Every day offers moments of decision, from what to eat for lunch to how to settle a dispute with a colleague. Still larger questions loom: How can I motivate my team? How can I work more efficiently? What is the long tail anyway?
The Decision Book presents fifty models for better structuring, and subsequently understanding, life’s steady challenges. Interactive and thought-provoking, this illustrated workbook offers succinct summaries of popular strategies, including the Rubber Band Model for dilemmas with many directions, the Personal Performance Model to test whether to change jobs, and the Black Swan Model to illustrate why experience doesn’t guarantee wisdom.
Why is it important to make decisions promptly?
[bluebox] I’d rather regret the things I have done than the things that I haven’t. ~Lucille Ball.[/bluebox]
We are often forced to make decisions based on limited or ambiguous information. At the beginning of a project, for example, when the finer details have yet to be clarified, we need to be bold in our decision-making–particularly because these early decisions have the most far-reaching consequences. Towards the end of a project we know more and have fewer doubts, but by then there is no longer anything fundamental to decide.
The most important question, then, is how we can bridge the chasm between doubt and decision.
Beware! We often defer decisions because we have doubts. But not making a decision is a decision in itself. If you delay a resolution it is often an unconscious decision, one that you do not communicate. This leads to uncertainty in a team. So if you want to to make a decision later, be sure to communicate this clearly.
With this model, the Danish organization theorists Kristian Kreiner and Søren Christensen encourage us to be courageous, and make decisions based on minimal information.
How to resolve a conflict elegantly?
[bluebox] Our failures are due not to the defeats we suffer but to the conflicts we don’t participate in. ~Graffiti on a youth centre in Bern, Switzerland.[/bluebox]
Psychologists agree have to be dealt with in order to prevent deadlock and recrimination and restore stability and communication. The question is, how?
In principle there are six different ways of dealing with a conflict situation: escape, fight, give up, evade responsability, compromise or reach a consensus.
- ESCAPE. Escaping is the same as avoiding. The conflict is not dealt with, and the situation remains the same. It can be assumed that neither side will gain anything. This is a lose-lose situation.
- FIGTH. Those who deal with a conflict agressively have only one aim: to win. But winning alone is not enough, as somebody also has to lose. This approach is about conquering the opponent, and asserting one’s own position in the face of resistance from others. The result is a win-lose situation.
- GIVE UP. Those who give up their own position in a conflict solve it by retreating, i.e., they lose. The result is a lose-win situation.
- EVADE RESPONSABILITY. Those who feel overwhelmed by a conflict often delegate the decision–and thus also the confrontation–to another authority, usually a higher one. This authority solves the conflict for them, but not necessarily wisely, and not necessarily in the delegator’s interest. There is a risk that the parties on both sides of the conflict will lose (lose-lose situation).
- COMPROMISE. Depending on how it is perceived, a compromise is a solution acceptable to both parties. It is often felt that although the solution isn’t ideal, it is reasonable in the circumstances (win-lose/win-lose).
- REACH A CONSENSUS. A consensus is based on a new solution that has been developed by both parties. In contrast to a compromise, it is a win-win situation for both parties, because nobody has to back down. Instead, both parties develop a ‘third way’ together.
Complement The Decision Book with The Six Thinking Hat Method. can help you think better-with its practical and uniquely positive approach to making decisions and exploring new ideas. An inspiring book for anyone who makes decisions in business or in life.