The third villain of making good decisions is short term emotion.
We can counteract narrow framing, seeing only one or a few opportunities, with widening our options.
We can offset our confirmation-bias tendency—automatically looking for information that supports our quickly-made choice—by reality-testing our assumptions.
Unfortunately, this is when short-term emotion gets involved. We hem and haw, pace back and forth and worry the situation like a cat with a dead mouse. Our emotions get involved and we start leaning toward the path-of-least-resistance choice or the one our emotions tell us to reach for.
This is the point at which we should put our pacing to good use and walk a little ways down the road…and then turn around and look at the decision from a distance.
Taking in the big picture helps us gain some perspective on the situation.
In the mid-80s Andy Grove, founder of Intel, was trying to make a crucial decision about the future of his company. After months of floundering, “We had lost our bearings,” said Grove, he happened to look out his office window and noticed the Ferris Wheel at the Great America Amusement Park.
What would the world look like if we were sitting in the car at the top?
Grove asked his CEO, Gordon Moore, “If the board kicked us out and brought in another leader what would he do?” Moore pointed out that the new guy would decide to take the company in another direction. Grove said, “What if you and I walk out the door and come back in and do it?”
So often we let our emotions create tunnel-vision and prevent us from getting an overall view of the impact the decision might have.
Once we make a decision we become overconfident that we can see the future. Tomorrow you’ll see that final decision-making stumbling block Chip and Dan Heath's book, Decisive.