Want to Make Better Decisions? Consider the WRAP Process

When you have a serious, a big, an important decision to make, it is probably a big mistake to “follow your gut.”

Here’s what the Heath brothers say about following our gut:

Our guts are full of questionable advice. Certainly no one has ever thoughtfully plotted out a meal plan and concluded, “I gotta add more cheesecake.” Nor are our guts any better on big decisions.
 Often our guts can’t make up their minds at all: an estimated 61,535 tattoos were reversed in the United States in 2009.
If we can’t trust our guts, then what can we trust? ‘Process mattered more than analysis—by a factor of six.’

It is much wiser to follow a proven decision-making process instead of following our guts.

The Heath brothers propose such a process — actually, a few different process options — that will help us make better choices and better decisions. It is the WRAP Process. This is spelled out in detail in the useful book Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

Here it is, with the “four villains” that undermine good decision making, along with their proposed solution for each. These are summarized in their WRAP Process. They also have a “5th” solution for those who are way too sure of themselves.

Problem (the four “villians”)
Solution
Villian #1: Narrow framing makes you miss options Widen Your Options
(Think AND nor OR)
Villian #2: Confirmation bias leads you to gather self-serving info Reality Test Your Assumptions
Villian #3: Short-term emotion will often tempt you to make the wrong choice Attain Distance Before Deciding
Villian #4: You’ll often be overconfident about how the future will unfold Prepare to Be Wrong
And a “5th”: Hubris (exaggerated pride or self-confidence that often results in a comeuppance) Intentional, strong disagreement

Click on the image below to take you to the Heath brothers’ website, where you can download and print the full-page version for this process.

The Wrap Process

Randy Mayeux
Contributed by:
Randy Mayeux
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis

2 responses

  1. Very good suggestions.
    I would add one more that is critical: Use the “3-Why” method to “drill down” to the real question/challenge. You can’t make the correct decision unless you are first addressing the real/core issue, not some peripheral problem.
    David Childs
    City of El Paso Tax Office

    1. Thanks for your additional suggestions, David!

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