Leadership 101

How To Make Better Decisions: The One-Step Process

Even the best of us can use a hand making better decisions. A true leader knows how to take all perspectives into account before moving forward with a plan. Here's insight on a one-step plan to proceed.

The One-Step Process to Better Decision-Making

How To Make Better Decisions: The One-Step Process - Lioness MagazineDid you ever look at a picture only to notice something you hadn’t seen when taking the shot?  There’s a reason for that.  Your eyes don’t really “see.”  Well, they do, but not the way you might think.  Your brain doesn’t stream “You: The Movie” 24/7 on a gigantic screen, it translates the electronic messaging from your eyes into an image. That’s an insanely complicated process, and it’s happening in real time.  So, your brain cheats.  It makes assumptions about the information, filling in some of the components based on past experiences.  This speeds up processing, but it also trashes detail.

What we really “see” is based on perception, which is influenced by past experiences, imagination and associations.  In the end, your brain kinda makes things up. It’s when we review the photo we see reality for what it really was. This happens in business as well. “That’s the way we’ve always done it!” I’m sure I’m not the only one who has heard that old chestnut.  On the surface, we can attribute that to myopic thinking or ego.  But what if it’s something more sinister?  What if the reality of our decisions are being driven by the same aspects that drive sight?

Our decision-making process is quite similar to the way we “see.” We use past experiences, imagination, and associations to come up with answers.  Similar to sight, our brain kicks up its processing by filling in the blanks. That means an individual’s decision-making process is inherently flawed, and that can be devastating for leaders who poo-poo feedback. Thankfully, there is a simple hack you can use right now to strengthen your decision-making process. Ready?

Here it is. Talk to people! That’s right.  There are no two alike persons on the face of the planet! Each of us is driven by our own experiences.  In fact, the brain actually wires itself according to the things each of us encounter.  That why some folks are better at square dancing than math. Your brain latches onto information and customizes your programming to enhance those skills. So, while you see certain aspects of a situation, another person will see an entirely different set of solutions or challenges because of their programming. I’d recommend two directions for hacking your decision-making process.

If you’re a leader within your organization, talk to your top management or most trusted employees. Make them your Brain Trust.  By including everyone’s perspective, you increase the likelihood of success.  I understand that some information might be difficult to share with your employees so you might consider creating an Advisory Board instead.  Your Advisory Board can be made up of trusted professionals outside your business, mentors, and subject matter experts.

A mentor once said, “Decisions making is like computer programming – shit in, shit out.” When we involve others in our process, we work toward the best result.  And those results are often quite profitable.

About the author

Thom Fox

Thom Fox is a Strategy Consultant specializing in evidence-based revenue generation. Acknowledged as an expert resource, Thom’s advice is featured by media outlets such as Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and the Huffington Post. He is also Host of The Engine airing on WHYN NewsTalk 560. Learn more about Thom at thomfox.com.

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