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Using a Coaching Approach for Effective Decision-making

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Create Awareness of How Decisions are Made

In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman explains that there are two systems in our brain that affect judgment and choice. System 1 is fast, emotional and instinctive. It is our gut feeling when facing a choice. System 2 is slow, logical and deliberate. It is our ability to consider and evaluate information to reach a conclusion.

At times, our intuition and emotions may ignore important facts, and this is when System 2 needs to be activated. With the understanding of these principles, people start distinguishing between their intuitive and deliberate responses to a situation. The role of a successful coach is to support the use of System 2 in the decision-making process by initiating analysis and structured deliberation.

Initiate Productive Analysis

A define-analyze-decide approach can be used to start the analytical process.

In the “define” stage, describe the problem that the decision will solve, include metrics and specify the desired goals and impact. List the stakeholders who will be involved and affected by the decision.

In the “analyze” stage, gather and examine information to reach the root cause of the problem and to consider interrelated factors. Cause-and-effect diagrams and visual maps can be useful tools for this phase.

The “decide” stage is about generating alternatives and listing the best options. Brainstorming and affinity diagrams can help jumpstart this stage.

The effect of each option should be measured and evaluated.

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