The Common Sense Blog

18
Feb

Rehearsal: One of the Essentials to Effective Decision Making

Like most people, I have been known to act without thinking. But there are consequences. As the saying goes, good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. What the best decision makers discover over time is that there is an essential collection of strategies enabling us to act with more clarity and confidence, resulting in better outcomes. One

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11
Feb

The Cowardice of “My Hands are Tied”

On December 23rd of last year, a young man attempted to make a withdrawal from his bank, hoping the $1000 due in his account had been deposited. The clerk he spoke to told him that she could see the money had been credited. Unfortunately, it would not be available until the next day. On the morning of the 24th, he

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29
Jan

Does Your Workplace Suffer from Brittle Decisions Making?

Not long ago, I went to return a tool I hadn’t used to the hardware store from which I had purchased it. Unfortunately, I could not locate the receipt. “I’m sorry,” the clerk said, but unless you have the receipt, I can’t issue the refund.” “It’s unopened and it’s the store brand,” I responded. “Yes,” he replied, “But you could

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21
Jan

People Stay When They Understand the Role They Play

As part of my research in preparing to work with an employer, I will sometimes walk up to random employees and ask, “How does this place make money?” Most times, I get a mixture of confusion or some general statement like, “We sell widgets.” When I ask how much the company makes, most will say, “A lot!” The truth is

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14
Jan

Just because you can measure something . . .

One of the blessings of digital technology is the access it provides to so much information. But that’s also one of its curses. As we all battle daily decision fatigue, the exponential growth of accessible data has begun to overwhelm us. A colleague of mine serves as dean of education for a university. Part of her job is responding to

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7
Jan

Don’t Take Stats at Face Value

I was listening to Colorado Public Radio the other day. In a story about the challenges facing today’s high school students, the host said, “Twenty percent of Denver Public School students deal with some sort of mental illness.” My first thought was “Wow! One in five students. That’s terrible!” But being part social researcher, my mind then went to: “Says

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31
Dec

 “I’m Sorry” – The Great Absolution

A woman cut me off in traffic the other day. When we ended up side-by-side, as inevitably happens, she looked over mouthed “Sorry.” I guess that was better than flipping me the bird. But it didn’t excuse the poor decision she had made and she knew it. I’m not one for preaching and moralizing. But, sadly, this kind of behavior

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24
Dec

It’s “Time” We All Kept Our Commitments

Years ago, when I worked as a college career counselor, I recommended one of my top students to Walt, a recruiter for local employer. When I called him, Walt and I agreed that she’d be a great match for his organization. On the day of the interview, the young lady showed up in my office in tears. It seemed she

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18
Dec

Don’t Fall Victim to the Single Right Way

I was in a meeting this past week that devolved into a rather heated discussion about which way to resolve a problem. People made reasonable arguments on both sides of the issue. In fact, any one of the approaches we discussed would have worked, just in different ways. Yet a couple of people insisted that theirs was the only solution.

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10
Dec

Who Says Brainstorming Works?

It is commonplace in meetings and workshops for the facilitator to ask attendees to brainstorm ways to resolve a problem. Everyone sits around throwing out insights and possible solutions. But if you notice, it doesn’t take long before people start repeating what others have said. Sometimes, they’ll even make a comment like, “Everybody else has mentioned the ideas I thought of.”

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