There are well-documented traps that affect our decision making.

We draw on insight and advice from the classic HBR article “The Hidden Traps in Decision Making,” by John Hammond, Ralph Keeney, and Howard Raiffa.

Where do bad decisions come from?

With business decisions, there aren’t any no-brainers. Our minds are always at work, sometimes in ways that trip us up.

When things go wrong—the strategy fails, the new hire doesn’t live up to expectations, the new product doesn’t sell—it’s tempting to blame the decision-making process.  But often we make bad decisions because mental distortions and biases sabotage our reasoning.

Research reveals a number of traps that affect how we make business decisions. In this presentation we’ll look at the eight traps that we tend to fall into without realizing it: anchoring, status quo, sunk cost, confirming evidence, framing, overconfidence, prudence, and recallability.

Though we can’t get rid of them, we can become more aware of them, monitoring our decision making—and that of our team members—so that these snares don’t lead to disaster.