Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 8:45 am

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Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work

Chip Heath and Dan Heath


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Jeff R



self help, psychology and sociology

In brief


We make decisions all the time, but rarely consider how. "Decisive" changes that and offers a window into the decision-making process.

Bestselling authors Chip and Dan Heath have staked their claim as the "people's experts" in some pretty fuzzy (yet fundamental) areas of human behavior. They've tackled communication in Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die and they've examined change in Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. In their newest book, Decisive, they take on the often mysterious process of decision-making.

We make decisions all the time, though we're unlikely to think much about exactly how we arrive at them. Some of us might make lists of pros and cons. Others may collect data and gather information. The method itself is rarely consistent, and few of us (if any) are aware of the biases we bring to the process. The Heath brothers attempt to address these issues by highlighting those areas where our decision-making efforts are particularly unreliable.

Drawing on studies in psychology and sociology, Decisive presents the dangers that confirmation bias, emotions, overconfidence and narrow thinking bring to our decisions. To guard against these pitfalls, the authors prescribe the WRAP method of decision-making. This method organizes the process and allows us to keep our faulty reasoning at bay. The end result is a book that will improve our decision-making capabilities and also teach us a lot about ourselves.