How do you make decisions?

There are two factors in most decision making. Fact and Gut, when used together, lead to the best decisions.

Sometimes they are in conflict, or one seems to be louder than the other. While many people seem to say, “just go with your gut”, others want all decisions to ‘make sense’.

Which is better, smarter and leads to the best decisions? The answer is both and neither.

The attempt to pigeon-hole decision making so that we can feel more secure is a mistake. The best decision makers are able to wisely blend both. They are able to see the facts and then run those facts through the filter of their gut/intuition.

Since you were a child, one or the other of those two factors were rewarded and so became more comfortable for you. The challenge now is for us to understand and apply the simple fact that a smart and judicious blend of both creates the best decisions.

Ironically, the ‘gut’ part of your brain isn’t capable of language. This is why sometimes you say “I don’t know how to put it into words, but something just doesn’t seem right.”

Here are some ways to be certain you are making great decisions:

1. Listen to both the facts and the gut when considering a choice. If you favor facts, then ask yourself this: “If I had no facts but was forced to make a choice, what decision would I make?”
2. If your gut is strongest, ask: “What do the facts tell me? What does a rigorous analysis of the pros and cons and unintended consequences tell me?”
3. Seek good counsel to help you gain clarity.
4. When the choice is made or the decision is complete, evaluate which side of you was strongest in that decision.

Work to develop the weaker element by using the steps outlined here.

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