It's Time to Outlaw Adverbs (a Different View of Decision-making)
The classical decision-making process includes the following 7 steps:
1. Define or clarify the problem.
2. Stating a goal or objective. (Sometimes this is presented as finding the causes of the problem.)
3. Generate options or alternatives.
4. Evaluate alternatives and tradeoffs.
5. Estimate Risk associated with each alternative.
6. Deciding on the best alternative.
7. Implement the decision.
As I continue to study the decision-making process, I am amazed at how we have all been trained to look at decisions as problems to be solved. How many of you have ever been in the situation where your boss came to you and said, "We have a problem." How did you feel? Were you excited, inspired, creative? I don't think so.
With that experience in mind, you can understand when I suggest there is something wrong with our approach to decision-making when we have all been taught to approach decision-making as a problem solving effort. Problems are something none of us go looking for. I can't think of a single person who looks forward to problems to start their day. Rather, the goal in decision-making is to not have the problem.
So the first step in the Classical Approach to Decision-making is to define the problem. How is that for a downer. I just can't find anything positive about problems. Solutions, yes. Problems, no.
The second step is to state a goal or objective. If you start with defining the problem, in all likelihood, your goal will be to not have the problem. Right?
To my way of thinking, it is extremely difficult to be excited, inspired or creative when I am dealing with problems. Then defining my objective to solve the problem just compounds THE PROBLEM. To a large degree, I blame this on adverbs. Who can tell me what an adverb is? It has been so long since I studied this stuff that I had to go look it up. An adverb is a word that modifies a verb. I am convinced that the subconscious mind doesn't recognize adverbs any more than most of us did with our conscious minds. Let me give you an example. Occasionally, I play golf and I try to envision each shot before I hit it. The problem arises when someone says to me, "Do no't hit it into the lake." What do I end up doing? Yep, right into the lake. Why? Because "not" is an adverb and my subconscious mind doesn't know what an adverb is. Consequently the message I receive is not "Do not hit it into the lake", but rather "Do hit it into the lake."
By the same token, if you have ever been a parent, I am sure you recognize this phenomenon in your children. How many times did you ever tell them not to do something and they turned right around and did that very thing. Kids don't know what adverbs are either.
Research tells us that half of all decisions fail. If we approach all our decisions as problems and then use adverbs to define our objective, it is a wonder that we make any good decisions at all.
When you stop to think that even God had this problem when he told Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to "Not eat from the Tree of Knowledge," maybe we should outlaw adverbs and find a more positive or constructive approach to decision-making.
Copyright Bob Cannon/The Cannon Advantage, 2006. All rights reserved.
Related Tags: decision-making, define problem
Bob Cannon helps visionary leaders improve performance and profitability. He is the author of the new book "Taking Aim for Better Decision-Making", available at www.cannonadvantage.com . Bob can be reached at (216) 408-9495 or mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article courtesy of http://www.cannonadvantage.com. You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.
Recent articles in this category:
- The Resurgence of Fred Perry Clothing
Summer might long be over and Wimbledon may be a distant memory, however the fashion is a year round
- Uncovering Men's Tank Tops
I don't know a thing about you, but I'll bet that you have worn a tank top. Tank tops have also been
- Make Use of Silk Scarves to Take Good Care of Your Skin
In the event you are new about silk scarves, you could never read about this particular feature of s
- Just For Men Scarves - the Preference For Guys in the Vogue Domain
If you are not certain what style of present you could provide for men, maybe you can consider men s
- Think Black Friday Shopping is Beyond Your Budget?
Moms who are juggling the bills and still trying to provide the perfect holiday gift to loved ones a
- How to Make Conscious Shopping Choices
Many people have heard the phrase "voting with your dollars" and they understand that it means your
- Silk Scarves - Unique Present Approach in Xmas Seasons
The most prevalent silk add-on is scarves, and many focus is presented on inspired designing on thes
- Benefits of an Aloe Vera Shampoo
A lot of people are not aware of the specific benefits that using an aloe vera shampoo can do to the
- How Effective is the Power of Your Subconscious Mind?
Most people are bombarded with this thought whenever they feel weak and wish to affect certain chang
- Silk Scarf - the Record For Human Being in the Style History
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the worldwide recognition of silk scarves developed dramatica
Most viewed articles in this category:
- Surf and Turf: the Race Track
Surf and Turf: The Race TrackOne of the favorite places for The G to hang out at, especially in Summ
- Are You Looking For Cholesterol Drugs Without Side Effect?
High cholesterol level is probably one of the widely spread complication among Americans. Almost for
- Friday the 13th could be a lucky day?
Friday the 13th sounds unlucky ? Traditional superstition ? And a lot of people dislike it and beli
- Don't Judge A Man
Our world is full of bad tongues, fault-finders, gossipers, mockers, and insulters but do these grou
- When Personalized Gifts Make a Difference
Finding the right gifts for a particular occasion is always a challenging task. Sometimes it is nic
- Managing My Resistance: Learning To Flow With What Life Offers
One of the things that interests me most about conflict is the tendency to resist it and the ways in
- What Are Horoscopes Based On?
If you do not know much about astrology, you may wonder what are horoscopes based on and how astrolo
- 7 Dumbest Relationship Mistakes Smart People Make
We often find ourselves amid the wreckage of a love gone wrong, wringing our hands and asking, "Why
- Motivation as the heart of self improvement
You should be able to find several indispensable facts about Motivation in the following paragraphs
- Is Complete Abstinence from Use of Paychoactive Substances Necessary for Recovery?
Can a sober alcoholic in recovery who has no history of abuse of marijuana, use marijuana without