Understanding Decision Making

Understanding Decision Making

Date: 8/8/2014

Many people have a problem in making decisions. However, by understanding how decisions are made and which of the areas are causing you to have problems, almost anyone can overcome indecisiveness and develop the ability to make more accurate decisions. When I work with people in the area of decision making, I help them discover which of the areas are giving them problems, and correct them. 

Three things are happening when you are making decisions.   They are: your intuition, rational thinking, and what we will call "other factors".

1) Intuition. Your intuition is something that you are born with (the Gemorah says that women have more "Bina" than do men which would suggest that intuition is innate in the person).   Of course, you can develop your intuitive abilities through knowledge about the subject you have to decide on and through experience dealing with it.

Your intuition "speaks" to you through a feeling. The feeling is different when something seems right or when it seems wrong.  Many people are not consciously aware of these feelings and are unaware of what their intuition is telling them.   I can help you become aware of the feelings so you can know what your intuition is telling you. This is particularly important when your intuition is telling to "be careful--something does not seem to be 100% here".   This "hesitant"  intuition will help you avoid making costly, disastrous mistakes!

2) Rational Thinking.  The second consideration can be used as a check on your intuition.  Your intuition only "knows" what is  in front of it.   For example, I was looking for a school for one of my children as the institution in which he was learning was not suitable.  I had narrowed it down to three places and was about to check them out more thoroughly in order to make a choice.   I decided that as part of my research I would speak to someone I knew who had a lot of insight into these matters.   He mentioned a fourth school that he thought I would be very happy with.   My first reaction was that it was not appropriate.   To make a long story short, after checking out the four schools I decided on the one he suggested. 

"Options" is part of the category of "rational thinking":  By this we mean making sure you are aware of all of the options available because your intuition can only choose from the options it "knows" about.   If I wouldn't have spoken to this person I would have chosen from the other three schools--and that would not have been the best choice. I brought "options" as one example, but there are many other aspects to rational thinking as well. 

3) Other Factors.  Decision making would not be so complicated if it were only a synthesis of intuition and rational thinking.  However, we are influenced by a number of other elements.  These include our personal values, our beliefs about the world, our beliefs about ourselves, the opinions and actions of people we associate with and live with, our personality traits ("Middos"), etc. 

For example, let's say you have to decide in which neighborhood you are going to live.   There are several choices you are considering.   In making such a decision there are a number of factors you would want to consider.  These might include if you can find a home that suits your needs, who are the neighbors, how convenient is it for you, etc.   Lets say you are seriously thinking about a certain neighborhood, but there is only one problem.   You don't really know anyone there.   Some of the other choices you were considering were slightly less desirable, but you had friends in those areas.

Permit me to digress for a moment to illustrate how your decision making can be distorted by a false belief.    A fellow once complained to me that people in our neighborhood were unfriendly to him.   "Because I live in the neighborhood they should be my friends", he said, somewhat puzzled. Perhaps we could argue that it would be proper for people to befriend him by virtue of the fact that he lives in the same neighborhood.  However, it is not a given that this will happen and, much to his bitter disappointment, it didn't happen.  

Now let's go back to our example.   Imagine that you were approaching this decision with his belief that because you live in the same neighborhood people will automatically become your friends.   You might overlook the fact that you have no friends in that neighborhood and move there under the assumption that you will naturally make friends.  It could turn out to be a bad decision when you discover that people do not automatically gravitate towards you.   In working with people who want to improve their decision making, understanding how "other factors" are influencing them is very important. 

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To schedule an appointment contact me by phone: 052-763 7029 or by email: shlomokory@gmail.com 

For more information on Decision Making see the article "Creative Problem Solving" by clicking on the articles link.