The head, heart and gut of decision making

Decision making is something we all do, every day of our lives. Whether it’s personal or professional, life is full of choices.

‘Decision making ability’ is often listed in person specifications. It is particularly common the higher up the organisational hierarchy you go. Being decisive and able to make the right decision, at the right time, is a highly valued skill.

It’s just as important to make the right decisions when you’re self employed – if not more so.

Decisions are often described as being ruled by the head or by the heart. ‘Head’ based decisions are usually considered to be those based on rational thinking and logic. ‘Heart’ based decisions are generally thought to be those made on the basis of your emotions.

Many people believe that business should be based solely on the ‘head’. This is easier said than done. We are all human and can’t pass through life unaffected by others. On the other hand, it would not be wise to make decisions solely based on the heart. In practice, good decisions tend to be based on a combination of the two.

To head and heart, I would add ‘gut’. Sometimes your head and heart might be pointing you a particular way, but you still can’t make up your mind.

In these circumstances, I will generally listen to my gut. How do I feel in the pit of my stomach about this?

If all three decision centres (head, heart and gut) are telling me that it’s the right thing to do, I will go for it. If one centre is out of alignment, I won’t.

Not very scientific, I know, but it works for me!

I’d love to know how you make your business decisions. Please contribute your thoughts below.

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