Improving Decision Making Through Perspective

We all face decisions making challenges. Here are 3 ways to gain a fresh perspective & improve your decision making process.

A.T. Gimbel
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October 31, 2019

We all face decisions every day in both our personal and professional lives. Some are simple such as what clothes to wear or food to eat while other decisions are more complex like should I sell this business. One thing I have found over the years is that when you are in the middle of a difficult decision, it is much harder to see the right answer than when you are further removed from the situation. Just think how easy it is to see the good/bad choice someone else is making versus seeing it in yourself. Here are three ways to gain perspective and help improve your decision making process.

Time

It is so easy to look back 1 month, 1 year, or 10 years on a decision and easily see if it was right. That added perspective of time reduces emotion and allows you to more objectively evaluate the decision. When you have an important decision to make, don’t be afraid to sleep on it for a night, step away from the room, or give yourself a deadline in the future to make the decision. The other advantage of time is it provides more chance to gather new information and process existing information. There are many scenarios where my initial gut reaction was proven wrong after more time and information.

Mentor/Advisor

Another way to gain perspective is to talk with a trusted mentor or advisor who has experience with a similar decision. I always learn a lot from hearing how other trusted and successful people view both their decision making process as well as the actual decisions. The best mentors share their experience versus telling you what to do. This allows you to learn from them but still ultimately make your own choice.

External party

Sometimes you are so in the details and others around you are so connected to the situation you need someone outside your organization and industry to give you perspective. They can ask the “dumb questions” and obvious “why” questions you should have been asking. You can easily learn how someone unconstrained by the current viewpoints sees a given situation. Sometimes the answer can be quite obvious to these external parties.

These are just a few examples, but with any critical decision I encourage you to find perspective. You not only improve your decision making process, but in the long run will likely make better decisions.