Practicing Decision Making with My Newborn Baby

Raising a child entails so many decisions. Decision making is an important skill - whether in your personal life or the professional one. But practice makes perfect, and here are a few guidelines to start with.
Photo by Manuel Schinner on Unsplash

Last week I became the proud mother of three daughters (total. only one was born last week).

Raising a child entails so many decisions. Some are big, like which school should they go to, and some are small — like what should they be wearing today. Some you make alone, some require alignment with your spouse.

One of the first decisions to be made is deciding on the name for the newborn baby. It is not a trivial decision since it involves a lot of emotions and personal preferences and is not a logical one to make, and of course — both parents need alignment on this one.

For that reason exactly, I know people who took months to name their child, and during all that time it was called “the baby”.

My husband and I always wanted to avoid this situation, and we named all of our daughters before we left the hospital.

We always discussed names during pregnancy, but being parents for the 3rd time now, we knew that it’s only when we actually see the baby we can make the decision.

This time around we didn’t put too much effort into the name discussion before birth. We did have one name which was a leading candidate, but when we got to the actual decision my husband wanted to open the list to include additional names.

Eventually, we had 4 names we both believed were good candidates. We discussed what we liked less and more in each. The logical part was behind us.

But how do you make the decision?

We tried intuitively — “if you had to pick one, which one would it be?”. We picked different ones, but at least now we had the two final candidates. Then after a few hours and some opinions from family members, another name went back into the list.

So, almost back to square one. 24 hours have passed, and no name yet. We still felt there was time, so we decided to “sleep on it” for one night. Me at the hospital, and my husband at home with the older girls.

The next morning, we tried intuition again. Still no agreement. Back to the list of two names.

What do you do? How do you take it from here?

The answer is, you simply choose one of the options.

You see, there comes a time when you realize that you are debating between equally good options. They are different, but it doesn’t mean one is better than the other. It just means they are not the same.

If you want to pick one for a good reason, you will probably debate forever. Since the options are generally equally good, for every argument you will make in favor of one option you will also be able to make another argument in favor of the other one. Endless discussion.

Back to the baby. Both final candidates were good names which my husband and I both liked. Each of us liked one of the names more, but not by a lot.

What made the difference for us was that we were both committed to making a timely decision. This means it was more important for us to make the decision now than to make a perfect one.

Once this is established, the decision was easy to make. Like in a romantic movie, we both were willing to go with the other side’s favorite name. From this point on, simply choosing one was straight forward.

Decision-Making Lessons from Naming a Baby

  • Some decisions are coming down to choosing between equally good options
  • In these cases, rational decision making will not help you because all options are equally good
  • Remind yourself (and your team) that making a decision is more important than making the perfect one
  • Once established, you can let people take one option out of the list (assuming your list is long enough)
  • And then, simply choose one and go with it

Let me know how it worked for you.

Baby Hila (meaning halo in Hebrew) in her first moments at home

Going on Maternity Leave

Another important decision I had to make was what to do with writing my newsletter in the coming weeks.

As much as I LOVE writing and sharing with you my product insights, I cannot commit to writing as frequently as I did up until now for the time being.

Luckily, Hila was born on perfect timing for everyone’s summer vacations, so I will resume writing once all of you are back.

Happy summer and stay tuned!

What can you still do while I’m not writing new stuff?

My free e-book “Speed-Up the Journey to Product-Market Fit” — an executive’s guide to strategic product management is waiting for you

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