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Made Your Decision? Show me the Evidence!

Finger_PrintThere was much debate amongst family and friends about the recent EU Referendum and sharing of third party conversations. What struck me was the number of random reasons people were using to justify their decision about which way to vote.

Some of the logic I heard included voting ‘remain’ to balance out a spouses vote to ‘leave’ or voting the opposite way to the parents ‘just because’; and even changing opinions after listening to the ramblings of the drunk down the pub.

It’s a reminder that human decision-making is a mysterious thing and more often than not the result of gut instinct rather than any cognitive analysis. We will go to great lengths to find the evidence to support a decision made earlier; rather than reach an evidence-based conclusion. I’ll hold my hands up and say I’ve been guilty of that; at one time I would have dragged the postman off his bike if I thought he would endorse my point of view!

Gut instincts are important of course and can only take you so far. We need to know why our instincts are telling us to go one way or another. Neglecting that aspect will eventually result in an act of oversight, misunderstanding, impulsivity or some other negative influencing factor.

Having said that, what businesses value in their leaders are not analytically skilled people as much as those who operate from principles and who can quickly apply those principles to the issues at hand. It’s the difference between knowing what to do and doing the right thing.

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