We recently asked Callan McDonnell to share his thoughts on better decision making.

Callan McDonnell has over 25 years of experience in learning and development and organisational performance and driving cultural changes across organisations. He has worked in several different industries in Africa, Asia, the UK and Australia working in organisational design, learning and development, leadership development, talent management and workforce planning. Callan is the founder of Made Better Human and the Centre for Applied Leadership, Learning and Narratives which specialises in assisting individuals, teams and organisations in identifying how their current narrative may need to change to support them moving into the next stage of their transformation. As a qualified narrative coach, Callan has worked with many individuals supporting them through the transitions of life; be those career changes or life stage transformations. A published author and frequent contributor on LinkedIn, Callan believes that storytelling is the most powerful to put ideas into the world.

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

I like the quote from Byron Katie that says, “Don’t believe everything you think,” because at times we can all slavishly follow our thoughts even when it’s not in our best interests to do so.

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

Great decisions bring me a sense of calm; they resolve my doubt and confusion and make me feel at peace with the choices I have made and the trade offs that have had to be considered.

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

When I am clear about my goal or purpose I’m good at decision making. When I am unsure then it’s hard to make decisions.

Who inspires you? Why?

Lots of people inspire me – both known to me and unknown. There are two people at the moment who are inspiring me. The first is my daughter who recently graduated from university and is so clear about the path she is following for her life. The second is author and psychotherapist, Esther Perel, whose work on relational intelligence is so vital for the world right now.

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

I would say, “trust yourself”. Even if we make a decision which, with hindsight, proves to be less effective than we may have hoped, we still gain because we learn something about ourselves and about life.

What are you reading/watching at the moment?

Fiction wise I’m reading “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, and non-fiction wise I’m reading “Maybe you Should Talk to Someone.” by Lori Gottlieb.

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

Exercise helps me, and spending time reflecting and processing my own thinking.

What type of decision maker are you?

Questioning Activist.

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