In our previous blog post, Recognizing the 20 Decision-Making Biases, we explored common biases and provided tips to address them. Being aware of decision-making biases is a good start, but difficult to do. Challenges with decision-making go beyond biases. Who should make the decision? How should it be made? The resources below share thinking by experts in the area of decision-making.
The Heath brothers, co-authors of Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, believe a good process can help teams avoid falling into the bias trap. They defined the WRAP process as follows:
Don’t frame your question as “Yes/No” or put yourself in a situation where you can only select one of two “right” answers. Maybe there are other, better solutions. For example, during a recent product design meeting at Meeteor, our product manager asked, “Beyond the proposals we just reviewed, are there any other options that can address the issue?”
When evaluating your options, the confirmation bias (looking for points that prove what you already thought) may be skewing the information you collected. Design some experiments to test your assumptions so you have data rather than just your intuition to support your decision.
You may feel too attached to the choices in front of you. Take a break for a couple of hours or even until the next day to reflect on and clarify your priorities.
No one knows how the future will unfold. Prepare for the worst and get ready to adjust your approach.
You might ask yourself: Should we vote? Should we try to reach a consensus? Can someone just decide for the team?
It can be a struggle for leaders to balance inclusion and efficiency. There are many ways to make a solid decision, but what method is most effective in a particular situation? Jesse Lyn Stoner, a seasoned business consultant, suggest we ask two questions to help analyze the situation before deciding on a decision-making method:
After answering these two questions, you can use the matrix below to identify the most appropriate decision-making method for the situation. Sometimes decisions are best made collaboratively and other times it’s best for one person to decide.
Practices and processes are great in theory, but often difficult to implement. Here are a few practical steps you can take to start making better decisions today.
How do you make decisions at work? What are resources that have helped you? Share your thoughts with us below!