Project Management

Enhance Your Strategy by Making Better Decisions: 5 Tips

Everyone has their own personal biases that too often cloud judgment and compromise good decisions. These biases exist to help people make sense of this crazy world. In an article for PM Hut, Richard Lepsinger explores five common biases that seem good superficially, but actually negatively impact decision-making:

  1. Staying within your comfort zone
  2. Jumping to conclusions
  3. Relying too heavily on one aspect
  4. Confirmation
  5. Refusing to leave a sinking ship

It is so easy to become trapped in what seems comfortable and normal. When analyzing a problem, people are often too quick to select the solution that they have heard works well. Assuming that a solution that has worked well in the past will work well in this given situation is a huge mistake. Never jump to conclusions, especially if you have only seen a mere snapshot of the problem. If you make a conclusion based on one minor aspect, even if it seems direly important now, you may not solve the reality of the true problem.

Do not make the mistake of anchoring, or relying too much on one piece of information. Once there is an anchor dropped, there will forever be a bias in favor of that aspect, which will negatively impact future decisions by displacing weight that should be shared by multiple factors.

It is all too common to fall into the trap of gathering information selectively. If you set out to only find information to confirm your beliefs, you will be missing out on other useful information that could widen your perspective.

Lastly, it is difficult to admit when you are wrong, but it is important to do so. Why continually invest in a failing solution? Cut your losses, should the situation come to it.

These biases do not have to be eradicated to be successful; rather, you simply need to be aware of them. You can greatly improve your rationale by analyzing your reasoning process, applying a systematic approach, and being open to new experiences.

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