ABC-CLIO

A Field Guide to Good Decisions

Values in Action

by Mark D. Bennett, Joan McIver Gibson

 

How individuals, groups, and organizations can learn to make better decisions—driven by their values, informed by dialogue, and communicated with clarity

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Cover image for A Field Guide to Good Decisions

March 2006

Praeger

Pages 216
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Business/Leadership
  • Hardcover

    978-0-275-98937-8

    $44.00

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  • eBook

    978-0-313-06524-8

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  • International Pricing

    Hardcover: £34.00/37,00€/A$57.00

We all face tough choices: business executives, community leaders, and family members all struggle with difficult decisions on a daily basis. What we decide reveals what really matters to us; how we decide determines whether we succeed or fail. Developed over twenty years in settings as diverse as hospital bedsides and corporate boardrooms, A Field Guide to Good Decisions provides the skills to make decisions that reflect your core values while respecting those of others, including the long-term implications for all participants. Illustrated through many real-life examples that will resonate with readers both professionally and personally, A Field Guide to Good Decisions offers practical tools and techniques for identifying individual and common goals, reaching consensus, and communicating the results effectively. The authors also show readers how to overcome common obstacles to good decision-making (psychological, cultural, and organizational). Ultimately, this book is about making decisions which, while not always a matter of life or death, nevertheless have a powerful effect on our sense of self, our credibility in the eyes of others, and the lives of those touched by the choices we make.

Decision making is always personal. Each of us makes important decisions at work, in the community, and at home. When we face tough choices, what we decide reveals what really matters to us; how we decide determines whether we succeed or fail. Business executives, community leaders, and family members all struggle with difficult decisions: a senior management team makes an important choice about whether to pursue an acquisition; a baby-boomer decides whether to place an elderly parent in assisted living; a non-profit administrator considers laying off employees to have money and continue serving the community. For each, the steps toward a good decision are the same: know your values, engage others to understand theirs, and communicate with respect and candor. Simple in concept, not so easy in practice—but making a good decision demands nothing less.

Developed over twenty years in settings as diverse as hopsital bedsides and corporate boardrooms, A Field Guide to Good Decisions provides the skills to make decisions that reflect your core values while respecting those of others, including the long-term implications for all participants. Illustrated through many real-life examples that will resonate with readers both professionally and personally, A Field Guide to Good Decisions offers practical tools and techniques for identifying individual and common goals, reaching consensus, and communicating the results effectively. The authors also show readers how to overcome common obstacles to good decision-making (psychological, cultural, and organizational). Ultimately, this book is about making decisions which, while not always a matter of life or death, nevertheless have a powerful effect on our sense of self, our credibility in the eyes of others, and the lives of those touched by the choices we make.

Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: The TerritoryThe Road to a Good DecisionClarify PerspectiveComprehend What MattersCommit to What Matters MostChoose to ActCommunicate TransparentlyDifficult TimesAvoid Mental and Emotional DetoursBridge the Cultural DivideNavigate in OrganizationsReach Your Destination: Lean into the LightAppendix: Worksheets and ExercisesReferences and Sources for QuotationsBibliographyIndex

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"A guide to good decisions that focuses on the values underlying the process of decisionmaking therefore has the potential to be an invaluable resource for healthcare professionals. A Field Guide to Good Decisions: Values in Action meets these expectations and goes beyond, offering readers a clear and structured process that they can employ not only as professionals, but also in other aspects of their lives....This book takes the reader step by step through a simple, yet challenging process, clarifying the values that underlie decisionmaking, providing guidance and tips that finally lead to a coherent and effective decision. This process can be applied around patients' beds as well as family kitchen tables or corporate bedrooms....[t]his book provides helpful guidance and conceptual clarity that makes it a useful tool and an invaluable resource to anyone confronting difficult decisions."CQ Review

"This guide has its roots in Gibson's attendance at one of Bennett's mediation training sessions, where she sought ways to improve her bioethics consultations. Unlike advice about decision-making that emphasize theory and corporate applications, they provide practical guidance for everyday settings focusing on transferable skills, guiding values, and bridging cultural differences. The book includes worksheets and exercises to facilitate values clarification and other decision-making steps, and an annotated bibliography."Reference & Research Book News

"[P]rovides readers with the skills to make decisions that reflect their core values while respecting the values of others and accounting for the long-term implications for all participants. It also offers practical tools and techniques for identifying individual and common goals, reaching consensus and effectively communicating the results. Readers are advised how to overcome common obstacles to good decision-making, including psychological, cultural and organizational challenges, and become comfortable and skilled at making choices. Real-life illustrations are provided."District Administration

Endorsements

"Sifting through choices. Clarifying values. Exploring different perspectives. This fine book set me wondering about roads not taken in my life. It provides enormous insights into how to make personal and professional decisions with integrity and clarity."—Victor La Cerva, M.D., Medical Director of the Family Health Bureau, New Mexico Department of Health and author of Worldwords, and Pathways to Peace.

"Who among us has not longed for guidance when facing values bumps and crunches? How many of us still seek answers to our dilemmas of How do I know when...? or, How do I know if...? At a time in our history when the word values has been widely trivialized, here is a thoughtful, clear, and coherent call to reclaim our personal integrity through an improved set of decision-making skills. Bennett and Gibson are clear-thinking guides able to move us forward in shaping decisions founded on known values, trust, and integrity. This remarkable book is a must read for anyone living in families, organizations, and work places! This is a work of hope!"—Marilyn J. Mason, Psychologist and author of Igniting the Spirit at Work, and 12 Step Wisdom at Work: Transforming Your Life and Your Organization

"Years of hands-on experience inform this book. It is immersed in wisdom and rich in practical, workable tools. Buy this book to nourish your own soul and that of others."—Martin Rutte, Co-author Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

"This is a thoughtful, powerful, and wonderfully insightful book written by people who clearly have wrestled with difficult real-world decisions in a variety of contexts and have come away with deep wisdom and great questions that lead us into moral, ethical, and genuinely values-driven decision making."—Tom Daly, Co-Creator of the Art of Leadership Training Program, Author of 4 Gateways Coaching: Evoking Soul Wisdom

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