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Using a Coaching Approach for Effective Decision-making

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People make decisions every day from the trivial to the critical, such as changing careers, launching a business or making a large purchase. But how good are our decisions? According to research by Dan Ariely, discussed in Predictably Irrational, we are predisposed to making irrational choices. The reason is that, at some point, instead of following sound logic, we embrace our instincts and impulses. We often fail to consider all facts, and we are influenced by our biases.

In a Harvard Business Review article, John Beshears and Francesca Gino outline several steps that executives can take to encourage wise choices in their organizations. Some of their principles can be applied in coaching when working with clients who face a strategic decision. It is essential for coaches to understand how they can best facilitate the decision-making process. The following four-step approach is a useful framework for personal and business decision-making.

Change the Scene

Removing people from their immediate physical environment can create a sense of much needed detachment from their circumstances. If a client is facing a business decision, for example, consider performing the coaching session out of their corporate office. Meeting at a new place that makes people focused and relaxed can trigger the feeling of a new perspective from the onset. Emphasizing that the coaching process is a safe place to experiment with new ideas can help people achieve a new mindset and inspire them to be more creative.

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