Competence in Decision Making: A Decision Making Rule

I. Incomplete Knowledge => Incomplete Planning

“Competence” implies TOTAL knowledge over a particular situation, and sometimes that is not so easy to attain. Always must we recognize the limitations associated with HOW we are retrieving information:

• Though you may see, do you see ALL?

• Though you may imagine, are you imagining ALL? • Though you may be able to empathize, do you feel EVERYTHING?

TOTAL KNOWLEDGE is necessary for TOTAL CONTROL. Always remember that anything you may overlook, ignore or are simply unaware of can lead to a potential for subsequent error. Always make every effort to know e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! Don’t wait for some unanticipated chain of events to make plain the gaps in your own personal store of knowledge or experiences:

Check up on it! 
Find out more! Research further! 
Consult more competent professional knowledge! 
Imagine what you may be overlooking! Are you imagining ALL?Guesswork is fool’s work. Safety confides only in the sure shot.

Test it and verify it before you put it in place.

Get yourself to work!If you don’t exert the necessary effort to KNOW ALL — with CERTAINTY — before you make a final decision, you’re just another human fool waiting for potential tragedy to point you in the appropriate direction.Generally situations are complex, and it takes a lot of fact-finding and open-minded thinking to root out significant causes and effects. Many things play a large or small part in everything that happens. We must be wary of verbal maps that oversimplify and distort the picture. — Ken Keyes, Jr, Taming Your Mind: A Guide to Sound Decisions, 1975.

The lesson is simple: At the very outset, before anything of dire consequence happens, openly acknowledge your shortcomings. We are all human. None of us is capable of knowing EVERYTHING. Then, everyone can work together to either:

• supplement your expertise so as to “fill in” the gaps OR

• find someone else more capable of carrying out the pertinent task(s).

Safety knows no other alternative, and Responsibility should goad you into performing the necessary self-analysis. Remember Protection. Remember Prevention.Concede ignorance when you are ignorant.— Steve Allen, “Dumbth”: The Lost Art of Thinking, 1998.

II. Prejudging

Typically, when we confront a new situation we immediately conjure up a perception of the scenario that coincides with all those memories, experiences, assumptions and stereotypes that we somehow accumulate over the courses of our lives. Because we are inherently lazybeings, we tend to prefer to believe that all our assumptions and perceptions are sufficiently accurate. We may even trick ourselves into stubbornly clinging to that self-serving notion! And we tend to prefer to wait and allow some unexpected experience to inform us where we are wrong, rather than allowing for or actively imagining alternate possibilities which might considerably change/redirect those assumptions and perceptions before they impact our video pornografici planning. In short, we prejudge, and we don’t enjoy taking the time to contradict our initial predispositions.

Professional decision-makers must make note of these natural inclinations and appropriately aspire to take a step back to:

1. Recognize their own possible misperceptions, and

2. Imagine alternate explanations that could contradict those assumptions they hold for each new scenario.Remember Safety and Security before deciding in a way that you may later regret.

III. Overview

You must recognize the value of overview over any scenario under study. Overview is achieved when you are cognizant of all variables that may significantly alter the outcome to the situation apart from a way which you may immediately expect. You have all the requisite abilities and know-how; your thinking is thoroughly prioritized and prepared; you know what to expect and what to avoid; and you know how to respond if things should go wrong! Recognize that greater competence implies a broader outlook and smaller likelihoodfor potential error. And where overview is impossible to attain, because you may lack the resources to locate a competent (experienced, trained, informed) professional to help you navigate through the situation, then you must resort to intense brainstorming so as to imagine possibilities that you may be overlooking.

IV. Groups   Knowledge is Power. Knowledge is what sets the professional apart from the non-professional, and the competent from the incompetent. Group decision making is notoriously inefficient: Typically the competent find themselves having to educate the incompetent, and the dedicated or loyal find themselves frustrated by others who don’t share a similar commitment. The way around this inefficiency, of course, is by ascertaining a particular competence level among all the participants, as well as a shared dedication to finding an optimal solution to the problem at hand.   Additionally, realize also that Position is Power. Those who have worked hard to achieve some particular position may be inclined to “force the perceived authority on others, expecting others to “bow to their whims or commands. This is a problem of considerable importance when we assemble groups of humans. Some may know how to manage their new authority responsibly, but some others may not. It may be instructive to point out to the participants that no single human mind can effectively avoid all potential for mental error all the time. Though one individual may be more competent than another in some regard, that capacity in itself certainly never obviates the potential effectiveness of another individual’s checking, questioning and probing for error.It’s important for group members to believe that the status hierarchy is equitable. — Stephen P Robbins, Essentials of Organizational Behavior (6th ed.), 1999.V. Professionalism   Professionals are expected to have achieved a certain ceiling or level of competence for what they are doing, to know precisely what to anticipate, prepare for, search for, imagine, execute, monitor and check (just to be sure).   The apprentice who alleges to be a professional but subsequently finds himself troubleshooting to resolve matters previously unprepared for and overlooked apparently is no true professional. He is not quite prepared, experienced or adequately trained to carry out his duties. There is nothing wrong with being ignorant, for we are all born utterly ignorant, but he who feigns competence at the expense of all those innocent souls who are placing their explicit faith and trust in his superior supervision, guidance and know-how is someone who — in our modern-day society — is better off contemplating his transgressions in a prison yard than being allowed to roam freely in the work yard!   And rightly so. No one wants a charade for captain or a fool for foresight!Know your craft, and know it well.
Or find someone else who can do that for you!!VI. Subordinates and Authority   Humans commonly are a trusting lot. We commonly enjoy confiding in authority figures, persons who make our lives all the so much easier. Only because we know that they have spent such a great deal of time and worked so really hard at preparing themselves for competently carrying out specific and specialized complex tasks that we prefer to place so much of our trust in their abilities. They are, after all, a lot more knowledgeable of their specialties than we! Because of all their own particular advance preparation at carrying out their specific tasks, we in our modern-day society — at a moments notice — are able to readily and conveniently contact them for their superior guidance and know-how.   And we reward them handsomely in return!