Redefining What Is a Success in Decision Making – Part 2

What Is A Change In Decision Making Process 

With all the cry for education for the young, how is it that no one ever taught us in school, or in university, what is decision making process, or the basics of how to think?

Yes, we are given choice of subjects but that choice is limited to a “menu” which is pre-decided  for us.

(Which says that even our freedom of choice is conditioned right from the start).

We are told ‘what to think about…’ but rarely ever are shown ‘how to think…’ for ourselves!

The point is that this abhorrent anomaly, mistakenly given the name Education, has had a limiting and stifling effect upon our ability to think and make smart decisions, which are right for us, in our time.

Redefining What Is a Success in Decision Making - Part 2

However, it is important to understand what is a change and how it affects life and especially how we go about making decisions.

Our time is different, really different, in dramatic ways, from anything that was experienced ever before.

This fact should cause re-evaluation of the importance attributed to  past experience, especially in DM.

The past, where experience was gained, is different to the now and should not control the future. Instead, whenever we try to find out how to think, we should always consider ‘now’ first, and only then go backwards and consider past the lessons gained from experience. To reiterate, in learning how to think , one must ‘let the moment be’ before clothing it with the past by considering the issue without expecting it to be like the past. That takes ‘how to think’ development.

It is not safe any longer to make decisions relying on old patterns or experiences. We cannot afford any longer for the process of decision making to be nonexistent or at best be a “hit or miss” affair!

We witness a world where many of the important decisions are made by powerful leaders who impose their will upon the free choice of others, only because they can, not because they know what is decision making process about . This is seen all the way from the micro, in family circumstance, to the semi macro of corporate leadership, to the huge macro of world affairs.

Decisions that are made under pressure, or are ego based, or are blinded by personal ambition and agenda, are dangerous, and can adversely affect the lives of billions of people! (which they do!)

 Being Careful

The following questions about the intricacy of what is decision making process, will help to open this vast  dynamic, which involves  many different evaluation techniques. Open-ended questions are an excellent strategic thinking training tool that helps to extend the mind’s consideration to the Big Picture.

  • Are your decisions well considered or are they made casually?
  • What are consequences about for you?
  • When you make decisions do you rely on past decisions as a first principle or do you start fresh?
  • What system thinking do you use?
  • What are the parameters you check before making a decision?
  • Do you use both hemispheres of the brain in your evaluation process?
  • To what degree do you take the emotional vector into account in your decision making process?
  • Do you consider the “map of consequences” before making a decision?
  • What is the level of your certainty when you make a decision?
  • What percentage of success do you aim for in your decisions?
  • Are you thorough in evaluating situations before you decide?
  • Who is your main stake holder in the decision making process?
  • Do you try to fit a “square peg into a round circle” when you really want something?
  • How do you protect your decisions from your own bias?
  • Is it decision making (the process) or making a decision (your bias & prejudgment) that is the final  decider?
  • Summarize ‘What Is Decision Making Process’ for you

What is leadership about and what is management about where decision making is concerned ? 

Decision making in the level of leadership and management has a huge responsibility, especially when one decision has the potential of negatively affecting many people, sometimes deciding their fate for many years to come.

In my humble opinion, based on experience of training thousands of professionals in the past 20 years, over 90% of the decisions do not follow a professional system of thinking. Unfortunately, most decisions are made in a casual, hap hazard way, mostly relying on past experience, wishful thinking, or blinded by personal motives and ambition with disregard to long term consequences. This includes top corporate personnel and high government officials. Leadership development plan has to consider decision making training as its main skill development. It promotes awareness, responsibility and the art of How To Think.


Redefining What Is a Success in Decision Making - Part 2

What Are Consequences About

Are you aware of the fact that Choice and Consequence are twins that always travel together but in different time zones? When Choice is ‘borne’ Consequences are ‘borne’ at the same time, although consequences are “late bloomers”! What that means is that although consequences are not realized at first their process begins as soon as we apply our decisions.

