Use the 4-Step WRAP Method to Make Big Decisions


Can't seem to make up your mind? That's understandable — decisions can be tough! That's especially true when it involves the big stuff, like whether to switch jobs, move to a new city, or even end a relationship. But if it constantly feels like there are no right answers, maybe it's time to revamp your decision-making skills and try out the simple four-step method laid out by author and human performance engineer Janet Chang in her Skillshare class "Making Decisions Like a Boss."

Fight Your Bias

The human brain is inherently bad at making decisions. In the 1970s, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky introduced a concept called psychological bias, also known as cognitive bias, which describes an array of irrationalities like overconfidence, short-term emotions, and first impressions that plague our brains and make life choices especially difficult. Unfortunately, simply knowing about these biases doesn't make you any better at this thing called decision-making. So is it possible to improve that inefficiency?

In 2013, business professionals Chip Heath and Dan Heath came up with a simple method designed to do just that. Their four-step method uses the mnemonic "WRAP" to address the most problematic of the many psychological biases, which the Heaths consider the four villains of decision-making. Via four simple steps — widening your options, reality-testing your assumptions, attaining emotional distance, and preparing to be wrong — the method helps you confront these pesky biases in an attempt to make choosing the best answer a whole lot easier.

That's a WRAP!

Although you likely can't completely cure yourself of these biases, the WRAP method can help prevent them from disrupting your decision-making. For example, "narrow framing," the first bias villain, is the human tendency to think too narrowly and miss options. You can remedy this by consciously giving yourself a wider range of choices — the "W" in the WRAP mnemonic. Then there's the short-term emotion bias, which refers to your tendency to make choices based on immediate emotional connection. By attaining emotional distance, the WRAP method can help you detach from those feelings and avoid rash decisions.

While the WRAP method is popular in business and entrepreneurial discussions, it's also proven highly effective in all areas of life. Whether you're looking for answers regarding your finances, your living situation, or even your relationship, give the WRAP method a go to see if it makes your choices easier.

To give the WRAP method a try, check out the Skillshare class "Making Decisions Like a Boss," from author and human performance engineer Janet Chang. But why stop there? Skillshare is an online education community with more than 25,000 expert-led classes on just about everything, including photography, marketing, graphic design, and more. Sign up with this link and get two months of unlimited classes on Skillshare for free!

Written by Ashley Gabriel January 16, 2019