Sunday, July 8, 2012
I found a website called Business Balls [http://www.businessballs.com/problemsolving.htm] that deals with decision-making methods. They list six steps to the process for helping solve business related issues. It steps sound similar to the 7 Stages of Grief, but are helpful when making an important decision. The process they go in depth with also happens to be the method I use when making big decisions. You make a pros and cons chart and see how many facts are on either side, and even give these facts a weighted score. If there are more pros than cons, you pull the trigger. If the cons outweigh the pros, do not change a thing ["Not a finga!" from the Christmas Story keeps replaying as I read that]. I immediately saw that this method was flawed. People make these charts and do the opposite of the result. Why? The website suggests that a person has not included all the aspects if they do not agree with the result: 'If you don't like the answer that the decision-making sheet(s) reflect back to you, it means you haven't included all the cons - especially the emotional ones, or you haven't scored the factors consistently, so re-visit the sheet(s) concerned' The idea of weighting facts brings more focus on the emotional side, and makes the chart more accurate.
How is this affected by the brain? People use charts to help them decide on things that the brain cannot fully understand. Questions like "Should I get married?" or "Do I take that job that requires me to move to Alaska?" These are emotionally charged questions. The brain can only compute so many facts before it too becomes stumped. Emotions weigh facts, and thus skew results. Furthermore, some of the questions do not have all the facts. A person has to choose without knowing what the future holds and could unintentionally make the wrong choice.
Making charts and following the decision-making method helps organize thoughts. It tries to combine the power of the heart with the power of the mind. Using the information a person has at hand to make the best possible decision. How do you know if the right decision is made? Some answers are immediate, some take time to develop, and some are in the perception of the person. For example:
Immediate Answer - "Taco Bell was a poor decision!" Says the man with indigestion
Long Term Answer - "Not sure yet." Says the Secretary of War after the decision to remove troops from Afghanistan.
Perception Answer - "Of course I want to lay by the pool, I can get my school stuff done later."
LATER "It's almost 1 and I'm not done...but the pool was fun." Says me.