Being a good decision maker doesn’t mean choosing quickly, claim a pair of authors; it means forcing yourself to slow down and fully consider your options.
Picture your ideal decision maker. Do you see an authoritative figure, quickly digesting data, confidently sorting options, weighing alternatives, and firing off firm and fast decisions?
This image of what it means to be decisive may be appealing (who doesn’t want a little clarity and surety in his or her life?) but it’s exactly the wrong way to think about what constitutes a “good” decision maker, according to a pair of authors.
In their new book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, brothers and academics Chip (of Stanford Graduate School of Business) and Dan Heath (of Duke) explore how to eliminate biases and improve the quality of our decisions. One of the biggest decision-making mistakes they tackle is our tendency not to waffle but to decide too quickly. Stanford’s Re:Think newsletter explains that the authors devote a considerable portion of the book to the idea of widening your options, advice that may seem at odds with the very definition of decision making.
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