Decision Making Mastery
How to Hone Professional Judgment to Deal Effectively with Volatility, Complexity and Ambiguity
Professional judgment is possibly the most important capability of any leader because it determines how well every other talent or capability they have can be applied. Within this, creative decision making is becoming increasingly crucial to effective leadership at all levels—the rational, logical, data-based approach that has been prevalent for over a century is inappropriate for handling change at today’s pace. But this raises a critical problem, because our creativity is crushed when we become stressed.
Clearly, this huge paradox must be overcome if we are to make effective decisions in the face of ambiguity and volatility: a natural consequence of change is psychological stress, because our brain processes uncertainty as a threat, and this then suppresses activity in key parts of the brain that are necessary to handle the new scenarios created by change. To make matters worse, there is no solution at the level of what have traditionally been called ‘skills’. While the cognitive biases that cause many of our decision making errors are now widely recognised and understood, advice on how to reduce their impact is still extremely rare.
When making decisions, two mental processes dominate: assessing what is happening and then determining what to do about it. Much of this is done unconsciously. Therefore, to make progress we must learn to make the unconscious conscious, and there is only one way by which this can be achieved—to become more mindful.
The importance of mindful awareness – mindfulness – is a popular topic. However, discussion of its benefits is usually conducted somewhat in isolation. For example, while decision making and mindfulness have both been extensively studied, they are largely treated as divergent topics. This has resulted in few of the benefits of using mindfulness to improve decision making being identified. This workshop addresses this opportunity, using the latest scientific and psychological research to demonstrate why greater mindfulness results in better decision making, and equipping participants to make real progress.
Participants who complete the programme will make much more effective decisions by being able to:
- Steer a course between two common, yet highly contradictory, sets of advice – that clear, structured and rational processes are essential, and the viewpoint which insists that well-developed intuition is the key
- Solve the puzzle of how to reduce the effect of unconscious biases
- Recognise the impact of emotions to reduce reactivity and increase responsiveness
- Develop the mental qualities required for creativity
- Why mindfulness has the potential to transform our capacity for effective judgement.