Make better decisions with The Rule Of Three
Monday, June 18th, 2012
According to a widely ballyhooed recent study, event planning is the 6th most stressful job. I have no idea if that’s true, but, looking back on the two-day event I ran recently, I estimate that I had to solve well over a hundred on-the-spot problems that cropped up during the twenty-four hours I was on duty.
If you’re looking for a solution to a problem, there’s a natural temptation to pick the first solution you come up with.
In my experience, this is usually a mistake. An understandable mistake, for sure, but still a mistake. Most of the time, the first solution I come up with is not the best choice, so it’s worth taking a little more time to think before springing into action.
You can reduce the possibility of a poor decision caused by a hasty response by employing The Rule Of Three.
The Rule Of Three
Before deciding on a course of action, come up with three alternatives.
Here are three ways of thinking about The Rule Of Three.
1) Family therapist Virginia Satir encouraged people to have at least three choices. She said:
…to have one choice is no choice;
to have two choices is a dilemma;
and to have three choices offers new possibilities.
–The Satir Model, Virginia Satir et al
2) Jerry Weinberg (who came up with this rule’s name) puts it another way that should get your attention:
If you can’t think of three things that might go wrong with your plans, then there’s something wrong with your thinking.
3) One more formulation: If you don’t have three options for a solution to a problem, you don’t understand it well enough yet, and you might need to explore it more.
For more tips on applying The Rule Of Three, please continue reading at Adrian’s Conferences That Work blog!
Adrian Segar has organized and facilitated conferences for thirty years. He is the author of Conferences That Work: Creating Events That People Love, and he currently consults on, designs, and facilitates participant-driven and participation-rich events. Learn more about Adrian at at www.segar.com!
Reprinted with the permission of Adrian Segar.