Decision Influencers

February 18, 2021

By Tom Williams

Understanding the origins of decisions is essential when you are strategising for the days, weeks and months ahead. The human mind is preconditioned to make tens of thousands of subconscious decisions throughout the day. If you do a task often enough you may be able to carry out a conscious task without really thinking, however, the majority of conscious decisions require an engagement of genuine effort and thus the use of time and energy.

So how do we effectively utilise that energy to make more informed and increasingly impactful decisions? Decisions can be born of a multitude of factors; they can arise out of fear, necessity, ego, compassion, loyalty, love and culture.

Once you are aware of the motivations behind your decision then it's time to consider a process to maximise the effectiveness of it. You can save time, effort and money by implementing a process that dissects the conundrum. Elon Musk uses a 5 step process that I've adapted to suit my own business decisions (not quite as successfully, it has to be said):

  1. Make an end statement/assumption - "I have built this product and my target market are buying".
  2. Build your evidence base - research the market, are you adding value?
  3. Is it relevant - to the market and to you?
  4. Pull it apart - Play the devils advocate, pull everything apart, even if you think it's right. If you can't reliably do this, get someone to do it for you. Be brutal.
  5. Don't assume that you are right just because no-one could prove you wrong.

Once you have considered everything in your process it's then about having a checks and balance process that makes sure your decision is aligned with your principles and purpose. This ensures that your decision is going to take you in the direction that you are happy with. It will add value to your life and positively impact those around you. My own system is to ask myself 3 further questions:

  1. Is it morally right?
  2. Am I adding value?
  3. How can I pivot?

After all of this you still need to be prepared for the fact that the decision you make may end up leading you to an unexpected outcome. That being said, so long as you have a consistent process, derived from robust logic, more often than not you will end up with a positive outcome and like all things, the more you practice, the more effective and efficient the process will become.

Image credit - Freepic (<a href="https://www.freepik.com/vectors/people">People vector created by pch.vector - www.freepik.com</a>)