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Eureka: Different types of bad decisions
by Jay Gutman
2018-04-29 07:24:04
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A good decision is one where you have the abilities to get the task done. That is when you take a good decision, there tend to be little or no barriers for you to be able to perform the tasks related to the decision. To understand good decision-making more clearly, let's look at what some of the bad decisions could be. I put bad decisions in three categories: emotional-based decision-making, personal-based decision-making and organization-based decision-making. Let me break it down for you.

Emotion-based decision-making

You take a decision because you are happy. Or because you are angry. Or because you are frustrated. Or because your emotions are running high or low. Here are some examples of bad emotion-based decision-making.

dec1_400-Taking a decision because it makes you happy. I like playing video games and playing video games makes me happy. But I'm not going to become a pro-gamer just because playing video games makes me happy. I would play video games professionally if I were convinced I could wake up every day and endure playing video games 10 to 12 hours a day and that I was able to beat the competition. Or I'm going to open a pub because pubs and people who drink make me happy. Running a pub is nothing like the sit-com “Cheers.” You have all the bar fights and bar brawls, drunk people yelling or breaking things, all the puke you have to clean up after. You need to make sure you will be up to delivering the task.

-Taking a decision because you feel sad or angry. Your mother constantly nags you about the fact that you should make a lot of money, so you apply to work for a company that pays a lot of money but where you are clearly not up to the task. Or you start a business that is lucrative in appearance but for which you don't master the task 100%. Just because your wife or mother or brother or husband nag you about the financial situation, doesn't mean you should take decisions that you will not be able to follow through.

-Taking a decision because you feel frustrated. A lot of things and people in life are frustrating. But applying for a job out of frustration, or dating the first person who show up at your door out of frustration, or starting a fight out of frustration doesn't solve problems. You don't go to the first job you can find out of frustration, you make sure you are up to the task.

Personal-based decision making.

You take a decision because someone else has taken the decision. Or because someone else told you to take the decision. Or because you read somewhere that someone took the decision. Here are some examples of poor personal based decision-making.

-She's going for a Ph.D. so I should go for a Ph.D. Maybe she can go through a Ph.D; but you can't. You go for a Ph.D. because you like research and academia, not because someone else is doing a Ph.D. He started a business so I should quit my job and start a business. Maybe he knows what starting a business involves and you are not up to the task. You start a business because you are up to the task, not because someone else did.

-He told me I should buy a house so maybe I should buy a house. You buy a house because you can afford to, not because someone else tells you. She told me I should date that guy, so maybe I should date that guy. You date the guy because you like him, not because someone else suggested you do so.

-I read that you can teach English with a bachelor's degree so maybe I can teach English. You teach English because you like teaching, not because you read that you can do it. Someone said on Facebook that he's looking for a business partner, so maybe I should partner with him. You partner with him because you know things can work out, not because he's looking for a partner.

-I need to impress that guy so I will start a business to impress him. You need to make sure you can carry through with your business. You don't start a business to impress people. I need to compete with that guy so I will start a business. You start a business because you are able to carry through with the tasks, not to engage in psychological warfare.

Organizational-based decision-making

Sometimes your organization creates rules that you have to follow when technically those rules don't enable you to follow through with the tasks. Or maybe there's a new rule and you take a decision based on that rule. Examples of bad organizational-based decision-making.

-The boss said our target is to make 10 million dollars in profit, so maybe we should start production for this new product. You start production for a new product because you know you will be able to produce the new product, not because the boss said you need to make 10 million dollars in profit.

-There's a new law that allows real estate development in that park, so I will buy real estate there. You probably want to buy real estate there because you know you will be able to use it or sell it, not because the new law allows you to buy real estate.

-Company rules allow you 6 weeks vacation if you get married, so I will get married. Great, so you'll be stuck at a company and in a marriage. You get married because you're in love and you're ready, not because your company gives you 6 weeks vacation if you get married.

In sum, when you take a decision, you need to make sure that you will be able to carry out the tasks that are demanded by the decision. Now there's a difference between an idea and a decision. I remember being frustrated by my ex-fiancée because I would have an idea and she would think my idea was a decision. Brainstorming ideas and daydreaming are not a bad thing, some say they are a sign of cleverness. But you need to brainstorm long enough before you make sure the idea is feasible. 

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