Don't rush: Tips for better decision-making.
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
Often the best decision is to make no decision, instead of rushing too quickly into the wrong one.
Only then can you take a step back, and the clear winner will stand out in the newly cleared landscape. As described by author Rolf Dobelli in The Art of Thinking Clearly, "Essentially, if you think too much, you cut off your mind from the wisdom of your feelings. Emotions form in the brain, just as crystal-clear rational thoughts do. They are merely a different form of information processing. Sometimes they provide the wiser counsel."
Be weary of yours and others' emotional state.
Of course, there's some rationality required to decide whether to follow logic, or follow your feelings. These feelings can quickly cause chaos when left unchecked, whether happy or sad emotions. They could be any emotions, as described in The Little Book of Yes.
"Think about a time when you have been excited about an opportunity. Under such circumstances, there is a tendency to focus too much on the upsides and fail to spot the risks that could be faced.
On the other hand, if you're feeling anxious, your might focus too much on what could go wrong and end up passing up a really good offer. So it is really important to identify the emotional state you are in before making important decisions. It can be hard to do, but a short pause to compose yourself can help. As emotions subside, your ability to think clearly, and make your points persuasively, will increase."
Just in the same way, it's important to be aware of others' emotional state during times of negotiating, or needing to get your point across somehow, The Little Book continues. "Attempting to persuade someone who has just received unsettling news, or, worse still, reminding someone of a topic that you know will put them in a gloomy mood, is both unwise and at times even morally wrong. If you use their negative emotions to prompt people into making decisions, it will often lead to regret and resentment."
Ask yourself: Am I better using my logical decision making skills, or emotional?
Before important interactions, ask yourself: What state of mind am I in right now? If it is an unhelpful one, then pause to let those feelings subside.
Find ways to guard against strong emotions interrupting your affairs. Get some fresh air or take a short walk. Be still for a moment. Try to create separation from an unhelpful emotional state.
When asking someone for something, make sure that it's a good time - if they seem upset, angry or troubled, come back later.
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Donelli
The Little Book of Yes by Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin, and Robert Cialdini.