Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

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Overview

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath, Dan Heath

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307956392
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 77,489
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

CHIP HEATH is a professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He lives in Los Gatos, California. DAN HEATH is a senior fellow at Duke University's Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE). He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Heath brothers are the bestselling authors of Made to Stick and Switch.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Four Villains of Decision Making 9

Widen Your Options

2 Avoid a Narrow Frame 32

3 Multitrack 50

4 Find Someone Who's Solved Your Problem 68

Reality-Test Your Assumptions

5 Consider the Opposite 92

6 Zoom Out, Zoom In 115

7 Ooch 135

Attain Distance Before Deciding

8 Overcome Short-Term Emotion 156

9 Honor Your Core Priorities 175

Prepare to be Wrong

10 Bookend the Future 194

11 Set a Tripwire 218

12 Trusting the Process 239

Next Steps 254

Recommendations for Further Reading 255

Clinics 257

Overcoming Obstacles 267

Endnotes 273

Acknowledgments 301

Index 303

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Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
RichBurkey More than 1 year ago
Wrap your hands not only around this book but the great insights Chip and Dan Heath share in making better choices. They not only deal with the 4 villains that hinder  decision making, they also lay out 4 ways to leverage our decision making to a higher level. They don't promise 100% accuracy in making decisions (that would be the sign of a fool). But they do share 4 choices to overcome the villains to be wiser at work, at home, and in one's daily life. Learn to:Widen your options. Reality-test your assumptions. Attain distance before deciding. Prepare to be wrong. By putting these choices to work, you and I can develop a process for making better decisions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Heath brothers developed an easy-to-remember acronym they label WRAP, which stands for Widen your options, Reality test your assumptions, Attain distance before deciding, and Prepare to be wrong. Each one of these solutions targets a corresponding “villain of decision making.” These decision-making mistakes include narrow framing, confirmation bias, short-term emotion, and overconfidence. Each problem-solution has examples pulled from the author’s research and case studies and presented in an interesting and sometimes humorous style. I enjoyed this book because I recognized many of the decision flaws I have experienced, both personal and professional. There have been times when I thought that narrowing my options with an either/or scenario was the best thing to do when deciding. The authors argue that this kind of thinking is exactly opposite and what we need to do. Widening our options allow for more possibilities and perhaps produce even better solutions. There are many other techniques and examples in this book that have changed the way I think about decisions now. Whenever I have a weighty decision to make I think WRAP. I’d highly recommend this book as a valuable tool in your decision-making process.
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ruralphil More than 1 year ago
Followed the Heath Brothers in Fast Company and have purchased each of their books since. Thought provoking ideas about navigating a shifting business environment.
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Very useful information presented in an engaging way.