The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

When it is uncomfortable

The moment something is uncomfortable human beings tend to want to get it over with.

In decision making, there are two ways to get rid of the discomfort.

The first one is to delay the decision until the last minute by avoiding to commit to it. That will happen most often when the discomfort is linked to sharing or presenting the decision. One of the typical situations here is committing to invitations. With the speed of communication and the ease of booking events, we’ll see how last-minute registrations have become commonplace.

The other way is to hasten the decision.

This happens when having a first reaction or possibility feels better than digging in to find an educated answer. It also happens when waiting for the answer to emerge establishes a vague sense of something being unresolved.

In his book “Creativity – A short and cheerful guide”, John Cleese shares an interesting way to handle this. It works in both situations and independently from the type of decision you need to make.

Start with figuring out when the decision needs to be made. This may be a given deadline just as much as the moment in time when you feel that having a decision is appropriate.

Once the deadline is established. Take all the time you’ve available to make that decision.

Why wouldn’t you allow yourself the space to take all the information that can come up until then? And why would you reduce the time you have available to see ideas come up which may enhance your decision?

And this isn’t all passive. It combines the time you have to do the work to prepare the decision just as much as the time when the decision can mature.


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