When something is important to us, our emotions run high. We may instantly focus on the right thing, or we may be distracted from it. Through stress or fatigue, we choose the “easiest” answer instead of the best one. I list three options to avoid these mistakes.
When something is important to us, our emotions run high. These are the times we need to make the best decision we can. Unfortunately, those high emotions limit us in two ways.
- Emotions help us identify what’s important out of the multitude of data bombarding us. It’s how we instantly focus on someone when they mention our name in a crowded room. We may instantly focus on the right thing, or we may be distracted from it.
- At high levels, emotions overwhelm the brain’s ability to make rational decisions. Through stress or fatigue, we choose the “easiest” answer instead of the best one.
There are four options you have to avoid these mistakes and make the best decision.
- Consult someone who is less emotionally invested in the decision. This could be the coolest head in the room during a meeting. It could be an outside advisor or consultant.
- If possible, set the decision aside for a while. Time allows initial reactions to subside.
- Write out your thoughts and run an analysis. Putting ideas and numbers on paper creates emotional distance. Getting thoughts out of your head and seeing them on paper gives you a different perspective.
- Identify multiple options. Studies show that people make better and less impulsive decisions when they consider multiple options rather than only one option.
I wish you clear thinking when you need it most. I wish you well.
- Rob Stephens
CFO Perspective Resources
Get all the CFO Perspective resources with a FAST (Finance and Strategy Toolkit) membership.