How to make a decision


Michelle Florendo, a decision engineer, talks about her craft. Plus, Today Radio's Sarah Tapp tells us about the ongoing situation in her homeland of Hawaii.

The Craft of Decision-Making

I've wanted to talk to Michelle Florendo ever since I read about her work as a decision engineer. There are many times in our lives, personal and professional, when we are faced with very difficult decisions. Most of us are not 'taught' at school how to make a good decision, and there there is a whole science behind how to best make decisions with the information you have available to you at the time, and the time in which that decision has to be made.

Michelle Florendo is a Stanford-trained decision engineer and executive coach for Type-A professionals. She helps professionals make decisions with intention, from the big strategic macrodecisions about what direction to take an organization, to the small consistent microdecisions made over time that govern the day to day.

Aside from talks and consultancy, Michelle also teaches a course on business decision making for Stanford Continuing Studies, helped redesign the decision making curriculum in Stanford's famous Designing Your Life courses, is a faculty coach for Berkeley Executive Coaching Institute, and hosts the podcast, Ask A Decision Engineer.

For some of us, decision making can be hugely anxiety-inducing. Michelle explains that decision making is potentially harder than ever before as we are faced with so many decisions to make every day, and so many choices too.

Coupled with that, depending on our personality type, decision making might literally make us feel paralysed. Perfectionists like to control outcomes, and naturally many choices in our lives have no known outcomes. We don’t know what lies the other side of certain choices.

And so, what do we have to deal with? We have our objectives, some information, some ‘attractive’ options, and some ‘concerning’ ones. Michelle talks through some of the tools she uses to guide her clients.

We grow up thinking we should just know how to decide but there’s a huge amount that can be learned from the field of decision analysis.

Michelle advices to use the combination of head, heart and body - multiple sources of innate data available to us to make the best decision at that time, for us.

We need to be careful of those who might want to influence our decisions, we need to feel empowered and understand the choice we have in all decisions for our lives.

Once we accept that we will never have perfect information we can focus on building the necessary skills of deciding in the face of imperfect information.

She is on a mission to teach people how to make decisions with less stress and more clarity.

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Hawaii - an on-going natural disaster

My colleague Sarah Tapp is the host of The Hangover on Today Radio, every Sunday from 10 am to noon. Originally from Kona on the island of Hawaii, she went to high school in Lahaina, on the island of Maui, and she has close family and friends who were affected by the forest fires there.

Sarah talks about why this is such an unprecedented disaster and how the community is coping with the aftermath.

You can listen to Sarah's special edition of The Hangover with Hawaiian music here.
The region still needs help and if you feel moved to do so, you can donate to these nonprofit organisations:
Maui Strong Fund,
Maui Food Bank,
Red Cross- Hawaii Wildfires Fund

Fundraiser for the Jerome family, owners of Lahaina Music and huge supporters of the Hawaiian music community is here.

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You can tune into Lisa's shows on RTL Today Radio Saturdays at 11am, Sundays at noon and Tuesdays at 10am.