2 1/2 Ways to Make a Tough Choice Easier in Decision Making


Every once in  awhile a decision making situation shows up where what to do is just not at all clear.
It happens. But what to do?

You are the one expected to make those decisions. That is why you get paid the big bucks, right?

In the simplest form, it is about we do ‘this’ or we don’t, a Yes or No choice.

Could also be a choice between option A or option B. But a choice where there are pluses and minuses, so many and so close (or so small), that it is hard to decide.

Method #1 – The Tag Team Chart

One method that very quickly helps bring clarity in your decision making is to do a Tag Team Chart.

  1. Take a new sheet of paper and draw a line vertically to divide it in half, left and right.
    At the top state the question in writing. For example ‘eat the chocolate bar or do not eat the chocolate bar’ (one of those tiny ones that are around at Halloween. Can you feel the tension already?)
  2. Label the top of one column as ‘plus’ and the other as ‘minus’
  3. Start on either side and fill in the first response
  4. Then, and this is vital to the process, after only one response on, say, the plus side, go to the minus side and put one response, then back to the plus
  5. You are not allowed to put two pluses and then do a minus – One side then the other, back and forth
  6. Until you are stuck on one of the sides

At this point you will have more clarity about what is the best decision because one column seems to have run out of entries. You’ll know more because you had to dig a bit to keep the back and forth going.

That is one way.

Now for the extra half, before we get to the second way.

Take the ramifications of a Yes or a No, of an A or a B, and multiply by 100.
So not one chocolate bar, even though they are so tiny, but 100 of them. Eat them all or eat none of them? Notice your thinking on the topic now?

Now you have more clarity.

Method #2 – Just Choose

Method number 2 was offered to me by a wise sage about 24 years ago when I was in the midst of growing our flagship company.

It goes like this:
If A and B are as close as you claim they are, what is the amount of energy, resources, lost sleep, etc that you are applying to splitting this hair?
Just choose, put the options in a hat and draw if you have to.
And apply all of your energy and resource etc to making that choice fly well starting right now instead. Forget the other option.
Think of the head start you’ll have and the ability to patch over any minor differences, if needed, compared to squirming about deciding.

Go! Do! And never mind the analysis paralysis. If they are truly that close, just get started.

And smile.


So there you have it.
Method number 1 – With the upgrade to method number 1.5.
And method 2, when the situation fits.

Joseph Seiler MCC 2011-2022

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