Common Mistakes in Decision Making

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Press

Common Mistakes in Decision Making

Making prompt and good decisions is a skill that is necessary for every walk of life: from corporate leadership to research and analysis.  Some people call decision making a science; others hail it as an art. However you look at it, there are some common mistakes that people often make. Liz Copeland of reveals what they might be, and how to avoid them.

  1. Fake Foresight

…or thinking you know what the answer will be before you’ve done your research. This means that you only look for the information that justifies and backs up your already-formed conclusion and so don’t gather together all you need to make a proper decision. You can avoid this by avoiding yes people, who will merely support you in this habit. Instead, force yourself to be objective and ask yourself “what if” at every step of the way.

  1. Death by Research

Doing all your due diligence is different to making the right decision, and if you’re not careful you can end up stuck in the research stage. The truth is that any decision is only right in hindsight: there isn’t some magical sign that will come down and let you know that this option is the one you should choose with 100% certainty. If in doubt, err on the side of caution. Playing safe (for now) means that at the last you are minimising risk: after all, no one ever got fired for hiring IBM.

  1. Risk isn’t Shared

Recognise that in any group process everyone will have their own definition and boundaries of risk and what may seem a fantastically clever idea to you may be outright frightening to others.  A good group decision, from family holidays to whether to take on a new supplier, will sometimes feel a little uncomfortable for everyone: that’s called compromise.

  1. Ending at the Decision

Yes, give yourself a pat on the back for making that decision to go for a new job or take up Spanish rather than Italian, but be aware that the sense of achievement around making a decision is not enough. Part of good decision making is to create action points and get that decision into action. If this really isn’t happening, you may need to rewind and take another look at what you’ve decided.

  1. Expecting it to be easy

Good decision making is not an easy process. You don’t do it in a day dreamy or distracted way with one eye on your Twitter feed.  If you consider that people such as Edward de Bono and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman have written whole books on the subject, you’ll understand that it needs to be treated with respect. You may not make your decision in one go. Even our cognitive focus can get tired. If this is the case, or you find that you keep putting off a decision, put aside regular sessions to focus and work through it, until you reach your decision.

Liz Copeland is a transformational coach, working with professionals who are eager to create a life of personal growth, professional success and fulfilment – and who are ready for personal change.

Liz started her career with Price Waterhouse and CAP Scientific and left the corporate world when her husband was transferred overseas. On his return, Liz started a complimentary therapy practice and ran this successfully for many years.  During this time, Liz developed a change process that would enable her clients to make emotional and practical change, and has coached over 200 people through difficult waters.

For more information contact Paula Gardner on 07534 984298, or 0208 550 2599.