TregoED Blog

How to Make a Big Decision

In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, the headline reads “How to Make a Big Decision-Have no fear. An emerging science can now help you choose.”  In fact, the science of making better decisions emerged in the 1950’s when Dr. Charles Kepner and Dr. Benjamin Tregoe, while working for the Rand Corporation, discovered that “successful decision making can be taught by using a logical process to gather, organize, and analyze information before taking action.”  The tools that they developed have continued to evolve and be taught by Kepner-Tregoe, the company that they started in Ben’s garage (the now-typical starting place of so many brilliant ideas).

TregoED – a nonprofit founded by Ben Tregoe was started to get those same skills to children and school leaders.  Our tools to help people make better choices incorporate all the research-based practices brought out in the article:

  1. Collaboration:  Bringing in different stakeholders can help you see the situation from new perspectives “to imagine new possibilities and to weigh your options with more sophistication.”
  2. Generating different alternatives: Our tools helps leaders go beyond either/or- including finding alternatives as a step in the decision-making process and encouraging you to think outside the box.
  3. Doing the math: Our process includes giving objectives a weight (because not all criteria are considered equal) and using that weight to evaluate each objective against the alternatives with simple math to find the best score!
  4. Avoid group think and confirmation bias: Including other perspectives and imagining or determining the flaws or risks of each alternative is included in the process to enable that you can see the decision from “fresh angles.”

Our training is based on the fact that “research shows that you can get better at making [decisions].”  We are proud to have been providing these skills to school districts and agencies for over 20 years.