NLP and Decision making – How to make really good decisions.
Decision making is a key life skill. Training ourselves to make great decisions will help us to achieve whatever success and fulfilment we want in our lives. Good decision making relies on good information gathering and is a key enabler to using our time, energy, and attention more effectively.
How do we get really good results through better decision making?
Decision making is a key part in achieving better results. It’s part of a virtuous system of information gathering, decision making, prioritising, taking action, and reviewing.
I recently read an interesting Seth Godin blog on he reason we make bad decisions, this post will help us to overcome many of these reasons: Poor information, Shoddy analysis (including cognitive glitches and reliance on sunk costs), Peer pressure, Manipulation, Hustle, Power imbalance, Focus on the short run, Indoctrination, Superstition, and Un-examined biases.
Before we make decisions, it’s best to get the highest quality information. Our decision making is often only as good as the information we have.
Therefore, the first part of the process should be a discovery phase where we focus on getting this high quality information. There are two key sources of information:
- Our past and current results against KPIs.
- Feedback and feed-forward from people whose opinion we respect. A starting point to this is ask is to ask people a) how they think we’re doing now and b) what are the top 2 things they would do, if they were in our position, and wanted to do really good job?
Decision making process
Run this process for important decisions with significant implications, costs and benefits. With practice this will improve all our decision making, including the ones we make quickly.
- Consider the decision logically. Write and and score all the +ves and -ves about the decision. What score between 0 and 10 would we give decision logically? A 10 means we would definitely do it, while 0 we definitely would not do it.
- Consider the decision emotively, how strong are our feelings? What score would we give the decision emotionally? Once again, a 10 means we would definitely do it, and 0 we definitely would not do it.
- Consider the decision intuitively. Be silent, do we have a small voice that adds anything to our logical and our emotional thinking? What score would we give the decision intuitively? Once again, rank it from 1 to 10.
- Add up the three scores. If we still think the decision is a good idea, play a mental movie of us implementing it, see what we see, hear what we hear, and feel what we feel. Continue the movie until we’ve got the best results we can get. What’s the impact on us? The people around us? (And maybe the environment we live in?)
- Assuming we still want to go ahead, consider any downside or risk going forward. Is there any way we can reduce the risk without significantly reducing the upside? If so, include it in our planning.
Future pacing the first action to move us forward, and then complete a timeline of us reaching the very best result that we want.
Decide on the first small step to implement the decision. Imagine ourselves carrying out this action, as ourselves (associated) in the very best emotional state, to get the best result we can get. Then imagine ourselves as an independent person (3rd position) and coach ourselves to do it better. Repeat the imagination exercise as ourselves, taking into account our coaching.
This exercise significantly improves the chances of us carrying out the first step, and carrying it out in the best possible way. Read about the perceptual positions NLP technique.
Then complete a timeline exercise of us achieving what we want. Feel free to repeat the exercise if we need to do any more work on the exercise.
Decision making – Recommended Resources