So what can we do to ensure that we make good decisions? Here are five strategies that can help you cut through biases that can cloud your thinking and give you ways to make hard decisions with clarity and without — or with far less — regret:
1.Focus on the process, not (primarily) the outcome. It makes good sense to use a solid decision-making process that can offer a better chance for delivering good results.
2.Be skeptical. Critical thinking is underrated, and testing the validity of assumptions and evidence means you’ll be in a better position to defend your decisions than those who merely believe or take the word of pseudo experts.
3.List the relevant variables. Tom Davenport, President’s Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College, cautions, “Without some inventory, all decisions will be treated as equal — which probably means that decisions won’t be addressed at all.”
4.Sort the relevant information. After making your lists (and checking them twice), draw up consequences tables and scrutinize your objectives; do anything that forces you to separate out the significant variables from background noise.
5.Eliminate irrelevant information. In some situations, you might simply want to go through your lists and eliminate those items that are less important to you.