Life is all about creating options and making the right choices. The decisions made during a person’s life attributes to the individual’s success or failure. A world size canvas sometimes may not be enough to draw a decision tree with all the choices we had before us and the decisions made based on those choices, in our lifetime. How many times have we wished for a time machine to take us back in time, to change the decisions we had made.  

When young, we are all dependents. It is our parents or elders who made critical decisions for us. We did not have a choice in these matters. As a part of growing up, we slowly learn the art of decision making and started making decisions for ourselves. 

Is decision making art or science? 

I believe it is both an art as well a science. We know that wisdom is the right decision we make, integrating the three elements, the brain, the heart and the gut. It is merely symbolic, the heart portraying emotions and the gut being intuitive. Whether the decision is based on careful analysis or based on feelings or just a hunch; all of it is processed in our brain.

Fig 1 Wisdom

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift. Albert Einstein

Happiness, Sadness, Anger or Fear; which of these emotions do you think would help you in decision making? The answer is none of these emotions would help. It is better not to make decisions when one is emotional. How can one be emotionally neutral while making decisions? This can happen by being emotionally intelligent. The science of Emotional Intelligence is managing and regulating our emotions while making decisions and interacting with people. We often see political leaders using hate speeches to trigger anger and fear in voters, provoking them to elect their government.

Decisions Vs Destiny

What changes our life? Is it the decisions we make or is it destiny? One should ask a person who has bought shares after careful analysis, expecting it to be bullish and it turns out bearish. One can easily blame it on destiny. However, it is always decisions that can change our destiny.  

Maximising the number of right decisions made by leaders’ determine organization success. These decisions may be day-to-day operational decisions or long term strategic decisions. The ability to make the right decision in critical situations is one of the measurable traits of leadership skills. The good news is that we can acquire and develop these decision-making skills. Leaders’ should learn on the job by analyzing previous decisions and their outcomes.

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. Peter F. Drucker

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Hafiz Khan · March 9, 2020 at 8:53 am

I always go by intuition

Meena · March 9, 2020 at 9:21 am

So simple, yet articulate. Wise words. Thank you

    Jessie · March 9, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    There are theories which states happy people bring about positive impact through decisions

Madhavan · March 9, 2020 at 1:35 pm

Nice article.

Varaprasad · March 9, 2020 at 2:11 pm

Nice post ….!!! I will add a point to it, Sub Conscious state is something which always hints you to take the decisions for your destiny but your conscious mind will divert with real world wants and Desires

Manodivya · March 9, 2020 at 2:27 pm

Good one. If people overcome their emotions while making decisions then all problems will have a solution.So true👌

Geoji · March 9, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Good One…..Unfortunately with the growing data dominance and dependence the gut’s role is slowly being elbowed out…I think an asymmetric Venn dia wld make sense as the representation shld be dynamic depending on the domain in or for which the decision is taken…Gut and heart are sometimes more important than the brain in a few cases…my 2 cents

    georgekoshi · March 9, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    I totally agree… Thank you for the feedback.

Jai ganesh · March 9, 2020 at 7:51 pm

Nice article!

Abhishek · March 10, 2020 at 9:04 am

Nice integrated perspective. I feel that one’s temperament (personality, etc) plays a big role in determining which of the 3 we tend to go with as our default – be it instinct (gut), feelings/emotions (heart) and rational (head). In a sense we are wired towards one and maybe tend to downplay / look suspiciously at the other 2. Eg: I’m wired to be more rational and find it difficult to even be aware of what my emotions are telling me about a particular situation let alone leverage it to make a decision.

I’m realizing that this is limiting / boxing me when it comes to problems I engage with, the options I come up with and the ultimate decision I take. So the journey currently is to nurture the other 2 centres to help me get better not just at decisions but even the challenges I take on.

    georgekoshi · March 10, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you for your thought, Abhishek. I totally echo with yours. It is important to understand our other faculties like emotions and intuition before we make any decisions.

Bindu GR · March 10, 2020 at 9:51 am

Thought provoking article.. I believe that data is vital for both IQ & EQ based decision making. This brings in clarity. Also the concept of decision making should be inculcated from childhood which will pave the way for effective leaders..

    georgekoshi · March 10, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Well said Bindu. Thank you.

Gokul · March 10, 2020 at 10:17 am

Nice Thoughts.

ARIYUR SABESAN NATARAJAN · March 11, 2020 at 7:11 am

Nice article. Well written.

Sivakumar · March 11, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Good One.Thanks

Bert Cherian · March 11, 2020 at 7:34 pm

I find that in the decisions that really matter, most people waffle a lot. That’s because they don’t use any decision-making tools. I taught an easy decision-making tool to my kids. Its called Plus, Minus, Interesting or PMI. Basically you make three columns on an A4 sheet and fill it in. Then let it cook for a few days, preferably in a visible place. This is where the Gut also bubbles up its thoughts along with the logic. Of course in the workplace too, stronger tools are needed to make confident decisions.

    georgekoshi · March 12, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you Bert for your inputs. PMI was one of the tools I used to recommend in decision-making training while making some of our personal decisions like moving houses, changing cities etc.

Ravi Ravi Kuppusamy · March 13, 2020 at 9:12 am

Of Course we all wanted to make right Decisions…
Indeed Decision Making impacts our life and profession at a greater extent. We always struggle to choose between right vs wrong and others prolong decision making by paralysis by analysis.

I liked George’s simple approach and framework to come up with right decisions on time and everytime

Great George!! Keep writing good stuff.

– Ravi Kuppusamy.

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