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When facing difficult decisions, it is likely that different parts of you might want different things.
When deciding whether to book a pricey holiday, one part of you (prudent) might think that this expense is unreasonable, while another part of you (hedonistic) prefers to make the most of life and go for it, while yet another part of you (serious) will think that work should come first.
Decision-making involves the deliberation between the different parts of yourself. It involves getting them to sit together around an imaginary table to agree on an outcome they can all settle for.
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In the 16th century, the Spanish priest and theologian Ignatius of Loyola suggested three ways you can achieve more psychological distance from a difficult decision:
By methodically assessing your options against a comprehensive set of objectives, it is possible that one option will emerge as the obvious decision to take. In many instances, though, more work will be needed.
One can consider each of your options separately, listing the ...
A practical approach is to write about each option (half a page each time on a separate sheet), and explore how you feel while writing; also, how you feel about each sheet in front of you. If you throw them into the wastepaper bin one by one until one remains, what are the emotions and feelin...
How can you think outside the box and see that other elusive option?
Making decisions under pressure can blur people’s judgment in at least three ways:
When faced with a difficult decision, it can be tempting to take the easy road and procrastinate. This attitude illustrates what might be the greatest myth about decision-making: that, faced with two choices, we still have the option to not decide and to do nothing.
In fact, procra...
Any systematic weighting exercise requires you to assign scores and probabilities in a way that isn’t entirely scientific and that relies on an element of ‘gut feeling’.
However, this isn’t a weakness of these approaches, as tapping into the emotional part of your psyche i...
Establish whether your team is working towards the same objectives and ask the following key questions:
Having selected your best option, you need to act upon it. This is what trips up many people. They find it hard – sometimes even impossible – to get started. One way out of such a dilemma is to break down your big decision into a series of micro-decisions.
This is only the...
Ultimately, what defines a hard decision isn’t so much the decision itself, but how it is perceived by the decision-maker. You might feel that a decision is hard because:
The etymology of the word ‘decision’ provides important insight. It comes from the Latin word caedere meaning ‘to cut off’.
Decisions cut us off from other choices, other opportunities and the possibility of better outcomes. For this reason, the act of deciding ca...
Objectives are the ultimate goals that a decision aims to achieve.
It is important to list your objectives and cross-check how many of them would be satisfied by each decision. Research has shown that our decisions frequently suffer from having too narrow a range of objectives (perhap...
The more you struggle with difficult decisions, the less distance from them you enjoy and the more bogged down you can become.
And yet, psychological distance provides a sense of perspective that is a key component of effective decision-making.
Even the world’s most famous investor, Warren Buffett, credits some of his best decision-making to a method known as the 10/10/10, meaning: how will I feel about today’s decision in 10 days’ time, vs 10 months, vs 10 years?
Here again, it is about creating more distance between y...
I see video and web as a way to reach and inspire people.
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There are different types of empathy that a person may experience:
When you see others and their accomplishments on social media, it's easy to lose confidence. Comparing yourself to others, you might think you have failed or lack worth because it looks as though others have so much more money, admiration, and success. Nothing good comes out of comparing yourself...
If employees are not familiar with 1:1 meetings, they might think it is a precursor to layoffs, or think of them as another waste of time.
Make sure the right message goes across the team, ensuring that these sessions are now a regular occurrence, and involve you meeting with everyone one ...
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