As leaders, we are under pressure to make decisions within the workplace quickly, often without allowing ourselves the time required to source out the necessary facts nor to take the time to process our reasonings behind making said decisions.
The end result: we can make the wrong decisions.
The Ladder of Inference – a framework put forward by organizational psychologist Chris Argyris – brings awareness to our (usually subconscious) thinking process that we use when we make decisions or take action.
Understanding this framework can bring you a level of awareness about your thinking and where you are within the Ladder of Inference. This awareness helps you to avoid making misguided decisions based on past experiences, biases, judgements and other factors, leading to the ability to make confident decisions in your leadership based solely on facts.
Here are four questions you may consider asking yourself as part of your decision-making process:
- Is this the "right" conclusion?
- Why am I making these assumptions?
- Why do I think this is the "right" thing to do?
- Is this really based on all the facts?