The 3-2-1 method for fairer joint decision making

Making large decisions on your own isn’t easy, but it gets even harder when there’s another person involved. Anyone who is in a relationship or has a business partner can tell you that.

My wife and I worry that if one of us reveals our choice first, we will influence the other person. This could cause the other to want to please the other and not be completely honest with their choice. This is not desirable in joint decision making.

Here’s my solution: Tell your partner you’re going to make the decision now together. After counting down from 3, you’re both going to say your decision at the exact same time. Or if its longer, you could each write down your decision on a piece of paper and reveal them when you’re both done. Either way works.

After using this method many times, I have found that more times than not, we pick the same thing.

It works because it gets both partners to rewind to their gut feelings.

It seems like a childish way for adults to make decisions, but it comes from a place of caring. You don’t want to overpower your partner.

Whether you’ve chosen the same thing or not, you’ve still accomplished two key things. You’ve gotten to the important part of the conversation and you’ve gotten to it faster.

The faster you make decisions, the more decisions you get to make, the faster you move. But we’ll leave that for another essay.

Thank you to my wife Joella for reviewing this atomic essay.