Common Decision Making-Mistakes to Avoid

Teachers make a lot of decisions every day. From the mundane of who is first in the line to the most important of who passes to the next grade. Most of the decisions are about details, and our day is the sum of all the thousand little decisions we make and these decisions have a huge impact on our daily happiness and success. Yet most of us never question whether our decision-making process is sound or not. It seems to me that in order to have a successful day, one where the students learn and are joyful, we must have a decision-making protocol that we go to throughout the day.

So here are 28 common decision making mistakes to avoid, by Frank Sonnenberg:

1 Shoot from the hip. Failing to consider relevant information.
2 Yesterday’s news. Basing decisions on outdated information.
3 Define the problem. Losing sight of the key objectives.
4 Learn your lesson. Failing to apply lessons learned from previous experiences.
5 To-do versus must-do. Addressing low-priority activities just to check off items.
6 Emotions get the better of you. Making important decisions in a poor frame of mind.
7 False assumptions. Failing to consider personal bias or inexperience.
8 Frame of reference. Making decisions in a vacuum.
9 Analysis paralysis. Waiting for every piece of information before making a decision.
10 Garbage in. Relying on sources with poor credibility.
11 Fear the worst. Avoiding a decision out of fear of making a mistake.
12 Band-aid solutions. Making a quick fix rather than addressing the root cause.
13 Ego. Failing to request or consider input from people in the know.
14 Take the good with the bad. Failing to view the downside as well as the upside.
15 Jump the gun. Selecting the first option rather than exploring alternatives.
16 Plunging in. Rushing to judgment without understanding the ramifications.
17 Piecemeal. Optimizing a single component at the expense of the whole.
18 Fixed focus. Failing to account for a changing landscape.
19 It’s all in the details. Giving inadequate thought to implementation.
20 Silver bullet. Doing what’s easy rather than what’s best.
21 Overly complex. Making implementation overly complicated.
22 Out of sight. Failing to consider opportunity costs.
23 Deer in headlights. Postponing decisions until tomorrow.
24 Cover your behind. Making decisions merely to justify previous actions.
25 Neglecting your values. Selling your soul rather than doing what’s right.
26 Forest and trees. Getting caught up in the details while missing the
big picture.
27 Looking over your shoulder. Spending more time second-guessing
decisions than moving forward.
28 Bury your head in the sand. Avoiding reality.

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