In today’s challenging job market, isn’t making the correct decisions important in our job and whole career?
This article is about how experiences can affect our decisions without our realising it – these are the hidden decision makers. So, becoming aware of this and taking control can sometimes be essential to getting it right
Let’s look at just three of the things that many of us will have heard –
“That went rather well”
This can apply whenever we get significant success, making it seem easier next time.
Think of a task that was new and which went well – didn’t it give you encouragement, making it seem easier to repeat or do even better? Aren’t we all much more likely to make positive decisions in such situations?
So good experience builds confidence and leads us forward.
When faced with your next challenging task, why not ask yourself:
Can I be bolder?
What is really possible here?
But not all our experiences are good ones, are they? It can be challenging sometimes to bounce back after a bad one…
“I don’t ever want to go through that again”
In telephone based sales & promotion roles, of course it’s a must to be able to bounce back after disappointment. However, the above refers to situations where it is more painful, such as going through a harsh grilling at interview (this seems to be rare, thank goodness!).
This can be followed by negative thoughts and self-doubt. It can knock confidence and wreck objective thinking… It can stop us moving forward because we may only see one side of the picture – freezing our ideas… if we let it.
So, something painful, or even failure, can lead to frozen ideas, avoidance, and then only seeing one side of the picture, but…
…we can come back from a bad experience and move forward.
So when you face the next challenge, why not ask yourself:
Is a bad experience limiting my thinking?
Is it stopping me looking at the whole picture?
How can I tackle this challenge more positively?
Being positive and moving forward like this helps us make good decisions.
“One year’s experience repeated many times”
This saying has been around for a long time. It refers to someone who has stopped developing and moving forward. If we don’t move forward then our ideas and decision making become outdated… affecting our job and career. Some of the questions we can ask to help us overcome this are:
Am I missing something by doing this the same old way?
What new ideas can I come up with in this situation?
So, experiences can encourage us; stop us seeing the whole picture; or freeze our ideas and progress. These can all affect our job and career decisions… and we don’t always realise its happening.
Of course, there’s much more to decision making than the above, but it makes the point that our experiences can be the real influence on our decisions sometimes. By asking questions at decision time we become conscious of this. We can then think it through rather than reacting and risking a bad decision.
So what has this all to do with decisions and your job?
Here are some thoughts:
Do you know anyone who tried out something new that didn’t work, and without any more thought wouldn’t try again? Sometimes it can be the way it was done. So, thinking it through before deciding to give up can be a good idea.
In what ways have you moved forward in the last year? If you haven’t, then what can you do to avoid lack of progress this year? This can be in your skills, improving your approach to your job or whatever. There is always something we can do to move things forward. It starts with the decision to try.
We all have setbacks, so when you have one do you think it through, and decide how to handle it better next time? At times like this you can always bear in mind that..
…you can reflect on your previous successes to gain encouragement and move forward.
So, experiences can affect our thinking for better or worse, and if we don’t question our reactions to them they can affect our decisions negatively.
Thanks for reading this, we hope you find it beneficial and would welcome your thoughts.
This article was written in March 2013 by Bill Paterson and the team at New Business People. If you have any requests, ideas, queries or observations, please contact us using the comments section. These are not published and could be very helpful for future articles. Thank you.