Most people think they act out of logic but the reality is that you act out of emotion and you justify your actions by logic.
Understanding this fact is key to your success in stopping making bad decisions. In order to make a good decision you need to manage the emotions rather than have them manage you. In order to do this you need to remove judgement from your thinking and get clarity on the facts.
1. Remove judgement by looking at the problem from ALL sides. Write down what you are thinking as you ponder the problem from your point of view, then from all other parties point of view. Put these written thoughts down in columns so you can see them side by side.
2. Next go through and cross out all opinions, and judgemental words so all you are left with is concrete fact.
3. Scan the facts from all angles. If you need to buy some distance and time from the problem so you can get clear thinking.
4. Write down possible solutions that each party would want. Again cross out any judgemental or assumptive words.
5. Look at it and try to come up with a solution that embraces all sides.
You will be surprised how often you cloud your judgement by being assumptive about why people do what they do or by taking a fact plus opinion and turning it in to a different fact.
Take this riddle for example: A father and son are rushed to the emergency room. The surgeon walks in and says "I can't operate. That is my son in there." Who is the surgeon?
Many people automatically say it is the father of the father or, in other words, the grandson. The correct answer is it is the boys mother. Now I know that is an old riddle but 20 years ago it stumped people because no one thought about the Mom being a surgeon. Today that is common place so that hopefully didn't stump you. The point is that clarity comes from stepping back and taking all the facts, laying them out and then seeing what conclusions can be drawn.
Take Action: This week take a problem you are facing and try this method to see if you can see new insights you didn't see before.
Anne Warfield, http://www.impressionmanagement.com/