Starting my new role as a Principal Designer, I see myself in a lot of situation where I need to make important decisions. I can tell you that it’s not always easy, sometimes I’m worried if I’ll make a bad decision. Derive from this worry, I started to look for a rule of thumb when considering different options and I want to share where I’m at.
A coin has two sides
Last weekend, while enjoying my slow Saturday morning, my eyes caught a coin on a table. As I picked it up, I started to remember this saying about every coin has two sides.
You see, a coin has two different sides, known as head and tail. Similarly to decision making, there are two sides to each decision. No matter what, it always has its upside and the downside. For me, this is a simple framework to use when I’m facing several options and not sure which one you should take. Using this simple rule of thumb remind me of every side of each decision and think it thorougly.
A coin has its third side if you observe it long enough
If you hold the coin flat toward you, you’ll see the very thin part in between the head and the tail. That’s the third side, which might be hard to recognize in the beginning. But it’s there.
Back to the decision thing. Once you have the upside and the downside, remember there’s no one perfect answer. It always depends on this third factor; which decision benefit you the most with your certain need, goal, condition, and context. Therefore, when making a decision, find the obvious upside and downside. Then find the third factor to help you.