Good judgment never comes from book smarts but rather from street smarts. The school of hard knocks. There is a huge disconnect from what our schools and universities teach and what the real-world demands.
People with high IQs can and often do make some really stupid decisions.
What is it, then, that smart people do right? What qualities do they have that set them apart from the rest?
Mostly, they make better decisions, especially when it really matters.
“In life you only need to make a few good decisions, so long as you don’t make too many bad ones.” – Warren Buffett
Here are three effective strategies you can adopt in order to improve your judgment:
Be Honest about Current Reality: Although as created beings, one of the ways we are created similar to God is the attribute of rationality, we are also created with emotions, and almost always poor judgment is a result of being driven by our emotions without any regard to our rational side.
The very first thing we need is be honest about our own assumptions, prejudices and biases if we are going to be able to overcome them.
As created beings, we are created in the image of God with four common characteristics. We are:
- Rational – we have the ability to think and reason.
- Volitional – we have the freedom to choose.
- Emotional – we feel.
- Relational – we long for relationship.
Be Proactive: People with great judgment are proactive in that they assume responsibility for their decisions and thus can live with their mistake. They are not self-deceived and do not seek to deceive others. People with good judgment are not afraid to make a decision because they have the integrity to be able to live with the decisions they make.
Learn from your Experiences: Once you are aware of your own assumptions, prejudices, and biases and accept responsibility for your decisions it then comes down to learning from those decisions, whether right or wrong.
“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” – Henry Ford
The best decision-makers in the world succeed because they have the ability to capitalize from their mistakes, keep refining their judgment, and set their emotions in the rightful place. It’s this self-awareness and self-coachability enables them to become known for having world-class judgment. Every decision they make is another opportunity to learn and get better.
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. – Hosea 14:9 ESV
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