Dan and Chip Heath have written some of my favorite books. I lean heavily on their book Decisive when making significant decisions. A daily decision-making experience we encounter involves either-or decisions which confront us daily in subtle ways. Today, Election Day decision-making is far more public. When only one candidate runs for office we are left with a choice to vote or pass onto another contest on the ballot (classic either-or scenario). When two or more candidates are on the ballot we engaging in more sophisticated decision making strategies.
Michael Hyatt framed the decision-making challenges as follows:
- We have too narrow of focus. We are guilty of “spotlight thinking.” We focus on the obvious and visible. We miss important facts outside our immediate view.
- We fall into confirmation bias. We develop a quick belief about something and then seek out information that confirms that belief.
- We get caught in short-term emotion. We are too emotionally connected to the decision and struggle with being appropriately detached.
- We are guilty of overconfidence. We assume that we know more than we actually do know and jump to conclusions, thinking we can accurately predict the future.
So what is the Heath Brother’s better strategy for decision-making? The WRAP Process articulates a simple by profound approach.
- Widen Your Options. Avoid narrow framing and look for alternatives.
- Reality-Test Your Assumptions. As disconfirming questions and zoom out in our focus.
- Attain Distance Before Deciding. Create distance by changing perspectives and avoiding short-term emotions.
- Prepare To Be Wrong. Acknowledge our overconfidence and set trip wires to alert us when we are off-course.