bookmark reviewed by jennifer gresham, ph.d.
Maybe you’ve been offered a great job—but in a new city. Or maybe you’re weighing whether
you should promote from within
your organization or take a chance on
Life is filled with overwhelming
decisions. You’ve made lists of the pros
and cons. You’ve tried asking friends
and colleagues for advice. You’ve even
tried “listening to your gut.” But the
answer doesn’t always make itself clear.
If this sounds familiar, pick up Chip
Heath and Dan Heath’s latest book,
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices
in Life and Work. Their premise is that
not only do most of us not have a good
system for making big decisions, but
the decisions we do make are often
compromised by hidden psychological
biases. To combat what the authors call
the “four villains of decision making,”
Decisive lays out a four-step process
that can be conveniently remembered
by the acronym WRAP:
1. Widen your options.
2. Reality-test your assumptions.
3. Attain distance before deciding.
4. Prepare to be wrong.
If humans were hyper-rational
beings, simply widening our options
might be enough to overcome our
decision-making woes. Unfortunately,
emotion, overconfidence and a self-
confirmation bias complicate things.
For example, many people would like
a more flexible schedule that allows
them to occasionally work from home.
At first, you might think your only
option is to quit your job and find
Four simple steps offer a path to more confident decision making
about the book
Decisive: How to Make Better
Choices in Life and Work
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Crown Business Books, 2013