I invented a new word to emphasize their Twin-effect and the close proximity they should have; “ChoiceQuence”.

Choice can often be seen, while consequence is initially unseen. It is therefore the responsibility of the astute Decision Maker to research what are the possible consequences to actions taken before final decisions are made, and thereby  remove them from their unseen hiding plac . Choices that are made now WILL affect us in near or far future. Therefore, the effort to think forward  must be part of the decision making process, otherwise the intentions expressed by a decision will fall way off the mark in the result of that decision.

Consequences are con-sequences, or to put it in other words, they are a set of bridges that lead to multiple directions, according to the choice that was made. So a human chooses, makes a decision about something and a chain of sequences is set in motion, mostly, unknown to the decision maker. This is the time to use our mind intelligently by attempting to perceive the future before it happens, which is a definition of what is strategic thinking about, and thus to guide our decisions accordingly.

To put it differently, when we make decisions we start a process and turn on the engine of consequences! The wise decision maker will abide by the words “let the long-term lead”. Short term consequences are important but long term consequences are critical to the survival and development of any arrangement of people, be it individual, couple, a family, an organization, and, of course, a country.

Life Example of Decisions and Consequences

Let’s take an example, 2 people meet, they are attracted to each other, and they make the decision to live together. That choice has instantly set in motion a range of short and long term consequences, and it takes consciousness and a balanced thinking to realize what these may be. In the short term it’s pretty clear, as the initial excitement shines brightly on all matters, preventing from any shadowy aspects to appear or gain control.

However, after some time, different traits start to come out of the woodwork (that were usually imprinted in childhood), such as personal habits, opinions that each has about different matters, patterns of living, patterns of thinking, fears, worries, concerns, national influences, gender influences, age group influences, life circumstance influences, how they react under pressure, how they deal with having or not having money, and…the decision making process they each have.
A person’s decision making process is affected by many factors, most of which they are not aware of. When 2 people meet their decision making processes meet, which will lead to fresh set of con-sequences, which may will result in long term effects.

What Is Decision Making Process Anew 

The New Now

Ideally, decision making should be an art! What is an art where decision making is concerned?

Well, in DM art is an expression of free choice, based on collecting facts, engaging in a thorough reasoning process and coming into contact with the natural principles that belong to a particular situation. Further enhanced, by emotional intelligence and high instinct, which represent the right hemisphere of the brain , which should be responsible for 50% of our decision making process. All culminating in an accurate and balanced decisions, which are artistic. In Decision making one must let the “New Now” live as much as possible, before rushing to follow Yesterday’s patterns. (The new couple in our story Live the Now, at first and then, very often, lose control to their past)

Free Choice is the very base of decision making, and the first condition that the decision making process requires. If the situation doesn’t allow for the freedom of choice, the decision making process will not have a solid base to grow upon,  and therefore have a high degree of error-proneness to it.

On the one hand, many decisions are made fast and under pressure (quantitative) and on the other hand, not enough consideration is given to consequence analysis. The imbalance is that the weight of process is heavy on the decision making side and lite on the consequences side.

The wise person/leader needs to balance the weight on the scale of  decision making & consequences. In particular, to give “air time” to the right hemisphere of the brain (Which is the creative/emotional/long term/ picturesque part) in the process of weighing consequences. In other words, consider the qualitative long term affect of decisions on the emotions, feelings and instincts, in addition, of course, to the logical side that will consider quantitative short term pros and cons. (this needs training)

The Thinking Coach Leadership Training Courses and Employee Training Development

‘What Is Decision making Process’ is part of extensive course curriculum of The Thinking Coach leadership training courses and employee training development, which are conducted internationally to companies, organizations, and governments, as key note speeches, training seminars and as the life coach.

I help many professionals redefine what is a success for them at a higher level, by providing for them high quality training, through which they gain best leadership skills and a range of soft skills for the workplace that can help lift their performance to the next level. You can be one of them!

Call on Me! I am here for you!

Eli Harari

The Thinking Coach™

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