How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Heath, Chip

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The authors introduce a four-step process designed to counteract the biases that inevitably creep into the decision-making process. Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We are overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that does not. We get distracted by short-term emotions. When it comes to making choices, it seems, our brains are flawed instruments. Unfortunately, merely being aware of these shortcomings does not fix the problem, any more than knowing that we are nearsighted helps us to see. The real question is: How can we do better? In this book the authors, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. It takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star's ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO's disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions. Along the way, we learn the answers to critical questions like these: How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don't overlook precious opportunities to change our course? This book offers strategies and practical tools enabling us to make better choices. Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference.

Publisher: New York : Crown Business, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307956392
Branch Call Number: 153.83 H
Characteristics: 316 p. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Heath, Dan 1973-


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 07, 2014
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

For the past few years I've had a fascinating and fun journey working my way through a good collection of titles about how thinking works; more specifically, about how thinking doesn't work the way we think it works. That we are constantly lying to, misleading, and deluding ourselves. That our knowledge, perceptions, beliefs, memories, and actions aren't nearly as rational and reasonable as we like to think. That many of our decisions, both the little, daily ones and the big, life-changing ones aren't as sound and carefully reasoned as we believe.

While there have been times the reading has left me feeling cynical and dispirited--that there is no point trying to communicate or connect with others since their assumptions and biases will confound my efforts anyway--for the most part it has been a helpful, healthy process of improving my self-awareness and interpersonal/emotional intelligence. They've made me a better listener, less sure of my own strident opinions in discussions and more likely to assume a generous "AND" stance instead of a combative "EITHER-OR" one.

Something they all have in common, for the most part, is that they spend the bulk of their time sharing the findings of recent research and studies in order to dispel our common-sense assumptions, and only after that leave a bit of space for talking about what to do with the new information. Decisive, on the other hand, starts with the new perspectives, explains them a little, then spends the bulk of its time sharing ways we can make better decisions in light of that information. It's less theoretical and idea-based, much more practical and applied.

In brief, the authors describe a process to follow when making decisions that will help counteract many of the tendencies that steer us wrong. It's not necessarily a step-by-step formula since each decision is unique and every context requires something different, but it provides guidance and a series of checks and balances to make sure we are properly considering the issue from a variety of helpful facets. I think it will be a very helpful process to get in the habit of following.

Mar 31, 2014
  • gemini07 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great read full of real life anecdotal examples, which help to explain the research and concepts.

Jan 14, 2014
  • janicedepaula rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book has a lot of good ideas for making decisions. It really makes you think outside the box.

Jul 04, 2013
  • SusanWilbanks rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A fascinating and helpful look at what makes us make bad decisions and how to counteract those habits.

May 08, 2013
  • LaimaA rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great insight into the decision-making process and the roadblocks that people are unintentionally throwing into their own paths when contemplating a decision.

May 05, 2013
  • eastvanbookfan rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I love reading these kinds of books. So, much exposure to research and its cool talking to people about the research. The research 'DOESN'T' doesn't apply to them of course (but I feel it does). Learning about these human biases is only helping me avoid making what would have been automatic decisions that I will regret later........


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at NYPL


Other Formats

Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

Heath, Chip

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further

Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings