The book “Decisive” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath is technically a business self help book but in it is a decision making Strategy that is golden and one that can be applied in most areas of life be it work or home.
Chip and Dan uses a strategy that they’ve concisely made in the acronym “WRAP”.
W- Widen Your Options
R- Reality Test Your Assumpsions
A- Attain Distance Before Deciding
P- Prepare to Be Wrong
It’s easy to remember the “how to” in the decision making process by remembering this acronym. The word WRAP also gives me the feeling to “wrap up” important decisions when I’m faced with them versus avoiding or floundering . Wrap it up! Let’s get into the details of WRAP:
1) Widen your options when you encounter a choice. Do all that you can to expand your set of options. Ask questions or looks at decisions from another perspective. Narrow framing of decisions makes you miss options.
2) Realuty test your assumptions. It’s important to look at decisions from other perspectiv. Get outside of your own head and collect valid and trustworthy information. Ask qualifier questions. Understand and know your biases and put them aside.
3) Attain distance before deciding. Short term biased emotions can cause us to make ill choices so it’s important to overcome those conflicted feelings in order to make the best choice.
4) Prepare to be wrong. Who wants to be wrong? No one, but the truth is there are times we make wrong decisions not because we want to but because they happen. Our day to day decisions like where to eat lunch are often effortless but the tough decisions can take a toll. If decisions are wrong we want to minimize collateral damage like anger or hurt when a new direction is being taken. We want a sense of fairness (within a group that the decision affects).
The WRAP process, if used routinely, will contribute to a sense of fairness, because it allows people to understand how the decision is being made, and it provides comfort that decisions will be made in a consistent manner. We all strive off of consistency.