  • we crave more information so we are spending a lot of time looking for news updates relating to the virus and its spread. But too much negative news causes stress and distraction.
  • the lack of agency causes people to seek out actions that will make them feel more in control. Early on, this took the form of buying hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol.

Financial decisions

People want to take action quickly, even when inaction might be more prudent.
Faced with anxiety, some are making quick decisions about finances as well and started fear selling their stocks. But this is taking a paper loss in the present that is likely to come back in the future (given the way stock markets have acted in the past).