Learn about how to remove barriers and use actionable techniques to prepare for wise judgment in common, challenging situations, and why it's critical to manage thoughts in high-stakes, challenging situations.
- Let's say you're driving with the radio on, and you get lost. What's the first thing you do? Turn down the radio. We do this to reduce inputs into our brain and decrease our cognitive load so we can judge with a clearer head. Good judgment requires a clear head. But, challenging situations that prevent clearheadedness are really common at work. Feeling rushed, we must have the answer now. Social pressure, everyone's watching my presentation. And sometimes, multiple stressors at the same time. These stressful situations cause our brains to be more reactionary, impairing our judgment. The key to good judgment in challenging situations is to turn down the radio. Reduce the brain noise. Here's how to do it in the moment. Number one, the chopstick trick. Also known as smile therapy. Studies show that smiling during brief periods of stress helps reduce the body's stress response, regardless of whether we actually feel happy or not. Don't feel like faking a smile? Take a chopstick and put it between your teeth, like this. Not between your lips. Between your teeth. Guess why I keep a chopstick in my office, and in my car. Number two. Four, seven, eight breathing. It's great if you can get into a comfortable sitting position, but I've snuck this in during challenging meetings and backstage before a big presentation. The research indicates that this technique reduces stress in all kinds of ways. Place the tip of your tongue right behind the top of your front teeth. Empty your lungs of air. Breathe quietly through your nose for four seconds. Hold your breath for seven seconds. And then exhale forcefully through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for eight seconds. (whooshing sound) Repeat up to four times. Test four, seven, eight breathing at home before bringing it to work. And number three. Take bullet point notes by hand. The act of writing in succinct chunks of information focuses the mind. Research suggests that writing by hand increases neural activity in ways similar to meditation. When my client Tasha is hit with an unexpected, stressful situation in a meeting, she grabs her old school notebook and says, "Let me make a list and write this down. "I need to think about how to think about this." This not only reduces stress for Tasha, but it projects and aura of calm, and puts everyone in the meeting on notice that she's slowing down to judge with a clear mind. Hold off judging and making important decisions during challenging situations, until you use at least one of these on-the-go techniques to turn down the noise. To prepare your brain. You'll love what this does for the quality of your judgment.
- The secret to good decisions is good judgment
- Paving the way to better decisions
- Being judgmental versus having good judgment
- Improving judgment about people
- Judging wisely when it's hard
- Improving judgment in challenging situations
- Using good judgment to make a case
- Seeing things more clearly
- Thinking like a fox, not like a hedgehog
- Becoming more self-aware