InsideOut Development

Why and How to Make Decision-making Replicable

by Lindsay Bragg


What should I eat for breakfast? Coffee or tea? Red shirt or blue shirt? Do I take the stairs or the elevator? We’ve made dozens of decisions before we even sit down at our desks. In fact, some studies estimate we make as many as 35,000 decisions each day.

Most were so easy you didn’t really even consider them—would that all decisions were so simple. But what about the big decisions? The ones you agonize over?

Two problems stem from too many decisions:

1. Decision fatigue

Decision fatigue gets in the way of great decisions when someone is tasked with making multiple decisions, one right after the other (especially tough considering that for many leaders, every day is one long decision-making session).

Studies show that your decisions get worse and worse after a long session of decision-making. Each decision wears down your will-power and critical thinking skills.

2. Analysis paralysis

Analysis paralysis occurs when you spend too much time spinning your wheels on the same problem (maybe as a result of decision-fatigue).

You’ve probably heard of this one before. People spend so much time and mental energy analyzing a decision that no decision is ever made. No action is ever taken. Studies have shown that overthinking problems lowers performance on mentally demanding tasks, kills creativity, and lowers your will-power.

Unfortunately, decisions (be they big or small) aren’t going away, but you can make them easier. The key is to create a flexible framework for decision-making – a way to solve problems and make decisions simply and easily over and over again that translates in any scenario or process.

We teach the GROW® Model here at InsideOut Development. It’s a way to organize your thinking to get the best (and fastest) results. It focuses your thinking and is flexible enough to use over and over again.

The basic GROW Model is an acronym for the four stages of decision making:

Way Forward

“The ‘Way Forward’ makes the decision process something tangible and actionable,” says Alan Fine, co-creator of the GROW Model, “where it becomes very clear to the person making the decision what should happen next. In the absence of motivating clarity people simply don’t take action.”

The GROW Model is founded on the deceptively simple insight that breakthrough performance usually comes, not from acquiring additional knowledge, but from removing distractions so decision-makers can act on what they already know.

Good decisions lead to effective actions which lead to productive results. Fine calls this phenomenon “Decision Velocity”—the speed and accuracy of decisions that drive individual and organizational performance.

By using a framework, like the GROW Model, decision-making (even for tough, complex, important decision) becomes a simple, replicable process instead of an arduous task. You’ll make decisions faster and with less mental energy – leaving you free from decision fatigue and analysis paralysis so you can focus on all the other things that matter, too.

No decision-making model will make the tough decisions for you, but you don’t have to stumble around in the dark. As one client in a recent workshop explained: “It takes time to GROW, but it takes more time not to.”

Interested in experiencing the GROW Model for yourself? Use the chat feature to set up a call with a coaching specialist.

Category: Performance

Picture of Lindsay Bragg

Lindsay is a Communications Specialist at InsideOut Development and holds a degree in Public Relations from Brigham Young University. She’s also worked as a newspaper reporter and account director at a PR agency. When she’s not researching or writing great content on nearly every HR topic under the sun, she volunteers teaching leadership skills to children and adults with disabilities at an equine assisted therapy center.

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