Making Decisions with Confidence

Mindset Coaching for Executives, Business & Life

 
Making congruent decisions using Conscious Contrast
is like creating art – it takes practice.

When we are asked to make a decision, what often happens is
we answer with what we THINK is the best answer.
Or, we answer with what FEELS RIGHT to say
that is, what we feel other people will expect or want us to say,
or what we feel we should say based on societal norms.

The ability to be able to make a decision
that we THINK AND FEEL is good
is absolutely critical to great decision making.
Because when you make a decision
that feels good and true to you, right to your core
and that you think is logical, sound and true
then you will own that decision and the results of it too.
What this means
is that you take full responsibility for the outcome
and in doing so
you set yourself up to learn and grow, if required.

Because when we don’t fully own a decision
we fail to fully take responsibility when it doesn’t go the right way.
Unconsciously we feel
“Ohhh, I knew that!  That’s why I wasn’t comfortable about it.”
But when we feel good about making the decision
we don’t get to do that, because we thought and felt it was good
and so we are forced to own what we didn’t know.

 

CONSCIOUS CONTRAST

CONSCIOUS CONTRAST is the act of COMPARING JUST TWO OPTIONS against each other and determining which one is better based on consciously being aware of how you FEEL when you think about each option.

Conscious contrast works because our emotions are an unconscious but critical aspect to every decision we make.  Emotions do not arise from of our more evolved brain circuitry though.  They come from the reptilian part of our brain which is very simple. So what we want to do is make sure that we give ourselves the best chance to avoid confusion.  And we do that by:

  • Consciously being aware of what we are comparing,
  • Consciously being aware of the criteria we are using and
  • Only ever comparing 2 options at once.
Conscious Contrast in Action:
  1. List the options you wish to decide between
    Note: Never settle for just two options in decision making!
    Why? Because you want to give yourself a choice, not an ultimatum.I prefer to have at least 5 options. That’s real choice.
    And, ideally, at least one of the options
    is something that seems a bit out there,
    something that you may never think to choose…
  2. Consider, what FEELING are YOU seeking as an outcome of this decision?
    This is critical!  If you’re not consciously choosing how you want to feel at the end, you can’t possibly expect the simple reptilian part of your brain to deliver the correct decision.
    Do you want an outcome that feels easy, fun, quick or something totally different? Once you know what outcome you want…
  3. Compare just Option 1) and Option 2)
    Which one would deliver more of the feeling you are seeking?
    Note: There is no logic required here!
    You should only be checking each option against the FEELING
    you are seeking.  Which one delivers that feeling better?
  4. Take the winner out of the first comparison, and compare it to Option 3)
    Which one would deliver more of the feeling you are seeking?
  5. Take the winner out of the second comparison, and compare that to Option 4)
    Which one would deliver more of the feeling you are seeking?
    And so on.

The option that is the winner is the option that is left standing
That’s the one that you FEEL would be the best.

Now check, do you FEEL the option you’ve chosen is likely to deliver ENOUGH of the desired feeling?  Or, is it just the best of a bad bunch?

  • If “Yes”, continue on to the next step.
  • If “No”, skip to “What if I’m incongruent?!”

Next, now check if you logically THINK this is a good option too.

  • If “Yes”, you’re done!
    You’ve got a congruent decision –
    one that you FEEL AND THINK will lead you to a good outcome
    so, well done!
  • If “No”, that is you THINK this answer is not practical or not right for one reason or another continue on to “What if I’m incongruent?!”

“What if I’m incongruent?!”

If you’re incongruent because either you don’t FEEL the solution is good enough or your don’t THINK it’s practical enough, you’ve got a bit of work to do.

Your options from here could include:

  • Working out how to make the option you FEEL you want to choose more practical.  What tweaks could make the option that feels the best one that you can actually implement?  This may take a bit of thought, but the result is likely to be worth it. Ideally, you come up with 3 or more slightly different versions of the originally impractical idea and then use Conscious Contrast again to pick the best version.
  • Coming up with a number of totally new options.  If none of the options feel great start brain storming again.  Write a list and use Conscious Contrast to compare them against the previous winner.
  • Making a decision to do nothing.
    Doing nothing is usually better than an incongruent decision.
    And, either it will be the long term solution or it will see you unconsciously mull over the idea so that when you come back to revisit the issue you will have a better chance of coming up with ideas that may be more viable and may lead to you being able to make a congruent decision.
  • The least desirable option is to own that the decision you’re making is not perfect but you’re unable to come up with a better alternative. In this case it’s best to spend a few moments to analyse how you got yourself into that situation so you can avoid having to make incongruent decisions in the future (Note: blaming someone else for being late is never a viable reason for you to being forced into  making a less than ideal decision – so, if that appears to be the issue, work out how you allowed that to happen).

 

InspireTribe offer a range of programmes for leaders, managers and their teams.
If the above has been of interest and you would like to learn more about other tools & process to ensure your leaders and your team make better decisions, Contact us and ask about how our training & mentoring programmes can improve your leaders and teams decision making capabilities.

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