Personal Development

Decision making pit falls

Many decisions we make are big ones and some can be life changing So how can we make sure we’re making a good choice? First of all, there isn’t always a wrong or right answer. Few things in life are black and white. We will all have preconceptions and prejudices that colour our perspective on a situation. We’ve thought of a few pitfalls to avoid during the decision-making process:  Sampling and misrepresentation In 1998, Dr Andrew Wakefield published a study in the Lancet medical journal that identified a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and an increased chance of developing autism. As a result of this ‘finding’, vaccine rates in the UK dropped by as much as 20% over the following decade, leading to outbreaks of all three diseases.  Having examined a sample of children far too …

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Seven top tips for decision making

Top tips for decision making Why are decisions often scary? Because decisions lead to action and action means change. Change is often a step into the unknown. While we can never be 100% sure we are making the right decision, there are steps we can take to ensure that we are making the best decision we can. Don’t panic buy (or choose!) We’ve all agreed to attend a social occasion and then instantly regretted the decision, or impulse bought a flashy new gadget or pair of shoes that we’ve never used or worn. While making snap decisions isn’t always a bad thing, you don’t want to make major life or business decision on a whim. Play devil’s advocate Plan ahead. Weigh up the risks. What if everything that can go wrong does go wrong? What if you discover you’ve made the wrong …

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Four Types of Decision

Decision making Making decisions. Whether you’re the kind of person that makes decisions easily or you take 10 minutes to choose which socks to put on in the morning, this is something we do countless times a day, every day. While some decisions may be fleeting and relatively inconsequential (what to have for breakfast or what colour trousers to wear, etc.), others will have a lasting impact on our lives and the lives of others. We will all come across situations where we will have to make important decisions. Let’s look at the types of decision we might make: Autocrative– This is a decision you make on your own and take full responsibility for the outcome of. Consultative– 2 heads are better than 1! How about 3 or 4? Consultative decision making considers the advice and experience of others to …

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Maintaining an Edge

Among the Twitter Feeds I follow are some related to Plymouth, ‘Britain’s Ocean City’.  I have family links to the area and it remains a favouritespot.  I even have a ‘country retreat’ which I keep nearby.  Lest you have visions of grandeur floating before your eyes, let me explain: It’s a small sailing catamaran, measuring 7mx3m, and there isn’t quite enough height in the cabin for me to stand upright. Something I learned years ago was the importance of keeping a sharp knife to hand when sailing. Ropes can get caught and on rare occasions, this can lead to danger unless rapidly cut. Because salt water is very corrosive, a stainless-steel blade is likely to outlast an ordinary steel blade – the downside being that stainless steel loses its edge more quickly.  So I keep a handy knife sharpener on board so that I can …

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Grammar School

Ah, English grammar! The seemingly ever-changing world of sentence structure. You haven’t studied it since high school, but you speak English. It’s natural to know to place your commas and how to order clauses, right? Well, sometimes…. Believe me, I fully understand the perils of writing a blog article about grammar – you will all be searching through this with a fine-toothed comb, looking for mistakes (deliberate, of course!) So, let’s start with a disclaimer: Socrates is widely credited as saying that the only thing he knew for certain was that he knew nothing. Please also apply the aforementioned statement to this lowly writer and bear with me as I step gingerly into the minefield that is the English language. Many grammar guidelines are fluid and flexible. Sometimes, it genuinely doesn’t matter which punctuation mark you use. However, you could …

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Confidence to gain competence

As a child, I recall eating my mother’s homemade Rabbit Pie. And it is a rabbit that I think of when I hear the words ‘Come Dine with Me’. Not because of Mum’s Rabbit Pie, but because of a training experience which, for a few moments, left me feeling like a rabbit caught in headlights… Over the years I often seen otherwise competent people struggling to take on a new concept or skill. I vividly remember one occasion when it happened to me: It was a small, three-day training course, during which each delegate would have three opportunities to deliver an ever-improving brief training session to their fellow students. In order to make up numbers, during these sessions I changed role from being the course facilitator to being one of the ‘guinea pigs’ for the delegates. I confess that until …

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Waders for the men

During January 1994 heavy and prolonged rain on the south downs caused the River Lavant, which for much of the year trickles through Chichester, to become a torrent that could no longer pass in the culvert under the city centre.  Diversion of the river led to the the main coast road, the A27 being flooded.  The army was called in and in short order constructed a Bailey bridge over a flooded roundabout and restored east-west traffic.  The Army Benevolent Fund was the beneficiary as grateful motorists passing slowly over the temporary structure willingly filled collection buckets held by the bridge builders. An article appeared in the Independent John Adair in one of his books mentions one young officer at Sandhurst on whose annual report was written “Smith is not a born leader yet.”  What are the qualities the army was looking to inculcate …

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