In its simplest form, decision-making is a choice between A or B … and sometimes C.
When the decision is trivial or unimportant, we normally just decide A or B using our past experience and/or knowledge. Deciding is not difficult … it’s just instinctive. We know what the correct choice is, and we make it without deliberation.
Sometimes we’re uncertain or uninformed about what choice to make. We take time to educate ourselves about the pluses and minuses of A and B. Filled with new information, we then decide. The more important the consequences of the choice, then the more time we spend gathering information before deciding.
But often, even in complicated matters, we already know our choice instinctively. The time spent researching isn’t to decide, but rather to justify our already-made choice. We are simply pretending that we haven’t yet decided … we’re seeking confirmation. We try to prove the choice correct prior to publicly committing to it.
People with Gumption understand this human tendency and do the following:
- Make decisions quickly and don’t waste time second-guessing themselves.
- Make new decisions if and when previous decisions don’t get the expected results.
- Spend only the minimal time necessary on research prior to making a decision (and then they repeat #1 and #2).
It seems to me that most decisions are made in the blink of an eye, as Malcolm Gladwell proffered in his best-selling book Blink. Somehow we just know.
Recall the war scene in the movie Forrest Gump. Forrest first decides to save himself when attacked. He then decides to go back and save his fellow soldiers. In the blink of an eye Forrest knew what to do. There was no deliberation. There was no second-guessing. He decided and he did it.
Do you make decisions quickly?
Do you spend (or waste) time second-guessing your decisions?
Do you have a regular way to conduct research so that your decision-making process is efficient?
Next Blog Title: Good Decisions with Bad Results … and Vice-Versa
Next Blog Date: July 7, 2011