Overcome Your Brain’s Decision-Making Limitations

4 factors that limit our ability to make good decisions and how to beat them

Which vehicle should I buy? Should I marry this person? Do I take this job or keep the one I have? Do I fire Susan or put her on an improvement plan? People have proven time and time again how difficult it is to make a good decision. Below I’ve shared some insights from the book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

In the book, authors Chip and Dan Heath explain the research behind decision making and why we’re notoriously bad at it. For example, 83% of corporate mergers provide no return on investment. Seems like a pretty clear sign that we should avoid them right? Nonetheless, there are hundreds of mergers going on right now. What is it about the human mind that keeps us so blind to the facts? Chip and Dan dub them “the four villains of decision making.” They are…

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How to Handle Bad News Better

What neuroscience research says about stress and gratitude

Pause for a moment and imagine that you’re sitting in your boss’ office. He’s behind his desk and you’re in one of those smaller, more uncomfortable “guest” chairs. Your boss is staring at his computer screen and mumbling something about your employee file. After an awkward length of time, he finally breaks his gaze from the screen and turns to face you. You can see it in his face, this isn’t going to be good news… but how bad is it? That’s when the Human Resources rep walks in. 

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The True Cost of Delaying Decisions

Life is better when you decide

Decisions come with many implications, and no matter how smart you are there will be decisions that create problems for you. Making decisions is one thing, but delaying them? That can come with huge opportunity costs and create major distractions. That might be common sense, but people delay decisions all the time because they’re afraid of the unknown, they don’t want to put the energy into changing after the decision is made, or they just don’t want to disrupt their comfortable routine.

Let’s consider the opportunity cost of delaying a decision. 

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5 Things to Make You Smarter as You Age

And actions you can take now to reap the benefits

A common misconception is that our brains decrease in performance as we age. While it’s true that our flesh, bones and joints degrade over time from use, the opposite can be true for our cognitive ability. While your brain might be getting older, it can also continue to improve in performance.

In the last decade, neuroscientists have concluded that it is possible to improve one’s “fluid intelligence” even as they age. As explained by Andrea Kuszewski in Scientific American, fluid intelligence is “your capacity to learn new information, retain it, then use that new knowledge as a foundation to solve the next problem, or learn the next new skill, and so on.” Some have even said that you could live to be 120 years old, and have a higher cognitive ability than you did when you were 25. The secret to keeping your brain in stellar condition?

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The 10 Most Important Soft Skills in the Business World

And 3 resources for improving them

Professionals around the world are spending millions of dollars a year to be more marketable by improving their technical skills. Universities offer loads of courses on technical topics. But research suggests that it’s the soft skills like integrity, communication and courtesy that sets people apart from the norm, so how do we improve them?

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