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How to Make Good Decisions in a Noisy World with Nuala Walsh | Episode 168


In this episode, you will learn about the dangers of your hidden deaf and dumb spots, plus a series of tips and techniques for making better decisions in a noisy, complex world from Nuala Walsh and myself.

Nuala is an award-winning non-executive director, behavioural scientist, TEDx speaker and author. She was named among the 100 Most Influential Women in Finance and spent three decades in investment management at Blackrock, Merrill Lynch and Standard Life Aberdeen as Chief Marketing Officer.

And as for me, I’m a leadership trainer, keynote speaker and executive coach, 11 years into my third career. The first was ten years in the British Army with multiple deployments to Iraq. My second career was working for some of Europe’s largest organisations in senior HR and L&D roles, before founding Ben Morton Leadership back in 2013.

So, between me and my guests, you are in great hands if you want to be a great leader.

Episode Highlights

  1. The Missing Step in Your Decision-Making. Whilst the ability to make quick decisions is a desirable trait for senior leaders, it’s also true that many quick decisions tend to be poor ones. Learn the missing step between listening and decision-making, plus how effective even a three-second pause can be.
  2. Uncovering Your Blind, Deaf and Dumb Spots. We all like to think we are smart, but the reality is we all have some deaf and dumb spots that sit along our blind-spots. If you ignore these, you are setting yourself up for the ‘Trilogy of Errors.’
  3. The Dangers of Asking for Just the Headlines. We live in a busted world full of information that can cause us to say things like ‘just give me the headlines.’ Nuala points out the very real risks of this approach and encourages us to ask questions like ‘What am I not hearing’, or ‘What am I not being told instead.”
  4. Why Every Business Problem is a Behavioural Problem. Nuala explores the psychology behind Toyota’s practice of “The Five Why’s” and why every business challenge is really a human and behavioural one. If your business is comprised of just one human and a host of AI-driven robots, this may not be the case…but it is.
  5. How to Choose the Right Voices to Listen To. As this episode airs in the UK, we are in the immediate run-up to a general election. In an age where there is so much misinformation and misinformation, how do we choose the right voices to tune in to? Nuala gives us some critical guidance.  

Chapter Makers

(03:50) The important & neglected step between listening and decision-making.

(08:28) What happens when context and cognition collide?

(09:04) The lure and dangers of quick decision-making

(11:39) Improving your decision-making with a three-second pause.

(17:57) Discovering your hidden deaf and dumb spots.

(21:15) Intentional deafness and unconscious bias.

(26:32) Why we shouldn’t say ‘Just give me the headlines.’

(31:21) Why every business problem is really a behavioural problem?

(32:59) Why we see what we want to see.

(38:29) Identifying the right voices to tune in to.

(39:38) How we’re all being manipulated without realising.

Book Ben to Speak at Your Next Event

If you want your leaders to deliver incredible results and for your people to look forward to coming to work on Monday morning, book me to speak at your next event on ‘Why Connection Is the True Currency of Leadership’. Find out more here.

Further Resources

  • Watch Nuala’s TEDx Talk here.
  • Buy her book, ‘Tune In,’ here. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small fee on qualifying purchases.

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More About Nuala Walsh

Nuala holds multiple appointments industrywide, she is non-executive director at British & Irish Lions, President of Harvard Club of Ireland, Chair of the Innocence Project London, Council Member at The Football Association, Advisor at World Athletics and former Vice-chair at UN Women UK.

Published in Forbes, Inc, Psychology Today and the Harvard Business Review, her insights feature in the Financial Times, Fox Business and BBC.

She also holds first-class master’s degrees in Behavioural Science and Business Studies alongside a degree in philosophy and is a visiting lecturer at INSEAD and the London School of Economics.

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