Tips on how to make good decisions

Tips on how to make good decisions

Most good. But sometimes we face big, important decisions, and we often make them based on factors we may not have factored into the calculations. Factors that negatively affect decision quality. We may walk around with our analysis in hand and think we are somewhat objective. We do not. Here are some factors that come into play when we decide.

Be fooled by the first impression

For example, when we hire someone. First impressions shape relationships for a long time. Some people have to spend a long time correcting a bad first impression. Others are very good at making a good first impression. This leads to an intellectual trap that can deceive us. Based on a first impression, we try to predict how another person will behave in future situations.

Someone who is relatively good looking, speaks a good language, and preferably tall will give the impression of security and competence. A halo effect is then quickly created, and we expect or hold on to more positive qualities of that person. In the past, gender played a stronger role. So it seems we still choose leaders just as we did as hunter-gatherers, that is, leaders that are big and strong, and who we think are also intelligent.

There is a high probability that many people in the hiring process base their choice on the first impression, whether good or bad. In one interview, for example, she “made a very good first impression.” To put it bluntly, unfortunately psychopaths probably do too.

The director does not take into account the input, but rather writes for the reader. This is what you should do, says the expert.

Impact of group dynamics

Another unwanted factor that follows from the above is the confirmation trap. We use the information we already have about something and look for more information that can confirm it further. So, when the first impression is good, the confirmation trap will also seek to reinforce what we want to be true. It can also go the other way: a bad first impression leads to more searching for weaknesses.

Then groupthink can occur. As humans, we are interested in being liked and fitting in with the group, preferably by the person in the group who has high authority. Very few of us would come across as brave, we have put a leash on ourselves.

Suppose a group sits down to discuss and select the next employee. In this group sits what appears to be a tall man with good self-confidence. The person leads the group meeting and begins by saying; “Yes, I think X is a very good candidate, he gave a great professional talk at the annual conference and we had a nice chat over coffee, and I put X first.” Then, the group will first be turned into a narrow discussion influenced by the person who has power in the group. Then he will start arguing for and against that candidate and perhaps stop ignoring the criteria that were in the job ad. One begins the process of comparing candidates rather than selecting the right candidate based on (relatively) objective criteria.


We think well alone and actually less well with others. For example, in a brainstorming process where you will come up with good ideas, you should always start it off with participants first thinking individually about the task they will solve, and then perhaps sharing with each other in smaller groups before opening up to the plenary session. Think, pair, then share. Then introverts also come to the table with their ideas. These are at least as good as extroverts who engage easily and participate willingly.

So what can be done. Yes, here are some tips (feel free to read Jan Ole Hesselberg's book “Bedre konsideringen” this Christmas) or search for “make better decisions”.

You can also create a system to avoid the worst pitfalls by increasing your skills in this area with a short course for everyone who makes important decisions at work. Experience in this field has proven to be useful and effective, but we may not be able to avoid thinking traps even with a great deal of knowledge. Remember that we make and must make decisions at lightning speed all the time because the amount of information is so great, the problem is when we take shortcuts in the face of important decisions without knowing it.

Want to avoid burning bridges? Three things to avoid when changing your job.

Avoid the muzzle agent

Anyone who makes important decisions, especially important appointments, because setting the wrong appointment costs a lot, should use modern knowledge about the use of personality and ability tests. One could, for example, test whether a candidate would be dominant and controlling. One can test whether the candidate has the cognitive ability to handle large amounts of information and extract its essence. This is very important to know. In other words, tests can predict behavior and obtain knowledge relevant to the choice to be made. In short, it reduces the gag factor.

We make these mistakes in job interviews. This is how you avoid it, says the expert.

Another good tip in decision-making processes is to avoid the so-called closing talk, but replace it with arguments. The group then discusses the arguments for and against the candidate and is willing to challenge the strengths and weaknesses of each other's arguments. One can also imagine a pre-meeting process where each individual presents his or her position based on all available sources, and the moderator compiles this and presents (anonymously) the result to the group before arguing and concluding. Then the discussion will be much broader and better.

Not sane people

So we are not rational people who make objective choices. We are characterized by many factors that influence the choices we make, and if this happens unconsciously we are trapped within them. The most dangerous thought trap is the belief that we are objective enough, or “I don't have a thought trap, a thought trap.”

Good luck on your next important decision!

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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