Making good decisions is a basic part of life, but certainly not an easy one. If everyone made the decisions that are best for them consistently, well the world would certainly be a different place. Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath seeks to help people make better decisions in life and business. It is a personal development book based upon science rather than spirituality. I recommend Decisive, for the same reason I recommend Willpower and The Power of Habit. All three are personal development/ self help books for people who don’t like self help books. All three are based completely on empirical, peer reviewed, scientific research and kill the idea that self help books are new age, rah rah, think positive and you’ll become rich that has stigmatized the genre since the 1980s.
The key concept in Decisive is the W.R.A.P Method which stands for;
- Widen your options
- Reality test your assumptions
- Attain some distance
- Prepare to be wrong
The other concepts of the book that are very useful are confirmation bias, pre mortem, trip wires, and loss aversion. Each of which can go a long way to helping a person think more independently, separated from pride one’s pride, ego, and personal bias.
The book encourages a person to always look for at least one alternative to their original idea. In a business setting, the following three questions are encouraged to be asked;
- What would I tell my best friend to do?
- If I got fired, what would my successor do?
- What would have to be true for each option to be right?
As with every book, the devil is in the details. The seven things I have listed above alone can provide a baseline of help. Though the credibility as to why they are helpful are explained in detail by citing research and studies over the course of many years.
This book will help you. The processes the book gives can be plugged into the space between stimulus and response to help any person utilize the space after the stimulus, in order to produce a response of dignity, maturity, and with the end in mind.
Definitely recommended for the anti personal development person we all know. Or anyone who can admit to themselves that we all need help making better decisions in our personal and professional lives.