Ever had to make a difficult decision? You’ve surely gone through that, or are even going through this process right now. We’re constantly making choices. And there are choices that we make that we don’t even know we’re making…
In my case, reading certain books has helped me “see the picture better”, that’s why I’m sharing them with you here. You don’t always find all the answers, but it definitely gives you a better perspective at things.
Why should we devote time to train our decision making skills?
- Because you CAN get better at making decisions
- Because you can LIVE better with the decisions you’ve made.
- And, because making better decisions will help you DEVELOP healthier relationships with those around you.
Here is a list of six books (not in order of preference), and you will also find out which one is my favorite:
(click on the book cover to see them in Amazon)
- The Paradox Of Choice
The main message of this book is that we live in a world saturated with more and more choices, and this is hurting us instead of helping.
Having so many choices not only does it make it harder to make a choice, but it makes the choice we make less satisfying.
Eliminating choices can reduce our levels of stress, anxiety and the busyness of our lives. Its author, Barry Schwartz shares several steps to help us focus on the important choices and get a greater satisfaction from them.
In Nudge, Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler and professor Cass Sunstein teach us that humans are really bad at making decisions (maybe it’s not a surprise for you, right?). What we didn’t know prior to this book is that the way we present or offer options can affect these decisions.
No choice is presented in a neutral way, and by knowing this, as well as our biases and tendencies, we can present choices in a way that promotes better decisions, both to ourselves and others.
An example the authors give is this: the way food is laid out in a school cafeteria. Whatever food that is put first out front is the food that is purchased the most. So do you put out the food that is the healthiest, the one that will bring the most profit, or which one?
3. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Dan Heath and Chip Heath
In this book, Chip Heath and Dan Heath share some common errors we make when making decisions and then give us a method we can follow to make better decisions.
They propose the WRAP method:
- Widen your options
- Reality-test your assumptions
- Attain distance before deciding
- Prepare to be wrong
4. Thinking Fast and Slow
Yes, we arrived at my favorite of this list. Simply put, this book will make you smarter. Who would say no to that, right? Thinking Fast and Slow is the international best seller by Daniel Kahneman. In this book, Kahneman, one of the first promoters of psychology in decision making and judgement (he’s the only psychologist to have won the Nobel Prize of Economics), presents us the two primary systems of thinking (System 1 -fast, intuitive- and System 2 -slow, rational-), and the cognitive biases that prevent us from making good decisions. If you are interested in cognitive biases, this is your book.
Some things you will learn:
- Your fast and intuitive System 1 and your deliberate and logical System 2
- How your experiencing self differs from your remembering self (this was eye-opening for me)
- When to trust your intuition (and when not)
- The role of chance in your successes and failures
- How priming and anchoring affect your perceptions
5. How To Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices
This book by writer Annie Duke teaches us how to fight against our own biases, address our weaknesses, and become a better and more confident decision-maker.
The book comes with exercises and thought experiments to help us analyze key decisions we’ve made in the past and troubleshoot those we’re making in the future. As the author and former professional poker player says, “How to Decide is the key to happier outcomes and fewer regrets.”
You can pre-order it here
This book teaches us that the way we reach decisions matters too. And for every decision, there is noise that we need to be aware of. All with one goal: to improve our thinking.
Liked this list?
If you feel like you need additional recommendations, feel free to connect with me I will love to help you find the right fit.
Since uncertainty, risk and change are going to be part of our lives forever, the more we train at decision making, the better our thinking will be.
I hope this helps you along the way,