How Do You Decide?
March 11, 2020
- You have an offer to take up 2 different roles within the organisation, You are unable to decide on which is a better choice for you.
- You are a student with admission options into 3 different courses. You are confused and not sure about which option to choose.
- The markets are tanking, your portfolio is down 15%. You are worried. The situation is bothering you. You are not clear about what needs to be done.
- You are doing the best at the job you are doing. But the results are not coming through. You don’t know what to do.
- Your child is showing a sudden dip in academic performance. You are wondering how you can help.
These are typical everyday problems all of us encounter. With the benefit of hindsight, some people deal with the issues efficiently. Some people struggle.
Why do I say “with the benefit of hindsight”. Because a course of action we take at any point is seen as good or not so good only after the outcome or results emerge.
With that said, the moot question for all of us is this- How do we decide what to do when faced with such issues?
Thanks to the many coaching conversations I have had over the last 2, 3 years, my conclusion is this.
We actually don’t try to solve the issue, we seek to solve the confusion that is there in our mind. The moment we resolve the confusion, the best course of action emerges in front of us.
Let’s work with one of the illustrations.
You are a student looking to decide on 1 of the 3 options you have.
“What is the issue here?”
“Each of the course options has something unique that I am looking for. I am worried that I will be missing out on those when I make a choice.”
“OK, what is the likely consequence for you if you miss out on those specific items that the other courses offer?”
“Hmm. There may be more job opportunities for the other 2 courses as compared to the option I decide.”
“If you had to decide based on facts you have on hand , what seems to be the best option?”
“That is the problem I am unable to come to any conclusion.”
“Fair enough- let’s take this scenario. You don’t have any problem of time or money. You can study for as long as you want and your parents will fund you to study for all the 3 courses one after the other, which option would you select first then?”
“Hmm- In that scenario, I would go for option B.”
“Great- It looks like your heart and mind actually know which option it is you want . It’s just that you are worried it may not be the best for you.”
“Is there anything that worries you about Option B , that would make you regret if you take it compared to the other two options ?”
“My only worry is if I don’t get a job after doing this course.”
“Would that be because this course is worse than the other two choices?”
“No , I don’t think so..Actually, I don’t really know.”
“Ok, then as things stand right now, based on the current facts you have investigated, it looks like Option B is the choice for you..”
In most situations, at an intuitive level, we know what to do. But thanks to the noise and many thoughts buzzing around, our conscious mind is cluttered and we are not able to access the answer that is hidden in clear sight. So, really, the solution is this. Figure out a way to de-clutter and restore clarity in your mind, you will figure out the best action to take, in order to deal with any issue.
There is this beautiful decision model that some one created, that looks something like this.
A confused mind will not be the best starting point to solve a problem. Resolve the confusion, the problem will resolve itself.