How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Book - 2013
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Random House, Inc.

Chip and Dan Heath, the bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick, tackle one of the most critical topics in our work and personal lives: how to make better decisions.
   Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings doesn’t fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better?

   In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively readable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions.

   Along the way, we learn the answers to critical questions like these: How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don’t overlook precious opportunities to change our course? 

   Decisive is the Heath brothers’ most powerful—and important—book yet, offering fresh strategies and practical tools enabling us to make better choices. Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference.

Baker & Taylor
The best-selling authors of Made to Stick and Switch counsel readers on how to overcome natural biases and irrational thinking to make better decisions in work and life, drawing on extensive studies and research to outline specific strategies for enabling clear-headed thinking in a range of environments. 150,000 first printing.

& Taylor

Explains how to overcome natural biases and irrational thinking to make better decisions in work and life, drawing on extensive studies and research to outline specific strategies for enabling clear-headed thinking.

Publisher: New York : Crown Business, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307956392
Branch Call Number: 153.83 H351d
Characteristics: 316 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Heath, Dan 1973-


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Oct 26, 2017

Great read

Jul 12, 2017

Seminal Book on decision making.

Jun 01, 2017

Offers very practical principles on making better decisions using for categories: widen your options, attain some distance, reality-test your assumptions, and preparing to be wrong.

Mar 31, 2014

Great read full of real life anecdotal examples, which help to explain the research and concepts.

janicedepaula Jan 14, 2014

This book has a lot of good ideas for making decisions. It really makes you think outside the box.

Jul 04, 2013

A fascinating and helpful look at what makes us make bad decisions and how to counteract those habits.

JCLChrisK Jun 24, 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.

LaimaA May 08, 2013

Great insight into the decision-making process and the roadblocks that people are unintentionally throwing into their own paths when contemplating a decision.

May 05, 2013

I love reading these kinds of books. So, much exposure to research and its cool talking to people about the research. The research 'DOESN'T' doesn't apply to them of course (but I feel it does). Learning about these human biases is only helping me avoid making what would have been automatic decisions that I will regret later........


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