Successful people often say that smart decision making is the key to wealth and prosperity. Though they sometimes add that one can learn how to make it right only by making wrong decisions many times. Is experience the only way to master the art of decision making?
Luckily those who turn procreated efficient ways to get better in the subject and shared their experience in books on decision making. The coaches suggest applying unique techniques and authorial methods that help to achieve success in different spheres of life and especially in a career.
Decision-making is not a talent or a special gift; it’s a skill everyone can learn. What you need is just to choose one of these 7 books on decision making with the most suitable technique and follow the fundamental truths described.
No matter what you are deciding on (buying a new house or changing career) right now, these books will help you to pick the right take.
One of the most popular books on decision making by John S. Hammond in collaboration with Ralph L. Keeney and Howard Raiffa. In the authors’ opinion, people fail to recognize the right choices because they don’t have a step by step strategy. In this book, they give us a detailed methodology in the form of a unique formula, which is called PROACT + URL. The letters stand for 9 steps:
- Problem – identify the correct decision problem
- Objective – set the objectives
- Alternatives – make a list of alternatives
- Consequences – think about the implications of each alternative decision
- Tradeoffs – find a compromise
- Uncertainty – clarify the uncertainties
- Risk Tolerance – range the risk tolerance
- Linked Decisions – think about related decisions
You don’t need to use this formula making a small choice, but when it’s about a life-altering decision, it’s worth using this method. This book’s been sold over 200,000 copies. It contains 256 pages. It’s easy to read. It’s trendy among the business graduates who mention that the book teaches how to apply systematic thinking.
The book is written by the Nobel awarded psychologist and economist Daniel Kahneman. The scientist is famous for his work on behavioral economics and the psychology of judgment. The author explains in his book that the reason for mistakes in decision making is the absence of coordination of two critical systems: conscious (slow) and automatic (fast).
Kahneman examines the two system functionality, recommends to get rid of biases of fast thinking shallowness, and shows the readers where they can use their intuition and where it’s more appropriate to use slow thinking for decision making.
The book is rather long. It contains 500 pages, though it’s fun and easy to read. It’s the best choice if you need more detailed information on the topic. It will help in both our personal and business lives. The author gives us tips on how to determine decisions that can be made following the intuition and those that need slow thinking.
The book is an instruction on How to make better choices in life and work. It’s written by Dan and Chip Heath. It’s not the authors’ first best-seller. They also wrote #1 New York Times Switch that helps to overcome the brain’s shortcomings. In Decisive, they explain that the reasons for decision-making mistakes are the narrow decision frame we get trapped in.
People are usually distracted by their emotions and don’t take into consideration the information that doesn’t support our initial assumption. The book offers thorough research and a valid method based on 4 steps process. It contains 338 pages. The readers find it fun and easy to read Heath brothers’ books, and Decisive is not an exception.
The author recommends every time you need to choose to use the scheme, which is called WRAP. The word stands for four steps:
- Widen your options to have more opportunities to find the right one
- Make Reality tests to check the assumptions
- Attain distance to see the whole story
- Prepare yourself to take risks
Using this scheme will help you to avoid stress and anxiety over difficult decisions. It will be easier to pick the right take, and the choice will lead to success in different spheres of life and especially in a career.
The New York Times best-seller by Dan Ariely reveals the Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. The book has a substantial and entertaining setup. On 280 pages, the author provides us with the strategy of making rational decisions. Providing examples of odd choices we make Ariely explains the hidden forces that cause our wrong choices. He offers tips that help to understand human behavior at a more profound level and explain how the expectations impact opinion.
People usually make typical mistakes and repeat them from one decision that leads to unfavorable consequences to another. People often overpay and procrastinate, influenced by emotions. These systematic mistakes make our lives irrational and prevent us from achieving success in every sphere.
Outside of its core topic, the book is also about approaching long-term goals in different spheres of life. The book is enjoyable to read and very helpful to those who are not good at making decisions and want to learn to be more rational.
Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio is one of Amazon’s best-sellers and most popular books on decision making. Ray Dalio is a billionaire investor, philanthropist. He’s made a lot of decisions in his entire life. After graduation, he started working on the floor of the Stock Exchange, and through his investment career, his success depended on the right choice. He founded his investment firm, and after 40 years, he was named one of the 100 most influential people on Earth.
He developed unconventional rules based on his 40 years’ experience and principles he used. The book reveals these principles. They can be used again and again for any situation, no matter where it’s a decision in business or personal life. He described the main idea as meaningful work and a meaningful relationship through radical transparency. These principles helped him, an ordinary kid from middle-class living on Long Island, to achieve such a great success.
The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz is one of the most popular books on decision making. The author explains in his book, why more is less. Decision making has become a complicated task for the majority of people due to the abundance of options in the modern world. People have become anxious and distracted by the risks they take every time they pick one or another thing among the immense variety. They often feel unsatisfied and regret about decisions made.
The paradox of choice is about the interrelationship of freedom and happiness. More freedom doesn’t make us happier. Many options lead to procrastination and paralysis. The author recommends focusing on one startup, business idea, market niche, or career goal as well as one fitness goal or one smartphone app. Schwartz teaches how to cherish and enjoy life with individual freedom and limitless choice.
Yes or No is the guide to better decisions by Spencer Johnson, physician, and writer. One of his books, Who Moved My Cheese? was included in the New York Times best-sellers list. Yes or No is not a less brilliant and entertaining story that contains an effective system that anyone can use to make the right decisions.
Written in 1993, it remains topical. It explains how to make better decisions in personal life and business. The core principle is to focus on real needs. The author recommends to think about possible options and trace the likely consequences of these options. The skill of better decision making improves the quality of life, gives self-confidence and freedom of fear. To avoid mistakes, one should get rid of illusions and take into consideration realities recognized in time.
Don’t like to read lengthy books?
You got this. Wise Decisions is a 120-page inspirational self-help book that accounts for the true story of a missionary and sociologist.
Most of the books on decision making above are highly exceptional, but this book from a budding author is different. It takes on the personal life experiences of the author himself and claims that success in life is a providence from Above.
Without any complex psychological perspectives, this book will teach and inspire you with practical life lessons on decision making. Read what people and authors say about this book here.
Ready to make a wise decision?
Let’s conclude this post about decision making. Reading books on decision making is, by all means, worth spending time on. The skills learned from the books can be applied for many times lifelong. If you have ever been perplexed between two options making an important decision in life, the information from these seven books will help you.
No matter how many choices you have to make daily or how important and relevant is the consequence of your choice with the takeaways from these books, principles, rules, and methods, you’ll be more focused, concentrated, and productive.
The books on decision making will be useful for those who doubt changing careers. The simple schemes and clear instructions will help to see the whole story, to create more options and opportunities for growth, think about the consequences of each alternative decision and compromise. Reading will help to master the art of thinking clearly and become the best at what you do.