We recently asked Chris Brettell to share his thoughts on better decision making.

Chris is a business professional with more than 20 years in the Financial Services industry. Chris’ leadership skills have been honed across all things Insurance in this time including claims, sales, channel management, business development, product design and management this time with a little bit of mentoring, coaching and management consulting on the side for some added flavour. Chris loves to share the odd funny story so feel free to bring a supply of quality whiskey and chocolate, take a seat and enjoy.

What is your favourite, or most used, inspirational quote?

I don’t really go much for quotes. Whilst I enjoy reading, and my reading covers quite a bit of ground, I tend to enjoy the context more than the snappy one liners. My style tends to be more toward principles or guides for action. I’ve probably been using “Please give me an example” for 20 years now so maybe I need a new one, but to me the importance of understanding cannot be emphasised enough.

What does great decision making look and feel like for you?

Great decision making looks like an artist or elite athlete in a state of “flow”, effortless and unrestrained. When you make one of these decisions you can feel a strong connection to the decision you are making, even when its hard, because it aligns to your core values

When was a time you were at your decision making best?

Anytime I am working with talented people willing to push for great outcomes, prepared to speak up and committed to challenging for the best result.

Who inspires you? Why?

Like my quotes I don’t go for names but for situations or events. I’m inspired by parents who work and devote their time to making a better life for their children. In Thailand last year, working with a couple of awesome companies doing great work, I witnessed in the slums and orphanages wonderful displays of humanity despite the daily adversity, high levels of care for one another when they themselves have so very little and a gritty determination to make a difference. These every day reminders are what makes the word go around and it’s a privilege to jump in and get your hands dirty when you can.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to be a better decision maker?

Make them, ask for feedback, reflect on it and then keep making them. I know I’ve made some shockers, and they are not all in the distant past either, but I’ve made more good ones and I’m still improving.

What are you reading/watching at the moment?

I just finished The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. A fantastic insight into how groups work together and full of great life lessons for you to share with family & work colleagues. I’m now ingesting Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell which is a bit funny because personally I’m not very good at talking to strangers!

What is the most effective strategy you use for keeping your Ape (your emotional reactive state) in check?

Breath, listen and smile. I can be a bit intense. At speed I am aware I can lose some people or at least be very annoying. Breathing & smiling help to soften my external intensity and the listening gives me a greater understanding of every individual perspective.

What type of decision maker are you?

Achieving Activist.

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