A Field Guide to Good Decisions: Values in Action

A Field Guide to Good Decisions: Values in Action

by Mark D. Bennett, Joan M. Gibson

Hardcover

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Overview

We all face tough choices: business executives, community leaders, and family members all struggle with difficult decisions on a daily basis. What we decide reveals what really matters to us; how we decide determines whether we succeed or fail. Developed over twenty years in settings as diverse as hospital bedsides and corporate boardrooms, A Field Guide to Good Decisions provides the skills to make decisions that reflect your core values while respecting those of others, including the long-term implications for all participants. Illustrated through many real-life examples that will resonate with readers both professionally and personally, A Field Guide to Good Decisions offers practical tools and techniques for identifying individual and common goals, reaching consensus, and communicating the results effectively. The authors also show readers how to overcome common obstacles to good decision-making (psychological, cultural, and organizational). Ultimately, this book is about making decisions which, while not always a matter of life or death, nevertheless have a powerful effect on our sense of self, our credibility in the eyes of others, and the lives of those touched by the choices we make.

Decision making is always personal. Each of us makes important decisions at work, in the community, and at home. When we face tough choices, what we decide reveals what really matters to us; how we decide determines whether we succeed or fail. Business executives, community leaders, and family members all struggle with difficult decisions: a senior management team makes an important choice about whether to pursue an acquisition; a baby-boomer decides whether to place an elderly parent in assisted living; a non-profit administrator considers laying off employees to have money and continue serving the community. For each, the steps toward a good decision are the same: know your values, engage others to understand theirs, and communicate with respect and candor. Simple in concept, not so easy in practice—but making a good decision demands nothing less.

Developed over twenty years in settings as diverse as hopsital bedsides and corporate boardrooms, A Field Guide to Good Decisions provides the skills to make decisions that reflect your core values while respecting those of others, including the long-term implications for all participants. Illustrated through many real-life examples that will resonate with readers both professionally and personally, A Field Guide to Good Decisions offers practical tools and techniques for identifying individual and common goals, reaching consensus, and communicating the results effectively. The authors also show readers how to overcome common obstacles to good decision-making (psychological, cultural, and organizational). Ultimately, this book is about making decisions which, while not always a matter of life or death, nevertheless have a powerful effect on our sense of self, our credibility in the eyes of others, and the lives of those touched by the choices we make.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275989378
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/30/2006
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Mark D. Bennett, Principal of Decision Resources, Inc., is a lawyer, mediator, trainer, and consultant, specializing in conflict resolution and decision making for federal agencies, state and local governments, community non-profit groups, and corporations. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he teaches courses in general and family mediation. He is the author of several articles on negotiation and mediation, and the book, The Art of Mediation.

Joan McIver Gibson is a philosopher and consultant in applied ethics, bioethics, and decision making, with over thirty years of teaching, training, and administrative work in the public, private, health care, education, research, and non-profit/community sectors. In 2003, she retired as Director of the University of New Mexico Science Ethics Program, and for twenty years she chaired a hospital ethics committee in Albuquerque. She is the author of several articles and book chapters on ethics, management, and decision making, and co-author of Health Care Ethics Committees: The Next Generation.

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: The Territory

The Road to a Good Decision

Clarify Perspective

Comprehend What Matters

Commit to What Matters Most

Choose to Act

Communicate Transparently

Difficult Times

Avoid Mental and Emotional Detours

Bridge the Cultural Divide

Navigate in Organizations

Reach Your Destination: Lean into the Light

Appendix: Worksheets and Exercises

References and Sources for Quotations

Bibliography

Index

What People are Saying About This

Martin Rutte

"Years of hands-on experience inform this book. It is immersed in wisdom and rich in practical, workable tools. Buy this book to nourish your own soul and that of others."

Victor La Cerva

"Sifting through choices. Clarifying values. Exploring different perspectives. This fine book set me wondering about roads not taken in my life. It provides enormous insights into how to make personal and professional decisions with integrity and clarity."

Tom Daly

"This is a thoughtful, powerful, and wonderfully insightful book written by people who clearly have wrestled with difficult real-world decisions in a variety of contexts and have come away with deep wisdom and great questions that lead us into moral, ethical, and genuinely values-driven decision making."

Marilyn J. Mason

"Who among us has not longed for guidance when facing values bumps and crunches? How many of us still seek answers to our dilemmas of How do I know when…? or, How do I know if…? At a time in our history when the word values has been widely trivialized, here is a thoughtful, clear, and coherent call to reclaim our personal integrity through an improved set of decision-making skills. Bennett and Gibson are clear-thinking guides able to move us forward in shaping decisions founded on known values, trust, and integrity. This remarkable book is a must read for anyone living in families, organizations, and work places! This is a work of hope!"

Customer Reviews