Decision Making: Creative Problem Solving

Decision Making: Creative Problem Solving

Date: 8/7/2013

Before we  learn this technique I would like to mention that it is not all that I can offer to improve your decision making.   It is, however,  an incredible technique to use as a basis for making decisions. 

I can personally testify that if you find it hard to make decisions, this technique will change your life.

People develop a method, or, in NLP jargon, a "strategy", how to make decisions. Often, they have ineffective decision making strategies.

One common ineffective strategy is that as soon as they think of an option they immediately think what is wrong with it and disqualify it. They wind up stifling their creativity and never realize all of the options available to them. Their thinking can be very limited.

Alternatively, many people think of an option and jump on it without considering any other options.   Later on they may feel regret that their choice was not the best one possible. 

The following is a streamlined version of the strategy developed by Robert Dilts. I find that it works as effectively as the regular version and takes less time.

To do this technique you will need:

  • 3 chairs (other than the one you are sitting in)
  • a few minutes of undisturbed time (this includes putting a do-not-disturb sign on your door and turning off the ringer on your telephone).

Start by thinking of a decision you need to make, a problem you want to solve, or a project you are planning.

Step 1--After you have decided on the above move to chair #1 and recall a time you thought about something in a creative way. This means that you were using your powers of imagination. You may have been daydreaming about something you wanted to do, for example. Feel free to go back to your childhood when you may have daydreamed of being an astronaut,  or the President of the United States, or some famous person, etc.  Fully associate to the memory by remembering what you saw..... what you heard.... and what you felt. (Don't rush this; give your self time to get into that mode of thinking).

After you have fully associated to that memory your mind will be in a creative thinking mode. Now think in a creative way about your problem or project. In other words, daydream about it;  Let ideas flow without evaluating them. Write down all of the different options that you envisioned--even those options which look totally unrealistic.

When you have finished, stand up.

Step 2--Sit down in the second chair and recall a time that you thought realistically.  For example,  you had to make a decision on which action to take in a specific situation such as you were  late for an appointment and you had to decide on how to get there.  Again, fully associate to the memory by remembering what you saw..... heard..... and felt.

After you have fully associated to the memory and are in a realistic thinking mode, look at your list of options and evaluate: which ones do you feel are most realistic to pursue now. Mark those ideas or write them down on a separate piece of paper. Save the other ideas for possible future use. Then ask yourself how to realistically begin to pursue the ideas you have chosen. Begin to organize a plan how to start.

When you have finished, stand up.

Step 3--Sit down in the third chair and recall a time you thought critically about something.  For example, you were looking for faults in something you were considering buying, or a job you were considering. Fully associate to the memory as described before by remembering what you saw..... heard..... and felt.

After you have fully associated to the memory look at your list and ask yourself what problems might arise? You are looking for possible weaknesses. Write down any problems that come to mind. Ask yourself what is missing from the plan.

Then ask yourself what might be some possible solutions to those problems. If you do not come up with solutions at this time you can think of them later.

When you have finished, you can either stand up or sit in any chair you choose!  You now have some options, plus the beginning steps of how to achieve them, plus an awareness of some of the obstacles you may be facing and perhaps, ideas for solutions how to deal with those obstacles...

To schedule an appointment contact me by phone: 052-763 7029 or by email: 

© Copyright.  All rights reserved to Shlomo Kory, Jerusalem, Israel