Tools for Decision Making

Decision-making is the most important leadership skill someone can have, according to Eli Harari, who is also known as The Thinking Coach. “So many of our decisions are unconsciously made; they’ve already been more or less decided for us,” he said. “Instead of abiding by decisions made by ‘the majority’, we need to learn how to think about our decisions for ourselves.”

Personal decision-making is really about creating the space to consider the choice, according to Harari. “Although it seems like outward decisions are being made for you, you must either make the decision to change inside yourself or to change something outwardly,” he said.

Harari said that distractions can take away from a person’s decision-making ability. “We must be present with ourselves,” Harari said. “You’ve got to be yourself. It’s when you try to be someone you’re not that this can become a problem, and your first decision must be to accept this. Self-leadership and the ability to make wise decisions for oneself precedes leading others.”

Decisions that individuals make have compounding effects, according to Harari. “You cannot be afraid to make a mistake – fear doesn’t allow for creativity,” he said. “People must be allowed to express themselves and make mistakes. Sometimes, when asked to make a decision, people won’t respond honestly because they are afraid, perhaps afraid of embarrassment. If someone keeps quiet instead, they just said yes to something they don’t agree with”

Making decisions begins with thoughts, and Harari said that you must learn how to think before making a decision. “Consider ‘now’ first and move backwards,” Harari said. “Start right now. Without using the past as a benchmark, bring all known facts into the picture. Just because you may have done something before doesn’t mean it may happen again in the same way, so you must start with ‘now’.” He said that fear exists because of your past experiences, and fear was meant to be a safety measure, not a default driver for making decisions.

Understanding where you are in the present moment opens the door to being conscious, according to Harari. “Careful decisions come with consciousness, and when you become conscious, you become more of the CEO of your own life,” he said. “When you can fully understand and stand behind your decisions, you start becoming more powerful.” He said that several aspects are great empowerment and support behind your decisions including intentionality, confidence, reason, and most of all faith.

A person’s core values and principles play a major role in this process as well. “Check with your own reasoning and your own principles. What are your values? What is the purpose of the decision? How does your decision help others?” Harari said he believes that self-centered decisions are very weak, opposed to decisions on behalf of others that can be strong and purposeful. “Check the source of your core beliefs too,” he said. “Many of our current beliefs are hand-me-downs that we buy into, but may not be real for us. You have to be tuned in to your gut.”

After careful consideration in any decision, Harari said that the decision still may not be perfect, and that is OK. “There’s no such thing as a 100 percent perfect decision. It’s a trap,” he said. “There is always some unknown. Always consider that a decision can still be fallible and allow the space to course-correct after the decision has been made. Aim for a 75 percent perfect decision so that you still have 25 percent for adjustments. If you try for 100 percent perfection, you’ll usually end up with only 50 percent.”

Harari finished his presentation by returning to the importance of being present. “Take 10 minutes to yourself every morning and every evening,” he said. “Decide in the morning who you are going to be each day. Decide what to let go of and decide what to grow. Look at yourself in the mirror and congratulate who you are. Make a decision to become powerful, and make a decision to not let it get to your head.”

Learn more about The Thinking Coach at, and learn more about decision-making at

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