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7 Strategies for Making Objective Decisions

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7 Strategies for Making Objective Decisions
We all face difficult decisions, but how can we increase the likelihood of making the right choice? Here are seven strategies to ensure you make objective decisions that aren't influenced by irrelevant factors.

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Acknowledge biases

Think critically about your own mentality and what factors could contribute to a subjective decision: How much and how well do you know the other people involved with the decision? What past...

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Pro and Con Lists

Take each option in your decision and make two lists for each; on one side, you'll have all the benefits of an option and on the other, you'll have all the downsides. 

Try to give...

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The outsider's perspective

Imagine your friend telling you the problem using only the most important information, and think about what you might say in return.

Imaging your own advice if you were co...

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Strip down your deciding factors

Try to limit what you have to interpret. Eliminate any factor that isn't one of your primary considerations, and look at what remains.

For example, if you're deciding between two...

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Scoring Systems

Assign positive or negative points to each quality associated with each of your decisions, and keep a total score running for each one. 

Once you've taken everything into consider...

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Your Biases

Our decisions stop being objective when our emotions and biases begin to interfere with our evaluations. In order to reduce this impact, think critically about your own mentality ...

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Use Pro and Con Lists

To help you visualize the generally best candidate, take each option in your decision and make two lists for each; on one side, you'll have all the...

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An outsider's perspective

Imagining your own advice if you were counseling a friend on making the decision can help you understand what an outsider's perspective might be. 

Because you're in the middle of ...

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Your Deciding Factors

Instead of trying to think of everything that could possibly be accounted for when making the decision, strip down the deciding factors to a minimal number.

For example, if you're d...

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Reverse Your Line of Thinking

During the decision-making process, you're going to make assumptions. Tinker with those assumptions in order to get a fuller, more objective view of the situation. 

For example, you m...

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Create a Scoring System

Assign positive or negative points to each quality associated with each of your decisions, and keep a total score running for each one. 

Once you've taken everything into consider...

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Live With Your Decision

Make a decision and hold firm to that decision. You can deal with any consequences of that decision as they arise later. In most cases, making a bad decision is still a lot better ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Work on the right decision

The way you frame your decision at the outset can make all the difference. 

State your decision problems carefully, acknowledge their complexity and avoid unwarranted assumptions ...

Specify your objectives

A decision is a means to an endAsk yourself what you most want to accomplish and which of your interests, values, concerns, fears, and aspirations are most relevant to achieving your goal.

Decisions with multiple objectives cannot be resolved by focusing on any one objective.

Create imaginative alternatives

Your decision can be no better than your best alternative.

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Decision-making errors

Most decision-making errors boil down to:

  • logical fallacies (over-generalizations, comparing apples and oranges, circular thinking)
  • limiting beliefs (underes...

Confirmation Bias

If you already have an opinion about something before you've even tried to figure it out, chances are you'll over-value information that confirms that opinion.

Think about what kinds of information you would expect to find to support alternative outcomes.

Attribution Bias

The “fundamental attribution error,” is when we excuse our own mistakes but blame other people for theirs.

Give other people the chance to explain themselves before judging their behavior.

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"Good" Decisions

  • Logical decisions tend to trump emotional ones, since emotions can sometimes make us biased or see things in an inaccurate light.
  • Thought-out decisions tend to trump ...

Step away from the problem

Distancing yourself from a problem can help you face it in a more objective way. 

Instead of remaining in your own frame of mind, consider yourself as an outside observer, such as a friend giving advice or a fly on the wall. Removing yourself in this way helps you filter out some of your cognitive biases and lean you toward a more rational decision.

Give yourself some time

Accuracy and reliability in decision making tends to increase if you first give yourself some time to decompress and collect yourself.

This may also help you remove yourself from the problem, knocking out two of these strategies at a time.

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