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Why Successful People Make Smart Choices and Decisions

choices and decisions

Like everyone, I’ve made some pretty dumb choices and decisions in my life. Early in my career I passed on one job offer to choose another job that ended up going nowhere.   I later went head to head with a business partner about a decision I had made, who I happened to have a 18 year relationship with.  You can imagine how that ended up? I’ll give you a hint: we no longer are in business together.

The truth is, the right decisions are never the easy ones. They’re always the hard ones. But the hardest part is making those first right choices.  So I reached out to ‘The Mother of Coaching’, Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott and asked her,

Why is the difference between a decision and a choice important?

Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott, MCC says, ‘The definition of choice is “to select freely from a series of alternatives that which you want.” A decision, on the other hand, is “a conclusion or a determination about something that is based on rational, logical, and reasonable facts and information.” Choices are intuitive, are driven by preferences, are satisfying to the self, feel right, and can stretch you outside your comfort zone. Decisions are rational, are driven by expectations, appease others, are often justified with reasons and explanations, and don’t necessarily require a stretch.

When we compare choices and decisions, we see that a decision is rational, where a choice is intuitive. A decision is logical and reasonable, while a choice feels right on a gut level. A decision can be explained by reasons, where a choice is based on personal preference. A decision is driven by external expectations, where a choice is driven by intrinsic proclivity. A decision appeases others, where a choice is satisfying to the self. A decision is comfortable, while a choice can be uncomfortable.

Conditions for making a choice are: There is either a statement of dissatisfaction with the status quo, or there is an expression of desire for something different from what currently exists. The person examines what he or she feels about the situation, explores what he or she ideally wants. The various options are reviewed, preferences are articulated, and the person selects the most desirable option. Finally, the person commits to his or her choice. Choices are intrinsically initiated and are all about making changes. When this progression is followed, the person making the choice experiences satisfaction and fulfillment.

The conditions for making a decision look like this: There is a situation that requires resolution. The person examines his or her expectations and the ramifications and consequences of each option. A decision is made based on those criteria or the “shoulds.” The outcome often results in reservations rather than a clear commitment, and the person deciding may end up feeling less than satisfied with the outcome.

Research has demonstrated that following one’s preferences leads to more long‐range and fulfilling outcomes. People who tend to operate cognitively are usually more comfortable making decisions. People who operate affectively (from their emotions) are more comfortable making choices. Both types of people are capable of making both choices and decisions; however, many people hesitate to make either one. The question that most professionals must face is why people are indecisive.’

Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott works with professional coaches from all over the world.  She recognizes that helping coaches help their coaching clients identify choices to provide themselves more satisfaction is their goal. Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott, MCC provides continuing education approved online training for coaches to help them be successful with powerful coaching conversations.

Always remember to be great and be your best,

Lisa Patrick

Lisa PatrickLisa is the founder of XTRAcredits Group Inc.  As a Continuing Education Program catalyst, I reveal the power of your expertise from the workplace and the stage to the different professional audiences around the world. My no-nonsense approach as the go-to expert for continuing education delivers results.

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XTRAcredits is the yellow pages for everything and anything continuing education and professional development credit related. offers a catalogue of approved on-demand professional development courses for continuing education credits anytime and anywhere.

More about Dr. Chérie Carter Scott MCC;

Dr. Cherie Carter-ScottDr. Chérie Carter-Scott, MCC, known as the “Mother of Coaching,” is a pioneer in the field of Human Development and Motivation since 1974. She started to coach and train coaches before it was a profession. Dr. Chérie is a subject matter expert in motivation, self-esteem, customer relations, change management, communication skills, team building, coaching, mentoring, customer service, change management, Negaholics—overcoming negativity, and leadership training. Most recently she has joined the faculty at XTRAcredits to provide continuing education credits to professionals from a multitude of industries.