Reverse The Perspective: The #1 Best Method To Supercharge Your Decision Making

Summary: As a decision-making algorithm, I use the Reverse The Perspective Technique to overcome status quo bias. The method helps you make rational decisions towards crucial choices with a future version framework. When you assume you have already made the selection for either option and question whether you would reverse the decision if you had the chance, you discover what the heart wants. It can take a lot of willpower, but the technique allows you to make smart choices in the face of difficult alternatives.

In January 2021, I needed to take a decisive position on the head office location of my firm, 10x Value Partners. My potential success relied on this choice, and I felt stuck between either the City of London or Munich. Each city offered several pros and cons, and I swayed each day between either option. I tried to make data-driven or gut instincts selections, but neither worked..

In the end, I reversed the perspective, and it allowed me to answer the otherwise difficult question with ease. I asked myself:

“If I already had my office in London, would I consider moving to Munich? And, If I had already had my office in Munich, would I want to move to London?”

When the choices presented in reverse, the answers came through with clarity: I would not think twice about Munich if I already lived in London, but in Munich, I would always second-guess about London. The best selection became obvious.

There are three simple steps with the Reverse the Perspective Technique that can help you hack your decision making:

  1. Step 1: Create a Future Version. Imagine what your future life would look like if you made either choice.
  2. Step 2: Consider Your Level of Happiness. In each future scenario, would you feel happy with the choice you made?
  3. Step 3: Ask If You Would Reverse The Choice: Would you reverse either choice if given the opportunity? Would you feel regret for not selecting the second option?

When you reverse your perspective, you overcome a common psychological mechanism called Status Quo Bias. Status Quo Bias describes our tendency to delay a decision (or to make no decision at all) for fear of making the wrong choice. Humans often freeze in the face of large-scale opportunities because of regret or the possibility of failure, not because we do not know what we want. When you reverse the perspective and approach the problem from a future standpoint, you skip past the Status Quo Bias and can hone into the heart of the issue.

You can apply the technique to almost any situation, but it is most effective for decisions that contain an emotional charge. Choices that combine uncertainty with high potential success work best. Here are some examples of how you can frame a tough decision as a reversal:

For me, the decision-making algorithm of reversing the perspective has led to effective selections, all of which helped boost my career journey. One of the most pivotal instances of the technique’s capabilities occurred with my share sale of a secondary (selling shares to new investors for future funding rounds of a company). At the time, I had a 2000% gain on my investment, which stood for a sizeable return. Should I sell and realise my profits? With the Reverse The Perspective method, I imagined that I already had the money in my bank account and asked myself if I would invest in the company again at its current valuation. In this case, the answer came through as a clear no. I made the right choice because the company ran into issues with Covid-19, and the overall price of the shares dropped in value.

Employ the Reverse the Perspective method in your own life. It will help you overcome any status quo bias, and you will make professional and private choices that better align with your desires. You can benefit from this decision making algorithm as much as I did. Use this technique to make impactful and helpful choices that lead to heightened success!

Founder & CEO of 10x Value Partners. One of the world’s most successful angel investors. Follow me to learn my secrets.