When faced with the responsibility of effecting your team's grade, it is important to make the best decision you can. In order to achieve this, often, advice is needed. So who to turn to besides the man who's been doing this for decades? Peter. Or so we thought. In this reflection I will reflect upon the self-consciousness of making large decisions as a team, and how self-doubt through second guessing ourselves has effected our decision making.

Using rational decision making based upon numbers and information you believe to be correct, with then being faced with clouded judgement and vague advice from someone we looked up to in an academic disposition, as a way to provide self-learning and progression through experience, rational decisions go out the door through the basis of low self-belief. Numbers remained true and factual however, but when interpretation of those same numbers which provided grounding and belief was challenged, I, and what felt like the team, struggled to make rational decisions. Articulation of this was seen every Wednesday night when Peter would walk in and comment how we were the last team left still deciding.  Problematic, this was.


Under analysis of the problem, it was clear self-belief and confidence in our decision making was challenged when Peter provided a different insight into our problem. When I was questioned by Peter, or I was unsure about where to proceed from, I often sided with either a numerical fact I found base on the simulation, or the current idea the team was throwing into the mix. Hammond et al. (1998) discusses how anchoring upon the first piece of information can provide detrimental reliance on possibly incorrect or irrelevant information that can do more harm than good. They also explore how the status-quo is influential to the decision making of even minor, and particularly major decisions.


To explore this with theory, it is discussed via Hammond et al. (1998) again that anchoring can be avoided through various attempts at providing further insight into a problem. It is discussed in particular that try multiple points of view, and in particular that it is crucial to develop your own thoughts about a subject prior to consulting others. I found that this provided me with examples that struck within my team environment, where when unsure where to proceed, I would ask other team members on how they feel we should proceed in decisions, as a coping mechanism to protect myself if I came forward an idea that was not along the lines of something that the team disagreed with, or Peter thought was irrelevant. This often left me to second-guessing my decision withing Operations, and me triple checking my numbers. "Be careful to avoid anchoring your advisers, consultants, and others from whom you solicit information and counsel" (Hammond et al., 1998), gave me powerful thoughts where that I was aware that while people in positions may have experience and knowledge in their area, that my own ideas may be better, as they may not have been in your exact situation prior and cannot know everything about your particular example, where they learn something new everyday.


My future decisions around this will be more marginalized where I can provide the team, and more importantly myself, an honest answer on how I think we should proceed, rather than relying on status-quo, advice, and underlying information that may or may not be useful. In an environment where conflicts can arise, it is crucial to be firm and sound with your decision making, such as politics. Without the self-belief and avoiding anchoring on information that may supersede me, it is my duty to remain honest and true with my decision making.


References:


Hammond, J. S., Keeney, R. L., & Raiffa, H. (1998). The hidden traps in decision making. Harvard Business Review76(5), 47+. 

Daudelin, W. M. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36-48.