We all make decisions every day, sometimes good and sometimes not so good. A bad decision about choosing a movie, restaurant or new shirt has minimal consequences. However, a bad decision that has significant financial, career or life consequences is another matter.
Here are four reasons why we humans are not very good at making difficult decisions:
- Homo Sapiens evolved using trial and error as a way to solve problems rather than thinking logically and sequentially to arrive at a solution.
- We aren’t taught decision making skills by our parents or in school. We are left on our own to do the best we can.
- Our brains are not able to handle more than approximately seven pieces of information at one time. This limitation severely compromises our ability to analyze and compare options.
- It is hard when it’s personal. When it is important and about us personally we often have “outcome apprehension”. We are afraid we will make a bad decision and this fear negatively affects our ability to think clearly through the decision making process.
Here are four reasons why working with a Professional Decision Coach would solve these problems:
- The coach can guide you through the decision making process and help you avoid a trial and error outcome by helping you employ your logic and use a sequential step-by-step process to work through the decision.
- In working through the decision making process with your coach you will learn how to make better decisions.
- Your coach can help you overcome the brain’s data handling limitations by using specific decision tools to bring the information out of your head and into a format where it can best be analyzed.
- Your outcome apprehension is reduced because you are not alone; you have a partner to help you work through the decision. You will also feel more confident in your decision making abilities because you have a plan and an experienced coach to guide you.
Additional reasons why working with a Professional Decision Coach would be beneficial in making an important decision:
- The coach’s only concern is helping you make the best decision possible. There are no hidden agendas or conflicts to get in the way. Spouses, friends and family have only so much time to spend discussing your decision with you. And often they have biases, prejudices, points of view or a personal agenda that makes their suggestions and advice less than objective. Your decision coach’s only job is to work through the decision with you. The coach is totally objective. He has no personal interest in the outcome of your decision, his only concern is that you arrive at a wise decision and the best decision for you.
- The coach can help you confirm that the decision you are considering is the right decision to make to solve your problem. Often people make a decision that is too limited when another decision, possibly an upstream decision that needs to be made first or one with a wider viewpoint, would be more effective in solving the problem.
- The coach will help you avoid thinking errors such as erroneous assumptions, biases and prejudices that can skew the outcome of the decision.
- The coach will help you develop all of the options you need to evaluate. So often we focus on only two to three options when, in general, the more options we have to choose from, the more likely we are to make the best decision.
- The coach will guide you step by step through the decision process. Breaking the decision down into steps and working through the steps one at a time is critical.
- The coach has knowledge of specific decision tools and resources that can help you in evaluating and comparing options under consideration.
- The coach has done this before. He has the experience to guide you through the decision making process and help you make the best decision.
We employ professionals because they provide a distinct benefit to us. Doctors protect our health, attorneys guide us in legal matters, accountants help deal with financial issues… Their professional services are valuable, and we pay them accordingly, because they help us avoid problems and achieve more in our lives and careers.
A Professional Decision Coach provides a similar benefit. By helping a client make a wise decision and avoid a costly mistake, a decision coach may save the client money that would have been lost through a bad business decision, time invested and wasted because of a bad career or job decision or perhaps the “loss of opportunity” cost of choosing one course of action over another. A decision coach can help you make better progress in achieving your financial, career and life goals by helping you make wise decisions.