Posts

How to Form Better Opinions and Make Better Decisions

On the show, George recalled a college class where one of his professors debated, all by himself, if CEOs were overpaid for an hour-and-twenty minutes. George said, at the end of class, he had no idea where his professor stood on the issue, but he understood executive compensation better than he ever imagined.

There’s a relatively new concept called “integrative thinking”.   It was developed by Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and author of the book The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking.

A lot of people form an opinion and then look for evidence that they’re right. Scientists do the opposite – they go into an experiment with a hypothesis and try to prove it wrong.

You know you fully understand the subject at hand when you can argue all sides of the issue equally well, like George’s professor did. You could be on the debate team and win the contest no matter which side you argued.

3 possible outcomes

#1 – You may stick with what you originally thought.
Only now it’s not an uninformed, or slightly formed, or narrowly formed, opinion. You can have full confidence in it.

#2 – You may decide that you had it wrong.

Upon investigation, you discover the best alternative is the other side. You’re truly a scientist at decision-making – you disproved your original hypothesis!

#3 – A third alternative
The most likely outcome is some combination of the other two. That’s the point of integrative thinking – finding the best option by building upon two diametrically opposed positions.

A simple example

Picture yourself out to dinner with a friend. Everything has been spectacular. Your server brings over the dessert tray. That internal debate begins – should you have dessert? The debate might go something like this:

Ooh, that looks delicious …. I want it.
Oh, I can’t have dessert tonight.

I really do have a sweet tooth tonight.
Man, that’s going right to my hips.

I haven’t treated myself for a long time.
It’s so bad for me.

I’ve been dieting & exercising, so it’s okay.
I’ll have to work out twice as hard tomorrow if I eat that.

I’m still a little hungry.
I don’t need to spend the money.

Hey, I wonder if my friend would like to split a dessert with me!

There it is … the third alternative! You started out on one side or another – you should have dessert … or … you should skip dessert. By fully thinking through the issue in this admittedly simple example, you arrived at an option that wasn’t considered when you started.

Usually the best decision is one we haven’t previously thought of because it builds upon our prior thoughts. And the result isn’t a compromise, it’s an improvement.

Our bigg quote today comes from Joseph Joubert:

“It is better to debate a question without settling
it than to settle a question without debating it.”

Debate it now so you won’t question your decision later.

Next time, we’ll discuss why anything we can do, you can do better! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Related posts

Get Out Your Magic 8 Ball for Your Next Important Decision

Review: The Opposable Mind

Have A Problem? SOLVE IT! 

What Do You Get When You Spell Desserts Backwards?

Do you get “stressed”?

Isn’t it ironic that the word reversal of desserts is stressed!

Today, we’ll talk about how to whip up the right dessert to relieve some of your stress.

#1 – Start with one dessert

You don’t want to overindulge – that’s a recipe for failure. Choose one treat at first, something that relieves your stress, and make it a part of your life.

#2 – Focus on the process, not the end product

On a recent episode of Monk, a television show we love, Monk took up a hobby. The problem is that he approached it just like he approached his work. His perfectionist tendencies took all the fun out of it.

We’re all very outcome-oriented in our daily lives. Give yourself some dessert – don’t think about the result – just enjoy the journey.

#3 – Start with something off-the-shelf
You don’t have to make your treat from scratch – use a mix.

For example, if you love books, you might think it would be a treat to be part of a book club. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be the leader; you don’t have to start a new one. Just join one that already exists!

#4 – Don’t let your sweet treat go sour
We have a tendency to compound stress with more stress. Your sweet treat shouldn’t be a chore – keep it simple and easy.

Maybe you have a favorite cause. Volunteer to help out. But resist the temptation to join a committee. You have enough meetings at work!

The icing on the cake
According to realage.com, in highly stressful times, your real age can be as much as 32-years older than your calendar age. Here’s another interesting fact – Duke University Medical Center found that the benefits of stress management seem to exceed those of both exercise and usual heart care.

That’s the icing on the cake! Finding ways to reduce stress is like discovering the fountain of youth! How sweet is that?

What’s your treat? Tell us how you relieve your stress!

Our Bigg Quote today comes from B.C. Forbes.

“Work is the meat of life, pleasure the dessert.”

You won’t enjoy your meat if you never get to have any pudding!

Next time, we’ll offer some bigg advice to a homepreneur who just started her own business. She’s having problems with distractions. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Related posts

Stretch Yourself Anew

The Home Stretch

Finding Balance At Work

Change Your Scenery For A Change

Does Your Hobby Work For You?

The Magical Word That Helps Balance Your Life