Powerful decision-making questions


When it comes to making a decision, your brain lights up like a Christmas tree as it tries to figure out the issue at hand and devise a plan of action. This can be time consuming and mentally draining depending on how big the decision is.

Thanks to a couple decision-making coaches of mine, Chip & Dan Heath, here are a few questions you can ask when faced with a BIG decision:

1) What would your best friend tell you to do?
2) If you only had 10 more years to live, what would you do?
3) If someone came into the same position you’re in, what would their first reaction be?
4) What would happen if the decision you make goes wrong and how far along would you let it go before you change course?
5) What would happen if the decision you make goes perfectly well?

Seeing as I have moved across the country a couple of times and have had to make quite a few life changing decisions, here’s how I used one of the questions above to figure out what I should do.

When I was living in Halifax an opportunity came up for me to move west and closer to home. It was tough because my head office was based out of Dartmouth (across from Halifax, if I said it was in Halifax, people from Dartmouth would probably kill me) and I would be moving across the majority of the country to plant roots in Calgary. It was a tough decision…leave a job, team and friends I really came to love and pack up my family and move across the country…again.

I was mulling over this decision (with the help of my family) for months. Then I asked myself, “What would my best buddy Blair tell me to do?” I instantly knew what I was going to do. Blair would’ve said, “Move you big dummy.” So, I moved and now I’m happily set up with my family in Calgary although I still miss my friends in Halifax.

On a business level, I found some of the above questions to be very powerful. Within the first week I moved to Calgary the team was faced with a HUGE decision that would affect close to a quarter-of-a-million dollars.

I asked, “If we were all fired today and a new team replaced us, what would they do?”

The team’s eyes lit up and instantly rendered a decision. It was magical. A quarter-of-a million-dollar decision was made in the equivalent of you snapping your fingers. All based off one, seemingly simple question.

As you can tell, questions are extremely powerful. The tough part is figuring out which questions to ask. I hope the questions above help you in your decision-making process.

Discover more questions by visiting Chip & Dan’s site and ordering their books. All of them are great. They have helped shape my colleagues and my career. I’m sure they’ll help you too.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s