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Decisions, decisions

August 15, 2014

I posted earlier about a colleague who wasn't sure whether to leave my firm or not. Rightly, in my opinion, she decided to stay , but change roles, and I believe her new role is going really well. That post used the structure of Sex and the City to explore the technique of asking good questions when making difficult decisions.


Off piste diversion…excuse to post a picture of the Sex and the City actresses:

(My colleagues and friends who read this blog have all been able to answer the question of who is my favourite of the four)

I do like the over-arching question technique that programme uses. It is easy to employ at work too: 'does the proposal lead to better client service' 'does it help us make our service best-in-class'…that type of overall question, stepping back from the detail, is also helpful.

Another decision making technique is tossing a coin. Seriously.


Any coin.

Left handed or right handed.

But not anyhow.

First think about it, and work out a key question, typically based on regret.

Some typical questions are in the about WordCloud. Now, if I were asked 'do you want to go paragliding' the answer would be obviously: yes! when! now? (anyone who knows me will know that's a lie).

Many questions have easy answers: but some don't. Deciding whether to stay at a current job or move; deciding which university to go to; deciding whether to up sticks and move town, move country…these are both big decisions and can be fine ones.

So, write down 'what would I most regret about not doing option A' 'what would I most regret about not doing option B'; or what would I most like about option A…

…write the answers down, doesn't need to be long, most such choices boil down to one or two factors.

Then, toss the coin high, and as is it in mid air, does your heart tell you where you want it to land? And when it is landed, how do you feel the moment you see the result? Do you need to make it best of 3?

The above can be a way of deciding, or at least helping, with making difficult choices. It isn't original to me, and isn't a panacea, but by helping focus the mind, and thinking about the heart, it can help. I first learnt it from a Radio 4 programme, More or Less- which may be available as a podcast.

Now, what shall I have for lunch? An omelette? A toastie?


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