4 Ways To Make Great Decisions | Alyssa J Freitas: 4 Ways To Make Great Decisions

February 9, 2017

4 Ways To Make Great Decisions


Since this is the final semester of my senior year (let's not even think about that though because it's far too depressing) I am taking my capstone course. The topic of my capstone is decision making and we are focusing on how both good and bad decisions are made. Since starting this class I am even more in tune with how I handle decisions and evaluate how I go about reaching a conclusion. Believe it or not, there are a lot of ways we can sabotage ourselves without realizing it.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Decisions can be tough, but they don't have to be! Here's the deal, you can consider many sides of the issue, and talk through them with others
Recently my mother advised me that "In life there are many decisions to be made, and some you will regret. There will be nights where you will be wishing you didn't wear the shoes that look great, but you should wear them anyway." While I appreciate the intent behind this statement (do what you've got to do), this is not a surefire way to make good decisions. That's why today I want to share with you methods to help you make better choices and achieve great results.

The information here is mostly derived from the book we are using in my course, lead by Professor Leventry, called Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath.

01. Consider more than what meets the eye

When you are first are faced with a decision it can be very easy to think of it in terms of either/or. I will either join this club or I won't. I will either go on a date with him or not. By looking at it in this way, however, you don't allow yourself to see the breadth of options that you may actually have. Perhaps you can join the club and only be involved with a certain committee. Or maybe instead of going on a date with the guy you can make it a group hangout to get to know each other better in a less pressured situation. The key is to look at any and all options and to be creative.

02. Avoid seeking information that just confirms what you want to believe

If you haven't heard of confirmation bias before, get ready to be hyperaware of it (which is really great because it will help you avoid the trap it lays). Confirmation bias is when you only look at and pay attention to the information that serves your purpose. From seeking out opinions you know will align with yours, to finding reasons to make a certain decision, it can be detrimental to engage in confirmation bias. Instead, look for evidence that contradicts what you believe and see if it is valid. If your decision holds true, then you can proceed, and if not it is time to consider some more options.

03. Don't let short term emotion have a long term effect

This can be so, so, so very difficult. Making decisions based on emotion, whether you realize it or not, is not an effective way to manage your choices. The biggest way to combat this is something I've blogged about before: perspective. I won't go into the details of shifting your mindset, but suffice to say it is better to take a step back and look at the whole picture before deciding on a course of action. 

04. Be sure of yourself (but not too sure)

Something I've found is that often when I get an idea I will quickly become committed to it and run with it, rather than consider and prepare for the fact that I may be wrong. This idea of being ready and willing to admit you are wrong (my father is one of the best proponents of this) will serve you well not just when it comes to decisions, but also with your interpersonal relations. Basically, avoid marrying an idea and closing yourself off to other viable (and potentially more advantageous) instead of considering other options.

So there you have it! The four best ways to change your mindset and prepare your brain for optimal decision making.

What do you do when you have to make a decision? Are there certain methods you engage in? 

-AJF
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