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7 Strategies for Making Objective Decisions

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 benefits of an option and on the other, you'll have all the downsides. 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

7 Strategies for Making Objective Decisions

7 Strategies for Making Objective Decisions

https://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/7-strategies-for-making-objective-decisions.html

inc.com

12

Key Ideas

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 experiences could lead you to a biased view of the different options available to you? What assumptions have you made? 

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 your list a sense of scale. This can help you think through all the positives and negatives of all your options, and help you visualize the generally best candidate.

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 counseling a friend on making the decision can help you understand what an outsider's perspective might be. 

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 new jobs, you could pare the decision down to salary, work culture, and potential for growth. 

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 consideration, one decision will be objectively worth more than the other. You'll still be affected by your subjective opinions, but they will have a smaller impact.

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 and what factors could contribute to a subjective decision. 

What past experiences could lead you to a biased view of the different options available to you? What assumptions have you made? 

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 benefits of an option and on the other, you'll have all the downsides. 

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 a situation, your views are distorted, but on the outside, you might see things differently.

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 deciding between two new jobs, you could pare the decision down to salary, work culture, and potential for growth. Eliminate any factor that isn't one of your primary considerations, and look at what remains.

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 might assume that your company is going to continue growing in revenue, but what if your sales decrease over the next two years? How would your decision play out?

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 consideration, one decision will be objectively worth more than the other. 

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 than making no decision at all.

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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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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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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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