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The Anatomy of Decision Making

The Role of Cognition, Emotion and Action in Effective Decision making

Dr. Paras
Dr. Paras
Oct 14, 2016
The Anatomy of Decision Making by Dr. Paras

Decision making is a very integral part of every human being’s life, ranging from trivial issues such as what to have for lunch, right up-to life-changing decisions about where to work or whom to marry. But looking at it from a wider angle, we see that some decisions only affect an individual while some of them are directly linked to impacting a larger group of people, for example, the decision of a person who has a leadership position, a team’s entire performance depends as a whole on that one single person which is why he/she has to come up with a decision by undergoing proper research and reasoning.

Effective decision making comes with time, experience and number of other things, which will thoroughly be discussed in this article. You might be wondering what makes a decision effective; in simple words, a decision should be capable of being implemented, whether on a personal or organizational level and not lack information or be fictional.

The Mind war ends when you give enough time for Thinking &Feeling to accolade your Actions.

The first thing is emotion; many people regard being emotional as being weak, however, when it comes to decision making, keeping stable emotions towards a particular subject on which a decision has to be made, is the best way to go about it. Getting overly attached to a subject will lead you to take biased decisions while “no emotional attachment” will make you indifferent on a matter hence leading to decisions which might end up becoming too practical and lacking sensitivity for yourself and others involved in the matter.

The next thing is cognition; the fact that humans tend to overlook the importance of “the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses” which leads to ineffective decision making on part of the individuals. Decisions that are unplanned and not based on proper facts and figures make an individual rethink his abilities and decisions, in the long run. Humans are extremely fond of playing blame games, in case their decision or plan doesn’t work out well, they start blaming themselves or other people or even the environment/destiny instead of realizing their own mistakes, hence, until and unless decision aren’t based on cognitions and reasoning, effectual decisions aren’t possible.

Results are the outcomes of giving equal justice to Thinking – Feeling & Actions. Guilt or Blame game comes when you spend little time or more time with one of these branches.

The last and the most important thing is action- until and unless individuals don’t actually stand up and do something about the numerous plans they have in mind, they won’t be able to solve the issues at hand. Quite often the case is that we are very passionate about something for which we make tons of plans but yet fail to take concrete steps towards solving the issue. The result of lack of action on our part is that we get deeply smudged into the issue instead of being able to get on a path which leads to solution of that problem. So for all those leaders and even individuals out there, who wish to excel in decision-making, it’s important that you act instead of react.

However, the above-mentioned three key elements in the anatomy of decision making have little value in isolation. They must be applied in tandem for an effective decision making. This is chain that connects to “make it happen”. Success in decision making comes only when there is congruence in "Thinking-Feeling & Actions". If one of the key elements is missed, you may end worried, build up dysfunctional emotions or get stuck without moving forward. Get all these three elements together for a happy and satisfying decision-making process.

Lastly, it’s highly important that the leaders of the 21st century incorporate their team members in their decision-making process so that congruence is achieved. One might think how congruence is linked here but if you come to think about it, you’ll notice how important it is for an entire team to work together and share their viewpoints in order to fully solve a problem.

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