7 Ways for Better Decisions

Sally Khallash & Josefine Campbell

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Our decisions are guided by bias. That includes the decision we make when we are working. According to some scientist, there are approximately 200 different types of bias.

A bias is an automatic and unconscious mechanism that gets in your way of making clear decisions. We all have a different levels of bias and they are context-dependent. When dribbling a ball on a basketball court, it may be a kind of bias that affects your decision about where to move.

For managers in sales meetings, you may have a bias that affects your choices and how you develop a  strategy. Your decisions are often consciously or unconsciously guided by bias, which can have positive and negative affects on your leadership and those around you. Read more to learn 7 ways you can make better decisions and minimize bias.

In this video, behavioural economist Sally Khallash (PhD) and I speak about how we can make better decisions and minimize bias which influences our ability to reach our greater potential.

Excessive self-esteem makes other decisions worse

According to research by Sally Kallash, excessive self-esteem makes other decisions worse. Sally grouped 200 biases into eight categories, which you will see if you take her test. This bias is also known as the mother-of-all biases because it enhances all the others. An example is when you underestimate how much time something will take.

If you want to see more here is a longer version

In the video above, Sally Khallash and I speak about how to evaluate the quality of a decision (3 min 13 sec, in English). We also made a longer version that includes our entire conversation. If you want to hear more about her valuable perspective and how decisions are made in organisations, check out the full-length video where Sally shares some interesting concepts.

Bias in groups

We also discuss how group think is a bias that prevents innovation from blooming since many people unconsciously have a bias that will cause disturbances within a group. At the same time, group think is a bias that makes cooperation more enjoyable. We tend to like people who look, act and think more like ourselves. 

If you would like to know more about what trigger our brain when we collaborate and lead others, then you can read more in my book, Power Barometer – Manage personal energy not just time and money

7 ways to make better decisions and minimize bias

Throughout our conversation, Sally and I develop some advice on 7 ways to make better decisions and minimize bias from a management perspective:

  1. Change your bias through mental training or bias awareness. Throughout life, you can consciously develop your brain and change your way of thinking. You can learn more about this through my Executive coaching course.
  2. Be aware. Sally suggests that if you are aware of each other’s bias, you can choose one person for the job. For example, it is sometimes the person with the highest tendency of risk who is capable of making the best decisions for the group.
  3. Get an outside perspective. One of the biggest biases posing difficulty for leaders is being too focused on what we are doing or what we want, a result of not getting our assumptions falsified. Bring in outside perspective. In other words, give yourself space to be calm, rather than focused. This space will give you access to a larger part of your brain.
  4. Do not make decisions when you feel pressured. If you do, your brain will not work optimally and bias comes into play.
  5. Be aware of your feelings, because they also affect your decisions. Feelings and thought are interlinked. 
  6. Ask yourself, how will you get there? Instead of thinking about where you want to go, think about how you will get there. This process considers more than goals when it comes to making high quality decisions.
  7. Double check yourself through worst-case scenarios. If you can get to the bottom of a bias, it will affect all other biases. For example, use worst-case scenarios to help paint a clearer picture.

We coach and inspire people, organizations and teams in overcoming obstacles and elevating performance. Our approach begins with addressing each client’s distinct challenges. We uniquely focus on amplifying personal energy, fostering enhanced performance, and building resilience for navigating complex situations, such as those involving uncertainty, conflicts, change and growth, to meet the target with success.

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