Saturday, September 6, 2014

Yes or No - how we make decisions

How many times a day do you have to make a decision? Probably quite a few.  And as Jeff Shinabarger describes it in “YES or NO: How Your Everyday Decisions Will Forever Shape Your Life” (David C. Cook, 2014), that might be a problem for some of us.
Actually the problem is not that we have to make decisions, the problem is that most of us don’t know how to do that. That’s a little broad, because what Shinabarger suggests is that most people don’t understand the process that they are most comfortable with, and they don’t know their own decision making style.  Who cares what kind of style you might ask, and you would probably be in the majority. But sometimes we make important decisions, decisions that shape our destiny, and we don’t have a clue how to go about making the best decision. Best for us, and best for others who are impacted.
I’m not going to try to describe different styles, (Jeff does a much better job than I could do), but sometimes it’s important to recognize that there are different styles, we’re not all good at all of them, and sometimes it’s REALLY helpful to ask for help from someone who sees things in a different light. The book is full of examples of decisions – for better or worse -that the author and his wife have made, that others have made, and that have come about as a result of collaboration.
There are some excellent take-aways from this book, especially concerning how to involve others in some of those big decisions. I found Chapter 9 “Welcome to the Table” especially helpful. It’s simple stuff, common sense, but so obvious that it’s easy to overlook. Sometimes people (me included) tend to surround themselves with others who think they same way they do. That can be a good thing, but along the way some very viable options get discarded because they fall out of the collective box.
Jeff also points out that none of us have all the skills, and sometimes we have to meet the people that have the skills that complement our own if the decisions are going to turn out as hoped. A great baker with no business skills needs help in running the business of making cookies.
This is a fun book, and Jeff draws on his experience with Plywood People (focused on improvements in Atlanta) and as a consultant to keep things interesting.
Have a major decision coming up? You might want to get this book and start practicing with some smaller ones first.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. 

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