Sunday, June 3, 2007

Better Decision Making

When we are faced with making an important decision on whether to stay where we are and an opportunity to take a new path we often undertake an analysis of the choices. We are looking for a way to make a logical decision just as we have been taught.

However, when we are looking at the future there are no certainties; there are only probabilities, yet we treat our assumptions as if they are facts. We are using our powers of prediction to form our analysis. Even a simple plus and minus analysis uses prediction.

Another factor that logical decision making does not always take in consideration is the impact of the changes on the values we hold to be important to us. What values will be impacted, by how much, and their importance to us needs to added to the decision mix.

For example there may be only a limited number of possible advancements in our current field but the business is not likely to disappear has a value to us. A new career opportunity has more  opportunities for advancement or diversity which also has a value to us. How much is up to us.

We could start with a simple plus and minus list or other decision making tool that includes all of our values that will be impacted by the decision. Then we need to add the probability of each plus and minus occurring. If we have no idea then we have some more thinking or research to do.

After rating our list and removing any which have a low possibility of happening and understanding the impact on our values we are in a better position to make a good choice for ourselves.

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4 conversations:

Comedy + said...

Well, Zane and I did a recent cost benefit analysis (as we have been trained to do), concerning a job offer with the State of California. We had one benefit...$$$ and quite a bit too. Our values however wouldn't allow us to put anything else in the benefit area. It may have fit for others, but it didn't for us. I think I see what you are saying here. I know I'm tired, but I think I get it... :)

Peter Haslam said...

That is exactly the point Sandee. Too often we make choices based on expectations which are unrealistic or affect our values in a negative way without thinking about that aspect beforehand.

HollyGL said...

Peter,

I so agree with you that it is wise to break down our decision making into "processable" pieces of the puzzle. In my younger years, it was all about the money. Now, that I make enough to live comfortably, other matters tip the scales. I generally begin with the logic of things, and then "check in" and see how I feel about everything.

Peter Haslam said...

HollyGL it ia a good way to keep in touch with what we value and it does seem to come truer in our maturity.