Rational decision-making is not an innate gift that leaders have. The reality is that smart decision making is a continually process of weighing facts, such as data and calculated risk against emotions, such as fear and uncertainty. Regardless of whether you are a business leader, team leader, or ground floor employee, it is important to understand the foundation of sound decision making. If you are not consciously making these decisions then, unfortunately, they will be made for you by circumstance. That is why it is important to grasp these three concepts and improve your ability to make rational decisions.

1) Consider The ‘Frame’

The reality is that we do not treat losses and gains equally. It is human nature to look at the prospect of a loss more powerfully than the promise of a gain. Furthermore, it is within human nature to place frames around a problem and operate within those frames like a pinball trapped in space. When people are told to think outside the box, they are really being told to rearrange the frames that were placed around the problem. These frames allow us to focus on the options that we’ve given ourselves, however, they also force us to focus on only these options at the expense of any other scenarios or options. GIve your idea a fighting chance by giving them it some breathing room. This may require you to break down the frames that were originally in place.

2) Be Aware Of Comparisons

The need and desire to compare things is a primal instinct, and it determines the value that we seek. Relativity is the lens through which we view the world, and it can be found everywhere. The problem is that humans tend to only compare things that are easily comparable, and avoid comparing things that cannot be compared as easily. This mindset can often direct us to the wrong decision because we fail to consider options that require us to dig beneath the surface. The challenge for you is to use comparisons wisely. Be aware of the comparisons being made when you are trying to make a decision, and nail down the specific value that is sought.

3) Know When To Trust Your Gut

People will great intuition are a rare breed, but it does not make them immune to being wrong. There are many times that you can trust your gut instinct with little to no consequences from this decision. But when it comes to hiring or making company-wide decisions, following your intuition will have a much larger impact. That is why it can be beneficial to challenge your intuition, gather differing perspective, and reach a consensus with the team. Organizations can really benefit from looking at the process of decision-making as a team sport. Make your gut feelings known, but be open to how others are feeling as well.


Information courtesy of Entrepreneur