Decision-Making: Influences, Emotions, and “Facts” that Direct our Decisions

Decision-Making: Influences, Emotions, and “Facts” that Direct our Decisions
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-01-26
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Decision-Making
Unit 2 Transcript: Decision-Making
Unit 3 Workbook: Decision-Making
Unit 4 Recording: Decision-Making

For most, the concept of decision-making involves deliberating various factors religiously to come up with a logical decision. For those working as law enforcement, first responders, and in other professions deployed to critical incidents, the component of time that is involved in the deliberation might not always be available. This webinar aims to understand the decision-making process using the critical thinking model and the different elements involved in better decision-making.

This session’s instructor is Al Cobos. Al has worked in law enforcement for more than three decades and is now affiliated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) where he serves as a Sergeant at its Training Bureau’s Education-Based Discipline And Leadership Unit. His duties include training personnel who have been disciplined and developing executives, supervisors, recruits, civilian professional staff, and instructors within the department. He’s also the primary consultant and owner of Dychelon LLC.

Points he covered in his discussion include:

  • The primary considerations that we take into account when it comes to making decisions.
    • Perspectives that are shaped by our experiences and how we were raised.
    • Emotions that are influenced by our perspectives and we must be wary of so as not to result in biases.
    • Action that serves as our response to our emotions.
    • The results that are borne out of our actions, emotions, and perspectives.
  • The critical thinking model of decision making and its parts that look into.
    • How are decisions made that involves recognizing the different variables that determine whether a decision can be arrived upon using the fast or slow approach.
    • Defining the problem that looks into its causes, the causal factors, and related challenges to be able to address its root cause and not just its symptoms.
    • Asking questions to get people to think about options to consider and the direction to go to to be able to fully evaluate problems and come up with potential solutions.
    • Designing a solution that is genuine in intent and testing its effectiveness based on its outcomes.
  • Applying the critical thinking model to the issues you’re facing within your organization.
  • The importance of not taking on a problem in its entirety or ignoring it, and instead breaking it down into more easily managed smaller problems allowing for smaller wins that eventually lead to a greater victory.
  • The steps to better decision-making.
    • Applying the process (i.e., critical thinking model) consistently that it becomes second nature.
    • Creating a culture that promotes good decision-making.
    • Ensuring that decision-making occurs in a safe environment where curiosity is supported, and people can openly voice out their opinions.
  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
    • Understanding each of its stages as it is typically interpreted from a personal standpoint.
    • Applying its framework in the organizational setting and what each stage represents.
  • The concept of culture of psychological safety.
    • What psychological safety looks like within an organization and for the individuals and the environment within.
    • A step-by-step guide on how to achieve a culture of psychological safety by inspiring the team, practicing authenticity, encouraging learning, and nurturing an environment of analysis.
  • Examples were provided applying decision-making concepts into timely issues and concerns.

Points clarified in the Q and A were about:

  • The important questions to ask in the process of decision-making.
  • Recognizing whether standards are too high for success and rectifying this without lowering standards to meet performance.
  • The purpose and value of emotion in decision making.
  • Fostering psychological safety in an organization.


Resources Mentioned During Webinar (Amazon Paid Links):


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Audience Comments

  • “I learned more about the process of decision-making and the importance of being open-minded within an agency.” — Danielle
  • “This topic on change within the organization is a hot topic right now – even in the world of corrections as the line officers don’t feel safe with command staff. I thought it was great he included books as that is a good resource as well. Really liked the four questions as well he uses – the what do we know, how do we know it.” — Heather
  • “The entire process leads to making the personal decision as well as decisions through the agency. I’m excited about the next webinar.” — Rev. Jose
  • “The whole course of instruction provided very informative information.” — Philip
  • “Importance of critical thinking, and making some decisions quickly and others with more deliberation. I also enjoyed hearing about others’ experiences as a supervisor. It is a process, not an event.” — Peggy
  • “I liked the discussion regarding complex problems requiring complex solutions. Going over the critical thinking model was helpful, also. You had a question about what to do if a person does not feel safe within their organization…this is a real problem. Not enough is being done regarding officer safety. I will be attending additional trainings surrounding that.” — D




Additional Resources
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