Thoughts From Our Heads

Thoughts From Our Heads


Emotional Intelligence #5 - Decision Making

Saturday 18th July 2015



The next component in emotional intelligence is Decision Making. Making good decisions is one of the biggest challenges facing all managers in business. Do we make our decisions based purely on the facts or do we trust our gut instinct? Where do you sit on the scale from purely rational decision making to purely emotional decision making? How can you get the balance right?

Tips for making better decisions:

1. Start with what you know. This is usually a good place to start. Establish the facts of a situation. Gather the data, do your rsearch. Do this to understand more about the situation/problem and establish what decision needs to be made. Often the surface problem is hiding something else.

2. Beware your confirmation bias. We tend to seek out information which supports what we think and ignore everything else. We can always convince ourselves we are right because if we look hard enough we can always find someone or something to support what we are saying. Be aware of your own confirmation bias at play and seek out different opinions, ask yourself, 'could they be right?'

3. Listen to your gut...sometimes. Your gut instinct is more than just a 'feeling'. It is your subconscious telling you what to do based on your experiences and stored memories. But it is not 100% accurate. It confuses memories and gets things wrong. These are the circumstances in which you can trust your gut instinct:
a. You have made lots of this type of decision in the past.
b. You have got feedback on how successful those decisions were.
c. The feedback was received relatively close to the decision that you made.

4. Seek advice. Often others can have a clearer view of a situation then we do. They don't cloud their judgment with all of the personal biases, lack of confidence or uncertainties that we do. Ask someone whose opinion you trust, consider his or her viewpoint but ultimately take the decision on your own.

5. Don't Rush. If you feel rushed or pressured to make a decision there is more chance you will make the wrong decision. Your short-term emotions will lead to a decision based on fear, panic or excitement. Set your own timeline for the decision and don't feel pressured by others to act too quickly. (Within reason; remember that not making a decision is still a decision and sometimes any action is better than inaction.)