October 13, 2020

124: How to Make Better Decisions

Every day we make thousands of decisions. Many of these are almost insignificant, but others can have major and long lasting impact on us, our teams, and our organizations. The ability to make high quality decisions as an individual and a team is an important competency for any manager.

In this episode, I talk about the factors that inhibit us from making good decisions, approaches to counter these so that we can make better decisions, and two approaches to help organize your decision-making conversation or thought process.

The full episode guide includes an overview of each approach along with suggested questions to support your decision-making. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at www.themodernmanager.com/shop.

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Read the related blog article: Improve Decision Quality and Make Better Decisions

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Key Takeaways:

  • Our brains are influenced by many factors that can impact our ability to make sound decisions.
  • These factors include: mood, emotions, decision fatigue, cognitive bias, information overload and the paradox of choice.
  • Our mood is impacted by the weather, if we are hungry or tired, etc. Whether we are feeling good or bad, we will bring that into our perspective on a decision.
  • We make thousands of decisions each day. Over time, our brain loses energy for making these decisions, resulting in poor decision quality as we tire.
  • There are many cognitive biases such as confirmation bias, where we highlight information that confirms what we already believe and downplay information that contradicts it.
  • When we have too much information, we are unable to sort through it to find what is most important.
  • When we have too many options, the chance of making the wrong choice increases so we tend to avoid the decision at all.
  • Be sure to frame the decision appropriately. Is this the right decision to make? Is there a right or best answer?
  • Be aware of your mood and emotions. Pause and revisit a decision or ask someone else to make it.
  • Make important decisions earlier in the day or week when you have more energy.
  • Include others when making decisions to broaden the perspectives.
  • Look for the right and relevant information rather than just more information.
  • Try the 6 hats approach to think through a decision in a logical manner using six different lenses: creative possibilities, the facts, the benefits, the drawbacks, the emotions, the process.
  • Use a weighted criteria method to rate each option and compare them using a numerical result.

Additional Resources:


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