Once I’ve got beyond whether I want my breakfast egg scrambled or boiled, I can give myself a hard time over decisions. And even the egg question can be a bit of a facer on a bad day!
I have a tendency, if not watched, to see any number of sides to questions and have to make a conscious effort to get a grip on myself so that I don’t lose sight of the important things.
Putting on my coaching hat, I remind myself that what’s needed is a systematic approach and information – preferably high quality.
If you’ve read other parts of this blog, you won’t be surprised to know that I recommend Mind Maps (www.thinkbuzan.com) as a really helpful way of pulling together everything in your head on a particular topic.
Getting stuff from other heads needs care, too. Asking someone what the “best” way to deal with a problem is can put them on the spot and paralyse their thinking. Try asking “How many ways can you think of to deal with ....?” They then get to say all the things that come to mind and you can see what ideas that sparks off for you.
Once you’ve done your gathering, try the Cartesian questions on the alternatives:
What will happen if I (for example) resign?
What won’t happen if I resign?
What will happen if I don’t resign?
What won’t happen if I don’t resign?
By now you should have a much clearer picture and be better equipped to come to a decision you can feel confident about.
Tip: Don’t be hard on yourself if it turns out you made the wrong choice – it doesn’t help, either at that moment or when it makes you doubt your decision-making ability next time.