Decision making under stress

Decision making under stress.

Decision making under stress frames many professional’s daily life.

Free wheeling decision making can lead to dysfunctional behavior. As a result, unthoughtful decisions happen. Then, out of control to-do lists build. Saying “yes” when “no” was more appropriate. Not following through. Ignoring serious requests and people.

What drives our decision making under stress?

It turns out we have deeply beliefs that we cling tightly. These deep beliefs form a basis for our values. Together they drive our decision making and our actions.

Behaviorists claim 90% of day is spent in auto-mode — automatic decision making, responses, and re-actions.

The autopilot drives us based on our deep beliefs and values. Do these serve us well in decision making? If not then it’s time to take back control.

Take control of decision making

Only four easily outlined steps to get control over decision making under stress. Easy to say, challenging to execute well.

Take control of decision making

Take control of decision making

Understand deep seated beliefs.

It takes work to dig through these beliefs, especially the wrong ones.

The beliefs often come from trusted people in our lives or profession. We believe what they told us. Find an example where you didn’t react quite the way you wished you had. Step back through the process to the belief that led to your reaction. Often it traces to a comment a trusted person told us.

Warning: Sometimes this process requires professional help if serious issues lie buried. If you suspect you have something serious, do yourself a favor and those around you, get help.

Want to uncover these beliefs on your own? Go for it. Be rigorous. It pays off.

Ask yourself if these beliefs are really true.

If true. Keep them.

If false, dump them fast. Discard the beliefs that no longer serve you.

I’ve heard professionals talk about how sales reflects badly on them. In truth, any professional needs sales skills. The same skills to present a well thought out “pitch” to a potential customer is the same process to present a well thought out proposal for a project.

Identify your values.

What do you deem so important you will give up a lot, everything to keep?

Therefore, to identify values pay attention to what irritates you, what you rant about. These rants can point to values that were stomped on.

Especially relevant, I often hear a nicely paired set of rants. One person rants about “no sense of urgency” in the activities in the company. Another person rants about “rushing and not following the process to insure correctness.” Both of these rants point to values.

Real beliefs and values will remain through disruption in your profession and life. If they change easily, you haven’t found them yet.

Become intentional in your decision making.

Once you have confidence in your beliefs and values, it becomes easier to say “yes” and to say “no” to various activities, requests.

  • Know who you are
  • Understand why you do things the do.
  • Confidence rises in stressful situations.
  • You know your direction.

Become true to yourself decision making follows

Decision making under stress and decision making in non-stressful situations become indistinguishable as you become more true to yourself.

Good luck! This is a journey. No two ways about it.

I can help. I help people often on their journey.

Now what?

If you want to talk through the sticky issues, contact Phil today at 503-753-9971 or email at for a complimentary 30 minutes to talk about your situation.

OR review basics every manager needs to know in this free web video >>

In this video you will learn

  • The key reasons a business and people become stuck.
  • What to do when you just don’t know the next step.
  • How to make decisions you want.

Watch now >>

Get unstuck. Make things happen.

“Dominate your life with Focus, Decision and Execution.”