You make decisions all the time. And even more so when faced with change.
But did you know hidden biases influence you? Impairing your ability to see the whole picture and make informed choices?
Unless you’re aware, your success in making good decisions could be hit or miss at best. Undermining your confidence to move forward with change.
So let’s look at these influences and learn how to improve your decision-making success rate.
You Create a Bias in Seconds
First, understand you possess a remarkable ability to form opinions and create biases in seconds.
Even with little information.
This wouldn’t be an issue, except, if you’re like most people, you make decisions based on these newly formed beliefs. Then refuse to alter your opinions, despite rational arguments to the contrary.
Since this happens at a subconscious level, most people fail to see how biases affects their behaviour.
But marketers know. So do money managers and policy makers.
And they use this behavioural insight to make the most of your biases.
But, before you judge yourself too harshly, take a look at how corporate leaders fared…
Top Executives Fall Victim to the Same Biases
You’d expect top executives to enjoy greater success in the decision-making department.
With more at stake and more resources at their disposal, they’ll do whatever they can to get it right. Right?
But here’s the reality:
Dan Lovallo and Olivier Sibony ran a survey of 2207 executives. Of those, 60 percent said bad decisions happened as often as good ones—even with rigorous analysis.
After closed door talks with all the executives, here’s what came to light:
Companies that instituted a decision-making process boasted a higher success rate than those who only used analysis.
A six times higher success rate.
Now don’t get me wrong. You still need analysis. But if you want better success, combine analysis with a good decision-making process.
Why You Need a Decision-Making Process
So now you see you’re affected by underlying influences. But is knowing enough?
Does knowing you’re grumpy make you easy-going?
It takes work. Something that forces you to look beyond the usual pros-and-cons list.
The Major Flaw of the Number One Decision-Making Process in Use Today
By far, the pros-and-cons list is the most widely used decision-making process.
But it’s analytical. You compare this to that. Things are good or bad. Acceptable or not.
As we saw with the executives, analysis alone wasn’t enough.
Create Your Own Decision-Making Process
To improve your rate of success, create your own process for making decisions.
Ask questions that force you to uncover hidden biases. Allow yourself to explore big picture and expand your options.
Try these to get started :
(To be clear, these are not my questions, they came from Dan and Chip Heath’s book ‘Decisive—How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work’. Which I highly recommend.)
Move Forward with Confidence
To navigate the unknown world of change, you need to harness the power of your intuitive feelings so you can make decisions with confidence.
A process that forces you to search for and uncover your hidden biases will serve you well.
And allows you to move forward with changes that align with your beliefs and values.
Do you have a decision-making process? And if not, do you feel inspired to create one now? Let me know in the comments.
3/21/2018 07:30:38 pm
Another great column. We must be aware of our biases before we can do something about them, so a process that includes this is imperative.
3/21/2018 08:30:32 pm
Thanks Val. It's amazing how much we run on autopilot. Always good to find ways to better ourselves.
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