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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Jun 25, 2021

Today I am delighted to have Matthew Confer on the show to be share insights from (and beyond) his popular Ted Talk: Before you Decide: 3 Steps to Better Decision Making. 

This talk came out before the pandemic, and Matthew also shares with us about how he and the team at Abilitie helped clients to shift through these changing times to make better decisions when there were so many unexpected shifts and choices to be made (and with a lot on the line).  As the VP of Strategy and Business Development, he definitely knows a lot on these topics and he has fascinating insights I can’t wait to share with you. 

Show Notes:

  • [00:07] In today’s episode I’m excited to introduce you to Matthew Confer to share the three things you need to do before you decide.
  • [02:49] Matthew shares more about who he is and what he does. He works for a company called Abilitie and does leadership training simulations. 
  • [04:06] They focus on three core competencies of effective leaders: people management skills, financial acumen, and strategic thinking and decision making. 
  • [05:53] Melina shares how she did a similar simulation in college. 
  • [08:00] Adaptability is one of the things that we want rising leaders and executives to have. 
  • [09:16] There is a very big difference between doing and thinking about doing.
  • [12:22] The biggest part of the simulation is that each of the participants have three time tokens of where they want to invest their time. It looks at how you piece together all the things we struggle with as leaders and make the best decision of how to use your limited time. 
  • [15:11] From his experiences, Matthew found that there are specific traits that top teams do.  
  • [16:18] After years of observation, he created a decision-making framework with the 3 steps for better decision-making (as showcased in his Ted Talk). Step 1) Challenge the Constraints. 
  • [17:41] When you are looking to apply behavioral science, the spot where most people go wrong is understanding the problem that you are trying to solve. 
  • [18:42] Time pressure is a form of stress and it changes the way we make a decision. 
  • [20:24] Just because you challenge the constraints doesn’t mean you have to go and make a crazy decision. It just helps to see what is holding you back from making this huge breakthrough. 
  • [21:01] Step 2) Embrace a Premortem. A premortem is so powerful because you are conditioned to not think you are going to fail.  
  • [23:44] Planning fallacy is closely tied to optimism bias where we think we are going to be faster, quicker, and better. 
  • [25:59] 80% of us think that we are above-average drivers. He noticed this in the simulation with leaders also. 
  • [27:10] Step 3) Check the Basics. When decisions get more complex, small details tend to get missed. 
  • [29:39] Taking the time to make sure you have really identified your basics is super important. 
  • [30:01] Matthew shares an example of step one: challenging the constraints. The clients he saw that were most successful during the pandemic were the ones that threw the rule book out the window. 
  • [32:03] It is important to reframe a problem when it comes to you. If your status quo has been shifted you should not feel like you have to do what you said you are going to do before. 
  • [32:57] Next he shares an example for step two. 
  • [34:12] If you're not having a conversation about what could go wrong, you are really missing an opportunity to plan effectively.  You need to put plans B and C in place to get in front of some of the problems. 
  • [35:27] You need to be assured when you are making a drastic change or big decision, make sure those small details aren’t missed along the way. 
  • [38:23] One of Matthew’s favorite decision-making techniques is the “press release method”. 
  • [40:31] Writing what someone might say about you in the worst-case scenario is an interesting practice to help keep you on track so you don’t mess up because you know how bad it can be at the end.   
  • [42:45] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [44:37] Melina’s first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is officially available on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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Check out What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia