While not intentional, the book I finished this past week went hand in hand with Intuition. We need to be able to trust our intuition when we do not have the luxury of time, but when we have at least 5 minutes to make a decision that is where Decisive comes in. Another excellent book following Made to Stick and Switch from the Heath Brothers, Decisive offers quick and sound advice on how we can make better decisions. Certainly making great choices and decisions is a vital part of performance excellence, and as usual the Heaths offer a pragmatic approach simplified to WRAP: Widen your options, Reality-test your assumptions, Attain distance before deciding, and Prepare to be wrong.
Amongst much useful advice, I found two ideas particularly salient to performance. The first has to do with widening your options and understanding how we normally make decisions. The Heaths demonstrate that our decisions usually come down to whether or not to do one thing. Some examples would be whether or not to…continue my relationship, start a new training plan, give up on my dream, etc. What they found is that when you can add one additional choice, you are 6 times more likely to make a good decision. This can be as simple as thinking “and” rather than “or.” What whether or not decisions are you considering? Can you add one more (realistic) option by thinking creatively?
The other idea that could immediately impact your performance is to reality test your assumptions. The great example here was in selecting members for a 4 X 100 relay team. Would you rather put the potential sprinters on the track and see how they perform together or sit them in a room and see if they answer your questions like a good relay runner would? Seems laughable, but which method is more similar to your process of making personnel decisions? There are many ways this idea can influence performance in addition to people choices. When you are considering particular strategies or tactics, can you find a way to reality test them? Can you find a way to invest a little into a decision before you have to invest a lot?
If you are interested in making better decisions during the Performance of Your Life, give Decisive a read.