One of the reoccurring themes my clients, friends and colleagues bring to me are tough, sticky decisions that they are struggling to make. What causes their indecision can be a mixture of things: fear, impact on others or aspects of their lives, cash, time, ease of doing nothing and often, simply not knowing what they really want.
The good news is we all make 1000s of decisions every day, every minute, every second. And for the vast majority of time, things turn out right. Yes, sometimes things go bad for a while, but ultimately things will go right…really right.
Our brains rely on what they’ve seen, heard and done before. That childhood memory of falling off your bike. An article in a newspaper. The slogan of a famous brand. A friend’s comment on your new shirt. Plus all the rest and it stores them all up just in case each titbit can help you make some future decision.
I want to share a framework I use myself and with my coachees and delegates: Head, Heart and Hands.
Head – the centre of logic and objectivity.
Ask your head what is its reaction? Can you write out the pros and cons of the decision? Can you state facts or evidence to support or squash the decision in front of you? Is there an expert to consult?
Heart – the centre of emotion and subjectivity.
Is your heart bumping with excitement or fear? How would you feel if you decide one way or the other – happy, peaceful and calm or regret, guilt and sadness? Would you want to shout it from the roof tops or hide it away in shame? Can you measure the decision positively against your core values and beliefs?
Hands – the centre of action and doing.
Can you see yourself in the midst of your decision fully motivated and energised? Does the decision enable you to be your best you, using all your talents and passions? Are you itching to get started or running to hide behind the curtains?
You need harmony and agreement between them all or to be able to acknowledge the disagreement and mitigate it. For example, is that shiny new role going to involve a task or attribute that you’re not super keen on – will it kill your “joie de vie” or would it be bearable for a while to achieve your bigger goal?
What are you making decisions about this week? Any you’re really wrangling with? Maybe I can help. Give me a shout, drop me a line or maybe you have a cool technique or strategy for tough decisions, share it in the comments.