Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Know What I'm Talkin' About!

If you were with me yesterday you know that in Decisive, Chip and Dan Heath’s new book about decision-making, we discovered that when making a decision we have a bad habit of narrow framing, thinking the decision is either/or instead of this/and.

The way to counteract narrow framing is to widen your options.

Unfortunately, in our usual decision-making style we often look at a few options and develop a quick belief that one of them is the best. Then, we seek information that supports the quick-choice option we picked.

This is called confirmation bias, it’s bad habit #2. We’re saying, “Yeah! I’m right and see, I can prove it!

The way to offset our confirmation bias is to reality-test our assumptions. We all know the old saying about what happens when we assume something, right?

A simple example is the couple who are sure they can handle having a baby. What’s the old advice? Get a puppy. If you can handle a year or two of dealing with raising a dog you have an inkling of what bringing a baby into your life might be.

When you are quickly sure you’re right and there’s evidence to prove it you might want to get some outside opinions from people who’ve done it, or test it.

What happens, though, is the confirmation bias increases our confidence, which means our emotions kick in…and short term emotion is the third decision-killer. You’ll see how it works tomorrow.

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