10. The Urgency Instinct
– Take small steps
Factfulness is . . . recognizing when a decision feels urgent and remembering that it rarely is.
To control the urgency instinct, take small steps.
• Take a breath. When your urgency instinct is triggered, your other instincts kick in and your analysis shuts down. Ask for more time and more information. It’s rarely now or never and it’s rarely either/or.
• Insist on the data. If something is urgent and important, it should be measured. Beware of data that is relevant but inaccurate, or accurate but irrelevant. Only relevant and accurate data is useful.
• Beware of fortune-tellers. Any prediction about the future is uncertain. Be wary of predictions that fail to acknowledge that. Insist on a full range of scenarios, never just the best or worst case. Ask how often such predictions have been right before.
• Be wary of drastic action. Ask what the side effects will be. Ask how the idea has been tested. Step-by-step practical improvements, and evaluation of their impact, are less dramatic but usually more effective.
- Gap Instinct
- Negativity Instinct
- Straight Line Instinct
- Fear Instinct
- Size Instinct
- Generalization Instinct
- Destiny Instinct
- Single Instinct
- Blame Instinct
- Urgency Instinct
To read our book Factfulness, go to the library or order your own copy here
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