“Decision making is a reasoned action guided by our conscious analytical ability.” We disagree. For us, on the basis of our experience in the world of sports, decision-making has been always been “guided intuition.” Sport professionals facing a specific sport situation will evaluate it, will obtain as much information as they can about it, and then will intuitively make a decision. Sometimes in tenths of a second given the context and at other times, over a period of days or weeks.
When we say that an athlete evaluates the situation, we mean that he will collect the information in the form of data that help him know what he is going to face at that moment. Without that objective reference of the situation, it will be difficult for him to successfully choose and he will be “competing blindly”; that is what happens in business when executives do not look for objective information and make decisions based on biases and impressions. This decision-making model is costly in sports. In the business world, where everything that happens is less visible, the tendency is to blame someone else or the uncertainty of the environment and that´s that.
Once it has been assessed and almost at the same time, athletes use the feedback from environment in which they have to decide. This feedback comes from the trainer, opponents, partners, training sessions, etc. and allows them to clarify and profile all the information accumulated from the assessment.
Finally, all the previous elements enable the athlete to make a decision endorsed by intuition, which is simply all the decisions and results that he has previously experienced in training sessions and competition and that are saved in his brain`s hard disk.
To apply these parameters to the business world, ask yourself two questions:
- Which is the situation in which you and your team want to make better decisions? A sales situation with a usual customer is not the same as with a new one; nor is it the same to decide remuneration prior to an employment regulation plan than after the presentation of positive results. In consequence, the first thing to do is to delimit the situation requiring a decision.
- How was the decision made and what were the results obtained previously from similar decisions? Here a conscious effort is required, although the best is to check the facts. That’s why at MindCompanySport, we help executives and managers link the decision they took with the result generated by said decision. And that is done with paper and pencil.
In summary, three measurable behaviors to improve the accuracy and quality of the decision-making process: 1. Assessment and collection of information, as objective as possible; 2. Use the feedback from the environment (team, customers, suppliers); and 3. Let the guided intuition decide without interfering. Because the main problem is not making the decision, but rather convincing the brain that it is the best decision possible, one to which it can commit itself.