How often do you take a moment to pause, take a breath, notice your energy, ask questions and truly listen before making a decision?
Our client’s often speak about how they as the leader, feel pressure to have all the answers immediately.
In today’s dynamic economic climate, there is much emphasis placed on speed and agility. This is particularly the case when making decisions. It is deemed essential for survival in business.
But is quicker always better?
Relying on heuristics (aka mental shortcuts), while useful in some cases, can also lead to cognitive biases (systematic thinking errors), resulting in sub-optimal decisions.
One such bias is the availability bias whereby we place more importance on readily available information in decision making.
Let’s look at an example …
Imagine you are looking to hire either Lisa or Leon for a critical position in your organisation.
While Lisa is the more qualified candidate, a vivid memory of a mistake she made five years ago during her early days at the company keeps springing to mind. Despite the fact that Lisa acknowledged her mistake at the time and has since made no such errors and is the better candidate, this one negative experience appears to be disproportionately affecting your decision-making process.
This is a classic example of how ease of recall and the emotions evoked can skew our judgment and lead us to make suboptimal decisions.
But, the issue is… you don’t know what you don’t know. How do you know you are falling into the bias trap?
To uncover these thinking patterns and biases, it helps to work with a coach who can provide a safe space to discover new perspectives.
Here are 4 top tips for how to pause before making your next decision
1. Take a step back, take a breath. Observe your inner landscape (thoughts/triggers/biases). What is your immediate reaction, what are you thinking and how and why do you feel that way?
2. Become aware of any patterns and develop a greater understanding of yourself
3. Learn more about why we fall into the bias trap and develop a toolkit to address it
4. Practice, practice, practice. When you can (it isn’t always possible), make a conscious effort to step back, check in with yourself and make decisions with intention rather than on impulse/habit.
By adopting these strategies, you can make better decisions and improve the outcomes of your actions.
And with that, we’ll leave you with a final quote …
“If you want something bigger and better you’ll have to do things differently.”
Check out our LinkedIn page as we are always posting tips on how to develop new perspectives on challenges you may be facing. For example, click here for some quick tips on how to build your beginner’s mindset muscle. This has been a game changer for our clients!