The number one reason that people make bad decisions is because of fear. And many times, fear comes from a lack of preparation. So, how can individuals prepare to make better decisions? It begins with three things.
We’ve all made decisions that we wish we could take back. In fact, as soon as I said that, you were most likely able to think of a decision that was the 22nd best choice available to you in that moment, yet you still chose it. Making bad decisions will happen, but the important part is to learn from them and begin making better decisions in the future. But, how?
Here are four ways to begin making better decisions, right now:
Humans are simply terrible at rationally evaluating risky decisions and reward. Our default state over-emphasizes fear of loss, amplifying the worst case scenarios or best case scenarios, and misjudging options to recover. We are overly content with single points of failure when we’re overconfident. We’re unreasonably scared of taking action when there is a possibility of failure.
Every choice and decision carries some risk or loss potential. Even deferring a decision is making a decision. Leaders must develop the skill of considering options and making decisions.
When I was 14 my Scoutmaster gave me a simple framework for thinking through a difficult decision. I’ve used it successfully for many situations in the decades since. Write out a table like this one on a sheet of paper: