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Mindful Decision-Making

In a world with tons of (mis?)information, distractions and never ending change, learn how to make decisions with better outcomes.

Half of the decisions made in organizations fail. Studies of organizational leaders' decisions show that half of the decisions made are no longer in use after two years.

We receive 270 newspapers' worth of data every day. We are more connected to information than ever before, and technology has enabled things to change faster than ever before. One would think that mindful decision-making would be on the rise, given the amount of information we receive daily. However, this is rarely the case.

Today, in a world of so much information, some of which is false, discernment is a vital skill needed for making better decisions. People who struggle with discernment constantly make costly mistakes, experience setbacks, and struggle to succeed, oftentimes failing.

In 2010, creativity became the number one competency for leaders."ARMONK, NY, May 18th, 2010: According to a major new IBM (NYSE: IBM) survey of more than 1,500 Chief Executive Officers from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, chief executives believe that — more than rigor, management discipline, integrity, or even vision — successfully navigating an increasingly complex world will require creativity."

Yes, the world is complex, and creativity is great. However, creativity doesn't help us sort through all the data volume or verify credible data to make thoughtful decisions.

Want to make better choices, reduce cycles, boost your energy level, and enjoy increased productivity? Master discernment.

Discernment, in its simplest form, can be defined as the ability to make good judgments. But there's more to it than that.

When working with clients, I describe discernment as taking a pause, becoming present in the moment and using an element of wisdom that comes from facts, feelings, experience, and intuition.

Discerning doesn't necessarily say "good or bad," just that it's appropriate or inappropriate for the specific situation at hand.

We constantly have to make decisions all day long. We are bombarded with information everywhere we go. We seem to struggle with the problem of limitless options, having just too many to choose from. It can be overwhelming. And, we are often pushed to make decisions based on experience, other people's advice, or unproven stats. Sometimes there is simply no data to help you -like when an unprecedented pandemic shuts the world down. When the situation at hand is unique, the first of its kind, you'll likely find information, just not necessarily ones that are appropriate for the situation at hand. This may result in more unpleasant cycles when we don't pause to reassess the situation and discern.

The areas I see discernment can help you are:

Receiving Advice: Whether you are naming a child or making a business decision, everyone has an opinion and feels like a qualified expert.(Right?!) Discernment is needed to respect the views of others but make an independent decision. It allows us to appreciate others' opinions while giving us the allowance to draw our own conclusions from research, experience, and intuition. You'd find this personally impactful, especially since many decisions have lifelong effects.

Identifying Risks: As Type A, optimistic, seize the day kind of people, sometimes we think we can do anything. The problem is, we can't control everything. Discernment reminds us that despite our good desires, hard work, and explicit cost-benefit analysis, there is always a risk. So, while you remain hopeful, it is key to consider the risk level to make well-informed decisions.

Changing Direction: Our lives are fraught with challenges, obstacles, and surprises. Grit is great but becomes foolish when we can't tell when to let go or make adjustments to a plan. Situation-specific decisions on how long to stay on a course and whether to change course requires discernment. Having a goal is key, but how you get there can be fluid. Asking the right questions, looking for feedback and reviewing outcomes, and being willing to make tweaks make us most effective.

"The key to good business is the ability to make the right decisions at the right time. There is no magic formula to being able to do this, but developing a strong ability to discern is the closest thing to having a compass to guide leaders through volumes of information and distractions. " Brigitte Lawler

There will continue to be enormous amounts of information and opinions and numerous decisions to be made. How can we take a break to make mindful, well-discerned decisions rather than run on autopilot?


What's a MDS?

In my world, a multi-dimensional solution means pausing to consider all the information, stakeholders, and possible outcomes and then discerning what the best step is. With so much information and so many stakeholders affected by our decisions, the old paradigm of narrow-mindedness will not serve us.

As I said before, MDS requires a pause to tap into wisdom.

So how do you create an MDS?

· Gather all the facts you need about the topic, situation, or issue at hand; really immerse yourself.

· Performance break: go on a run and let your intuition take over.

· Attend and attune to ideas that start to formulate and how they make you feel. Write down the ones that make you feel energized (not necessarily the most "practical" or sense-making).

· Evaluate all angles: narrow down the list to the top few options, and come from a place of empathy and compassion from each stakeholder's perspective – does this serve their needs and lead to a positive outcome? Does it lead to a positive outcome for the greater good?

· Choose: Make your decision based on facts and feelings. Be mindful to pick something that truly resonates and feels sound.


Want support with the tools mentioned above? Reach out for a FREE 30-minute coaching call. Feel like you or your organization help increasing productivity and resilience in your employees? I work with both 1:1 and corporate clients to help increase performance and wellbeing through my proven Performance-Based Mindfulness methodology.


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