Decisive

Decisive

How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Audiobook CD - 2013
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Chip Heath and Dan Heath tackle the thorny problem of how to overcome natural biases and irrational thinking to make better decisions about work, lives, companies, and careers. When it comes to decision making, brains are flawed instruments. But being aware of a bias doesn't correct it. In Decisive, the Heath brothers, drawing on extensive studies, stories, and research, offer specific, practical tools that can help listeners to think more clearly about their options.
Publisher: New York, NY : Random House Audio, p2013
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780449011119
Characteristics: 8 sound discs (9 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Griffith, Kaleo
Heath, Dan 1973-

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JCLChrisK Jul 02, 2013

For the past few years I've had a fascinating and fun journey working my way through a good collection of titles about how thinking works; more specifically, about how thinking doesn't work the way we think it works. That we are constantly lying to, misleading, and deluding ourselves. That our knowledge, perceptions, beliefs, memories, and actions aren't nearly as rational and reasonable as we like to think. That many of our decisions, both the little, daily ones and the big, life-changing ones aren't as sound and carefully reasoned as we believe.

While there have been times the reading has left me feeling cynical and dispirited--that there is no point trying to communicate or connect with others since their assumptions and biases will confound my efforts anyway--for the most part it has been a helpful, healthy process of improving my self-awareness and interpersonal/emotional intelligence. They've made me a better listener, less sure of my own strident opinions in discussions and more likely to assume a generous "AND" stance instead of a combative "EITHER-OR" one.

Something they all have in common, for the most part, is that they spend the bulk of their time sharing the findings of recent research and studies in order to dispel our common-sense assumptions, and only after that leave a bit of space for talking about what to do with the new information. Decisive, on the other hand, starts with the new perspectives, explains them a little, then spends the bulk of its time sharing ways we can make better decisions in light of that information. It's less theoretical and idea-based, much more practical and applied.

In brief, the authors describe a process to follow when making decisions that will help counteract many of the tendencies that steer us wrong. It's not necessarily a step-by-step formula since each decision is unique and every context requires something different, but it provides guidance and a series of checks and balances to make sure we are properly considering the issue from a variety of helpful facets. I think it will be a very helpful process to get in the habit of following.

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