by Kathie England

Making Better Choices

Do you struggle making decisions?

If you do, or even if you don’t, I invite you to read the strategies that Chip and Dan Heath suggest in their new book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. (They are also the authors of another great book, SWITCH, How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.)

They use the acronym WRAP to describe the process of making more effective decisions:

  • W=Widen the options
  • R=Reality check
  • A=Attain some distance
  • P=Prepare to be wrong

When we Widen the options, they urge considering more than one option. Reality check is about testing your assumptions, not just with friends or even pundits. They suggest testing your assumptions with those who have pursued a similar course in the past. To Attain some distance, they recommend stepping back, involving more than your first emotions, and taking the long-term perspective. Prepare to be wrong by setting “trip wires.” This idea is to identify some parameters you’ll used to revisit and re-evaluate your decision at some point in the future. This strategy helps prevent getting stuck going down an unsuccessful path.

One specific suggestion in attaining distance when you’re stuck is to ask yourself what advice you’d give a friend in the same situation. Time and time again this strategy results in a quick response and helps you get around the immediate emotions that are paralyzing you. I actually tried this strategy with a client during a recent coaching call and the results were exactly as they described.

If you’d like to learn more, then visit their website at Once you register, a wealth of FREE materials are available for your use including podcasts and even a workbook that goes along with Decisive. (I signed up a long time ago and I’ve never been inundated by emails from them.)

Another great resource is Daniel Pink’s website: The link listed here takes you to FREE podcasts that Pink offers regularly. It was on a recent podcast that I listened to his interview with the Heath Brothers and was inspired to blog about this topic of making decisions.




My other suggestion