A show of hands, how many of you struggle with making decision? Wait, I can’t see your hands because this phrase is usually used during presentations, talks, workshops in front of a LIVE audience to engage the crowd. Well, how do I then engage you here online when information passes through every day with over 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data being created. It is about the DECISION of staying put and reading on. Perhaps, the reason why you are staying put is because there is no compelling reason of NOT to stay since you are already here. Looking at decision making as a whole
Here are a few reasons why people do not make decisions:
People do not make decisions because of
Anxiety - Fear of making the wrong decision and suffering consequences or remorse inhibits some people.
Confusion - Unable to rationalize the decisions and the consequence there after, often decisions not made were because of a series of confused understanding that led to no action
Worry - Worry about making a mistake and feeling guilty, remiss, exposed or ignorant is common. Sometimes people are paralyzed by a fear of hurting or alienating another.
Today we will be looking at how decisions are made from other’s experience, making lesser decisions for a bigger outcome and trusting our intuitions.
The list goes on, how then does someone make a decision? Adapting from Jocelyn Glei “5 Tips for Decision Making” Here’s 3 ways to make that decision you have been contemplating.
1. Why we should trust experience. (Anyone’s experience.)
Psychologist Daniel Gilbert, author of the bestseller Stumbling on Happiness, studies the cognitive biases that we use to make decisions. According to Gilbert, we do not make very rational decisions in most cases, nor are we particularly good at predicting what will make us happy. (See his great TED talk for more on this.)Gilbert argues that if we don’t have the knowledge or experience to make a decision, the best course of action is to just ask someone else. Says Gilbert:
In many domains of life, the experience of one randomly selected other person can beat your own best guess by a factor of two… We all like a trip to Paris better than gallbladder surgery; everybody would rather have a compliment than have their thumb nailed to the floor. The differences between you and other people are so unimportant that you would do better predicting how you are going to like something simply by asking one randomly chosen person how they like it.
2. How less can be more.
Psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer, whose work was cited in the Malcolm Gladwell bestseller Blink, argues that we’re designed to make smart snap decisions based on limited information. In fact, his research shows that we do it all the time. Here, Newsweek neatly sums up Gigerenzer’s findings on the “Take the Best” strategy that most people use to make decisions:
“Take the best” means that you reason and calculate only as much as you absolutely have to; then you stop and do something else. So, for example, if there are 10 pieces of information that you might weigh in a thorough decision, but one piece of information is clearly more important than the others, then that one piece of information is often enough to make a choice. You don’t need the rest; other details just complicate things and waste time.
3. The three kinds of intuition.
In the creative and business worlds, you hear a lot of talk about intuition, and (see above) “trusting your gut.” But what does that really mean? It’s less simple than you might think. Columbia Business School professor William Duggan believes that there are three different types of intuition:
A) Ordinary Intuition - Ordinary intuition is just a feeling, a gut instinct
B) Expert Intuition - Expert intuition is snap judgments, when you instantly recognize something familiar
C) Strategic Intuition - a clear thought
Expert intuition is always fast, and it only works in familiar situations. Strategic intuition is always slow, and it works for new situations, which is when you need your best ideas. It is very interesting when we dissect a thought into its patterns and derive the difference each strategy enfolds. In life, it is constantly about making decisions after decisions, we may get better at it or we may not even improve on it as decisions come in so many forms, ways that shape how life is.
Let us find out ways to improve our decision making and examine the factors our decisions are based upon, start making wise decisions!