Without a doubt, you've already made major life decisions. Some may have turned out well, while others may have left you feeling disappointment, frustration, or other negative emotions. Chances are that complex decision-making is not over for you yet; your personal and professional lives will likely continue to be full of complex decisions. This course will help you gain more confidence in yourself as a problem-solver as you build your decision-making skills.

We'll start by focusing on you: What kind of a decision-maker are you? And what kind do you want to be? You'll explore your decision-making archetype, what that means for how you tend to approach complex problem-solving, and what inherent pitfalls may lie within your default approach. You'll spend time in this course examining your own cognitive biases – don't worry, we all have them, and they actually serve some very important purposes to help us navigate through our busy lives. Being aware of these biases is the first step towards changing them, and in this course you'll discover how to apply some remedies when you notice those biases surfacing. Finally, because no decision is made in isolation, you'll have the opportunity to consider yourself as a decision-maker within the context of the people around you. You'll gain strategies that you can use to strengthen your ability to work with others.

This course will provide you with many examples of decisions, both big and small, that are impacted by Problem-Solver Profiles. It will also give you a framework by which to distinguish between complex and simple problems and decisions, providing you with a better sense of when not to “sweat the small stuff." This course is designed to build your self-awareness and tools for working with others, ultimately resulting in more confidence the next time you are faced with a complex decision.

It can be messy and overwhelming to figure out how to solve complex problems. Where do you start? How do you know where to look for information and evaluate its quality and bias? How can you feel confident that you are making a careful and thoroughly researched decision? Whether you are navigating a career decision or expanding your business, this course will enable you to use the AREA Method decision-making system. AREA, created by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, is an acronym for Absolute/Relative/Exploration/Exploitation/Analysis. It's a powerful system for making complex decisions with confidence and conviction. You will develop the conceptual awareness and shared nomenclature necessary to apply this innovative approach to your own problem-solving.

Note: Enjoy your digital copy of Cheryl Strauss Einhorn's e-book “Problem Solved” (New Jersey: Career Press, 2017), included with this course. You can link to your digital copy at the bottom of the navigation menu on the left. While it is not necessary to read the book to successfully complete this course, this book will provide you with detailed case studies and a wealth of resources to assist your problem-solving and decision skill-building. You will continue to have access to the book as a reference after you have completed this course. If you would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, it is available from The Cornell Store or anywhere you buy books.

This course explores the Relative, Exploration, Exploitation, and Analysis phases of AREA and provides guided processes for applying each phase to a complex decision. Using your work from the Absolute phase, you'll now research sources related to your decision to put it into a broader context. Next, you will conduct interviews in the Exploration phase. In Exploitation, you will confront your assumptions and judgments with evidence. Finally, in the Analysis phase, you will determine what your data can and can't tell you and consider how your decision might go awry or fail so that you may better ensure your decision success.

Note: Enjoy your digital copy of Cheryl Strauss Einhorn's e-book “Problem Solved” (New Jersey: Career Press, 2017), included with this course. You can link to your digital copy at the bottom of the navigation menu on the left. While it is not necessary to read the book to successfully complete this course, this book will provide you with detailed case studies and a wealth of resources to assist your problem-solving and decision skill-building. You will continue to have access to the book as a reference after you have completed this course. If you would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, it is available from The Cornell Store or anywhere you buy books.

The following course is required to be completed before taking this course:

  • JCB442: Framing and Breaking Down Complex Problems

As someone with experience using the AREA Method, you already know it as a powerful step-by-step system to make smarter, better decisions. In this advanced course, you will continue to develop your skills as you go beyond using AREA to solve thorny problems to using it as an operating system for your daily life. Now that you've mastered the steps of AREA, you'll take a more holistic approach and begin using AREA as an operating system. As with any skill, the more you use AREA, the stronger your ability to move through the world mindfully and with empathy and understanding will become.

In this course, you'll explore the 11 common decision myths that hinder both decision-making outcomes and relationships then see how to apply AREA tools to counter these myths. You'll have the opportunity to apply AREA solutions to problems that may arise because of emotions and bias. Finally, you'll build financial literacy as you apply AREA skills to identify the numbers relevant to a significant financial decision in your personal or professional life.

You will explore ways to implement AREA through all aspects of your life. You will practice using your AREA toolkit and become more comfortable knowing how to use the methodology. From buying a house to selecting a dating app, AREA offers a way to approach larger life goals with confidence and conviction.

The following courses are required to be completed before taking this course:

  • JCB442: Framing and Breaking Down Complex Problems
  • JCB443: Researching and Analyzing Information to Make Your Decision

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