Keys to Making Good Decisions (1 of 3): Thinking Outside the Box
Sometimes the solution to a problem isn’t obvious right away. Here’s how you can develop more options that lead to good decisions.
This week I want to talk with you about making good decisions. You know making decisions is part of our life, we make a ton of them every day and one of the key things we need to do is make good decisions, because that will impact our whole life and our organizations and the people we lead and everything else.
A while back I was talking to a friend who was facing some financial difficulties and he had to figure out how to generate more income. And he tried to brainstorm, he came up with a couple ideas but was having a hard time really figuring out what he should do. So I suggested he come up with a list of at least ten different ways he could make some money. He came up with two or three, then he was stuck – so I decided to help him. I said “Well you could rob a bank” He said “I’m not going to rob a bank!” I said: “Well it’s an option right? It is a possibility” So he said “Oh fine” and put it down, and he looked at me sarcastically and said: “I could also ask God to give me a dream with the winning lottery numbers!” I said “That’s true, you could do that, that’s another idea.” He kind of laughed and wrote that down, but after that he really got going and generated several ideas, and one of them ended up being the one that he decided to go after.
Now what does that have to do with decision making? Well, one of the ways to make good decisions is to generate multiple options for how to address the issue or address the problem. There is seldom just one way, or one answer to a question, there is seldom just one way to attack an issue. There is often a lot of them, so coming up with multiple options helps us make better decisions. The trick to that is that there is something in our brain that acts as a filter, and we eliminate options before we even consider them because they don’t fit into our box. So adding in options like robbing a bank, or winning the lottery, that he really had no intention of doing – what it did was it sent a message to his brain saying “Open up the box!” When he started thinking outside the box he generated more ideas, more options, and ended up making a better decision.
So my suggestion to you is, when you are faced with a decision, take the time to generate multiple options, multiple ideas for how you could attack that problem. Don’t write them off because they seem a bit whacky or out there. In fact it might be a good idea to include them intentionally just to stimulate your creativity. As you do that, and get multiple options going, you’ll end up making better decisions. And that’s going to mean a better life for you and for your team.
Thanks again for listening, if this was helpful give us a like or a share, leave your comments or thoughts so we can all grow together. I’ll talk to you soon.