以優質資訊做決策的重要性──THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS

你是哪一種類型的決策者?是衝動、傾向於使用最少資訊做出決定、用感覺或直覺做出反應的那種?或者你是屬於另一個極端,分析、過度分析,甚至發現自己陷於「分析後的癱瘓」?還是你是介於兩者之間呢?

有些決策是很直接的,幾乎不需要考慮或準備。像是行人穿越道的號誌出現「可通行」時,我就應該過馬路。但常常我們在一天中需要做出的決定,無論是在工作中,還是非工作方面,都更加複雜,例如:決定是否擴張業務或是朝著不同的方向發展;決定是否離開目前看起來很舒適但沒有挑戰性的工作,而去接受新的工作;決定如何做出最好的提案以吸引潛在客戶;決定要買輛什麼樣的新車,當舊車已經不值得再修理時。相信你還可以加入其他更多需要做的複雜決定。

那麼,我們應該如何做那些對生活、職場和事業會產生巨大影響的關鍵決策呢?領導力顧問提姆·凱特 (Tim Kight) 觀察到:「普通決策和偉大決策之間的區別,在於資訊的品質。在你做出決策之前,先做好功課。量兩次,切一次。」   最後一句話「量兩次,切一次」是引用一個簡單但常見的木工原理 – 在準備切割一塊木板時,先測量,再檢查你的測量,然後才將鋸子放在上面。最好確定你的計算,以防切掉太多板子。  

以類似的方式,我們在制定和施行重要決策之前,越多地收集相關資訊越好。而最好的方法是什麼呢?聖經提供了一些有用的原則,就可以避免草率、不明智、且會讓我們很快就後悔的決定:  
勤奮收集資訊,以確保最佳結果。當一個方案看起來很吸引人時,很容易就會用草率的決定去進行。然而,「三思而後行」這句格言總是正確的指示。盡可能的花時間收集越多相關的資訊越好,以增加成功的可能性。殷勤籌劃的,足致豐裕;行事急躁的,都必缺乏。」(箴言21章5節)。「手懶的,要受貧窮;手勤的,卻要富足。」(箴言10章4節)

強有力的建議,是優質資訊的一個重要面向。在做出複雜的決定時,我們很可能沒有所需的資訊。通過向可信賴的人諮詢建議,我們能更有信心獲得足夠的資訊而成功進行下去。無智謀,民就敗落;謀士多,人便安居。」(箴言 11章14節)。「愚妄人所行的在自己眼中看為正直,唯智慧人肯聽人的勸教。」(箴言 12章15節)。「不先商議,所謀無效;謀士眾多,所謀乃成。」(箴言 15章22節)

團隊合作可以擴張視野。透過合作,我們可以利用彼此的優勢、不同的經驗和不同的觀點,從盡可能多的角度評估具有挑戰性的問題。「鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來」(箴言27章17節)。「兩個人總比一個人好,因為二人勞碌同得美好的果效。」(傳道書 4章9節)

© 2021. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

備註:如果你手上有聖經想閱讀更多內容,請考慮以下經文:
箴言 12章1節
12:1 喜愛管教的,就是喜愛知識;恨惡責備的,卻是畜類。
箴言13章14節
13:14 智慧人的法則(或譯:指教)是生命的泉源,可以使人離開死亡的網羅。
箴言14章8、12節
14:8 通達人的智慧在乎明白己道;愚昧人的愚妄乃是詭詐(或譯:自欺)。
14:12 有一條路,人以為正,至終成為死亡之路。
箴言17章24節
17:24 明哲人眼前有智慧;愚昧人眼望地極。
箴言18章15節
18:15 聰明人的心得知識;智慧人的耳求知識。
箴言19章20、27節
19:20 你要聽勸教,受訓誨,使你終久有智慧。
19:27 我兒,不可聽了教訓而又偏離知識的言語。
箴言22章3節 22:3 通達人見禍藏躲;愚蒙人前往受害。
箴言24章5-6節
24:5 智慧人大有能力;有知識的人力上加力。
24:6 你去打仗,要憑智謀;謀士眾多,人便得勝。
箴言27章9、12節
27:9 膏油與香料使人心喜悅;朋友誠實的勸教也是如此甘美。
27:12 通達人見禍藏躲;愚蒙人前往受害。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你如何描述自己平常的決策風格?是傾向於快速做出,有時是衝動的決定;還是分析的非常慎重和徹底,或介於兩個極端之間呢?請舉例說明。
  2. 你熟悉木工原理「量兩次,切一次」嗎?你如何將它與你自己的工作連結?
  3. 根據你的經驗,在做出關鍵決策時諮詢他人的建議有什麼好處?而經常諮詢他人是否有任何陷阱或缺點呢?請解釋你的答案。
  4. 在尋求和收集足夠資訊已做出有信心、深思熟慮的決定時,你發現還有哪些其他的資源會有幫助呢?


THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS

By Robert J. Tamasy

What kind of decision-maker are you? Are you impulsive, prone to make decisions with only a minimum of information – responding to feelings or intuition? Are you at the other extreme, analyzing and overanalyzing, even finding yourself suffering from “paralysis of analysis”? Or somewhere in between?

Some decisions are straight-forward and require little thought or preparation. “The crosswalk sign says ‘Walk,’ so should I cross?” But often the decisions we make during the course of a typical day, whether at work or in our non-working pursuits, are more complex: Deciding whether to expand a business or take it in a different direction. Deciding whether to accept a new job when one’s current job seems comfortable, if not very challenging. Deciding how best to formulate a proposal to attract a prospective client. Deciding what kind of car to buy when the old one is not worth repairing. You could add many others to the list.

So, how should we go about making those critical decisions, ones that potentially could make a huge difference in our lives, careers and businesses? Leadership consultant Tim Kight has observed, “The difference between average decisions and great decisions is the quality of information. Before you make a decision, do your homework. Measure twice, cut once.”

The last phrase, “Measure twice, cut once,” is a reference to a simple, yet common carpentry principle – when preparing to cut a board, measure and then double-check your measurement before putting the teeth of a saw to it. Better to be certain of your calculations than to cut off too much the board.

In a similar way, the more pertinent information we can gather before making and implementing an important decision, the better. What is the best way to do that? The Bible provides some helpful principles that can enable us to avoid making hasty or unwise decisions we will soon regret:

Diligence in gathering information ensures the best outcome. When an alternative seems appealing, it can be easy to proceed in determined haste. However, the wisdom of the adage, “Look before you leap,” is almost always sound guidance. Taking the time to gather as much pertinent information as possible increases the likelihood of success. “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (Proverbs 10:4). “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).

An important aspect of quality information is sound advice. When making complex decisions, there is a strong likelihood we do not have all the necessary information. By consulting with trusted individuals for advice, we can be more confident of getting enough information to proceed successfully. “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure” (Proverbs 11:14). “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15). “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

Teamwork can broaden one’s perspective. By working together, we can take advantage of each other’s strengths, diverse experiences, and different points of view to evaluate challenging issues from as many angles as possible. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work” (Ecclesiastes 4:9.

© 2021. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson; andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How would you describe your usual decision-making style – inclined to make quick, sometimes impulsive decisions; very deliberate and thorough in your analysis, or somewhere between the two extremes? Give an example.
  2. Are you familiar with the carpentry comparison, “Measure twice, cut once”? How would you relate that to your own kind of work?
  3. What, drawing from your experience, is the benefit of consulting with others for advice when making key decisions? Are there any pitfalls or disadvantages in doing this on a regular basis? Explain your answer.
  4. When seeking to gather sufficient information to make a confident, well-considered decision, what other resources have you found helpful?           

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
Proverbs 12:1, 13:14, 14:8,12, 17:24, 18:15, 19:20,27, 22:3, 24:5-6, 27:9,12


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