Decision making can be tough

In our career, we continuously need to make decisions. Making better, and good, life and career choices is, well…a good thing and using a tool for decision making can get us there.

I am fascinated (yes, really) by decision-making processes and the complexity of elements involved. When the decision feels difficult, it’s usually because the following are involved:

  • emotions
  • contradictions
  • values
  • priorities
  • relationships

I personally relish in having made a decision. However, my journey of making a difficult decision may be less joyous and can comprise a fair bit of overthinking, emotion, reflection, and back and forth.

Since I know some decisions can be challenging to make, I regularly research tools and frameworks that can help my coaching clients (and me!). Below is one I came across in the book “Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work” by Chip and Dan Heath.


A tool for decision making: 10/10/10

When you face a challenging decision, ask yourself:

  1. How will I feel about this in 10 minutes?
  2. How will I feel about this in 10 months?
  3. How will I feel about this in 10 years?


Putting it into practice: An example

Earlier this year, I grappled with whether to participate in a 6-month coaching course. Even though both coaching and learning are among my favourite activities, the timing of this course wasn’t ideal for me and I would have preferred to delay another 1-2 months.

I applied 10/10/10 and asked myself:

1. How will I feel in 10 minutes?

I imagined myself enrolling in the course and putting the class dates into my calendar.
Response: It felt like a chore because I don’t like the fuss of dealing with forms and cost. Sure, completing the course would facilitate the achievement of a specific coaching goal I have, but the bothersome enrolment tasks were more top of mind in that 10-minute time frame.

2. How will I feel in 10 months?

I pictured having completed the weekly classes, the entire course and the assessments.
Response: I felt accomplished and proud of myself for completing the course. Doing so had allowed me to successfully apply for my next level of coaching certification. Woohooo!

3. How will I feel in 10 years?

When I fast-forwarded a decade in my mind, I knew the 6-month course would only be a blip in my memory. I might remember my trainers, but not my classmates.
Response: Zero regrets! I have had 10 years of serving and helping clients with the added skills and practice and feedback provided through the course.

Result: I enrolled and started the course. At the time of writing this blog, I have 6 weeks left.

Trying out this tool for decision making

If you’re feeling ambivalent or conflicted about a career or life decision (it doesn’t have to be a big one, but it can be), try the 10/10/10. It can be used for varied situations and doesn’t rely on being crystal clear on your priorities (in fact, it could have the added benefit of helping you discover these!).

Need some help with this?

While I derive personal satisfaction from making decisions, I equally delight in supporting my clients make and follow-through on their decisions.
If you’re been circling a particular decision for a while and want to move on, contact me for support. I have supported clients in making decisions involving leaving or taking on a role, switching careers, and countless other factors that have kept them stuck for weeks to years. The happiness (and relief) they feel with the outcome is amazing!

Photo credit: Gerd Almann from Pixabay

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