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Maximizing Your Strengths to Make Better Decisions

Bestselling author of the award-winning books Problem Solved and Investing in Financial Research




Cheryl Strauss Einhorn


Cornell U.P.




Cheryl Strauss Einhorn is the creator of the AREA Method, a decision-making system for individuals, companies, and nonprofits to solve complex problems. Cheryl is the founder of the decision-sciences company Decisive, offering leadership training, curriculum, coaching, and professional development services, and is an adjunct professor at Cornell University. She is the author of the award-winning books Problem Solved about personal and professional decision-making and Investing in Financial Resea...





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Our decisions are expressions of who we are and how we move through the world. Rarely, though, do we examine our decisions or even look inward to consider the psychology of our decision-making. Instead, we often make decisions based on what we call instinct (which relies on cognitive bias), false assumptions, mis-remembering, and mental mistakes. Truthfully, we don't see the world as it is; we see it as we are.

We can develop self-knowledge about our decision-making styles. We can wake ourselves up to how biases cloud our judgment and impede good decision-making―and we can counter bias. From there, we can transform our decision-making habits to make better big decisions alone and together. Problem Solver provides you with tools to identify:
• The five basic decision-making approaches, or "Problem Solver Profiles" (PSPs): Adventurer, Detective, Listener, Thinker, and Visionary
• Your dominant―and secondary―PSPs
• Tools to assess other peoples' PSPs
• Each PSP's decision-making strengths, blind spots, and biases
• How your PSP impacts your outlook on life and your risk appetite
• How to use your PSP to maximize your decision strengths

Replete with real-life examples and replicable strategies to apply new decision-making skills for your immediate benefit, Problem Solver will do more than help you look out into a future; it will equip you to move forward, with confidence, into your future.


Introduction: The Data of Living
To Know Thyself: How to Use This Book
1. How Do You Decide?
2. Lexicon, Situationality, & Community
3. The Adventurer
4. The Detective
5. The Listener
6. The Thinker
7. The Visionary
8. Hunt Like the Cheetah
9. PSPs & Risk Profiles
10. PSPs & Cognitive Biases
11. Ambiguity versus Uncertainty
12. Using PSPs to Bolster Strengths
13. How PSPs Color Our Relationship with Data
14. Situationality and Dynamic Decision-Making
15. The Relationship between PSPs and Life Outlook


Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the United KingdomThis is a really interesting account of the process of decision-making and why, even if it's shaped in part by instinct honed by experience, there is no substitute for thoughtful analysis. However, Cheryl Strauss Einhorn also shows how that process can be conducted in a way that is conclusive and not merely analytical. The book succeeds in being informative and accessible! William Damon, Stanford University, author of The Path to PurposeCheryl Einhorn's Problem Solver is an innovative guide to clear thinking in the face of life's knotty challenges. The book is deeply thoughtful and highly engaging, a winning combination. Full of evocative real-life examples and incisive analyses, Einhorn's book makes for a delightful and informative re...



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