As we gain conviction about a critical decision, we often get emotionally attached to our position. This clouds our thinking and prevents us from seeing matters as objectively as we should. The idea of stress testing major decisions before making them is always a good idea, and not enough leaders do it.
By temporarily taking the other side of a decision and marshaling reasons not to make this choice, we have to confront reasons and evidence that run contrary to our view. These counterarguments expose flaws in our reasoning and help us to refine our thinking so we are more likely to make a sound decision.
In teams, it makes sense to assign one or more members to make a strong case as to why the decision is not a good one. If our decision process can’t withstand the assault of this inverse analysis, then perhaps we shouldn’t be so confident in our views.
Don’t legislate decisions before you test them. Defending major decisions before making a final decision is something great leaders do.