Charlie Veaudry

Serving you with passion!

Every day in my job I work with both buyers and sellers who are making tough decisions. This article stuck out to me because I know how difficult it can be to make decisions - big ones - but also little ones as well. Peter Bregman gives some interesting techniques on making decisions that I thought were interesting and worth sharing. 


Peter Bregman writes: 


I perused the restaurant menu for several minutes, struggling with indecision, each item tempting me in a different way.

Maybe I should order them all . . . 

Is this a silly decision not deserving deliberation? Maybe. But I bet you’ve been there. If not about food, then about something else.


We spend an inordinate amount of time, and a tremendous amount of energy, making choices between equally attractive options in everyday situations. The problem is, that while they may be equally attractive, they are also differently attractive, with tradeoffs that require compromise. Even when deciding between kale salad (healthy and light), salmon (a heavier protein), and ravioli (tasty, but high carbs).


If these mundane decisions drag on our time and energy, think about the bigger ones we need to make, in organizations, all the time. Which products should we pursue and which should we kill? Who should I hire or fire? Should I initiate that difficult conversation?


These questions are followed by an infinite number of other questions. If I am going to have that difficult conversation, when should I do it? And how should I start? Should I call them or see them in person or email them? Should I do it publicly or in private? How much information should I share? And on and on . . .


So how can we handle decisions of all kinds more efficiently? I have three methods that I use, two of which I talk about in my book, Four Seconds, the third which I discovered last week.

The first method is to use habits as a way to reduce routine decision fatigue. The idea is that if you build a habit —for example: always eat salad for lunch — then you avoid the decision entirely and you can save your decision-making energy for other things.


That works for predictable and routine decisions. But what about unpredictable ones?

The second method is to use if/then thinking to routinize unpredictable choices. For example, let’s say someone constantly interrupts me and I’m not sure how to respond. My if/then rule might be: if the person interrupts me two times in a conversation, then I will say something.


These two techniques — habits and if/then — can help streamline many typical, routine choices we face in our lives.

What we haven’t solved for are the larger more strategic decisions that aren’t habitual and can’t be predicted.

I discovered a simple solution to making challenging choices more efficiently at an offsite last week with the CEO and senior leadership team of a high tech company. They were facing a number of unique, one-off decisions, the outcomes of which couldn’t be accurately predicted.


These were decisions like how to respond to a competitive threat, which products to invest more deeply in, how to better integrate an acquisition, where to reduce a budget, how to organize reporting relationships, and so on.

These are precisely the kinds of decisions which can linger for weeks, months, or even years, stalling the progress of entire organizations. These decisions are impossible to habitualize and can’t be resolved with if/then rules. Most importantly, they are decisions for which there is no clear, right answer.


Leadership teams tend to perseverate over this sort of decision for a long time, collecting more data, excessively weighing pros and cons, soliciting additional opinions, delaying while they wait — hope — for a clear answer to emerge.

But what if we could use the fact that there is no clear answer to make a faster decision?


I was thinking about this in the offsite meeting while we were discussing, yet again, the same decision we had debated in the past about what to do with a certain business, when the CEO spoke up.


“It’s 3:15pm,” He said. “We need to make a decision in the next 15 minutes.”


“Hold on,” the CFO responded, “this is a complex decision. Maybe we should continue the conversation at dinner, or at the next offsite.”


“No,” The CEO was resolute, “We will make a decision within the next 15 minutes.”


And you know what? We did.

Which is how I came to my third decision-making method: use a timer.


If the issues on the table have been reasonably vetted, the choices are equally attractive, and there is still no clear answer, then admit that there is no clearly identifiable right way to go and just decide.


It helps if you can make the decision smaller, with minimal investment, to test it. But if you can’t, then just make the decision. The time you save by not deliberating pointlessly will pay massive dividends in productivity.

Hold on, you may protest. If I do spend more time on it, an answer will emerge. Sure, maybe. But, 1) you’ve wasted precious time waiting for that clarity and, 2) the clarity of that one decision seduces you to linger, counter-productively and in fruitless hope for clarity, on too many other decisions.


Just make a decision and move forward.


Try it now. Pick a decision you have been postponing, give yourself three minutes, and just make it. If you are overwhelmed with too many decisions, take a piece of paper and write a list of the decisions. Give yourself a set amount of time and then, one by one, make the best decision you can make in the moment. Making the decision — any decision — will reduce your anxiety and let you move forward. The best antidote to feeling overwhelmed is forward momentum.


As for my lunch, I ordered the kale salad. Was it the best choice? I don’t know. But at least I’m not still sitting around trying to order.


Original article found here.

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It's going to be fun with these 10 ski spots in & around the Okanagan.

People come from all over to enjoy the world class ski spots in and around the Okanagan. But if you are reading this, you may be one of those lucky people who actually lives here! If so, here is your comprehensive list of nearby mountain resorts that you should make a point of visiting this winter. 


If you are a visitor to the area, I hope this list is helpful and helps you explore all the winter adventures that this part of the world has to offer. 

Close to home:

1. Silver Star Mountain Resort, Vernon

Your classic, close to home mountain with great downhill, snowboarding and cross country skiing. A 25 minute drive from downtown.


2. Big White Ski Resort, Kelowna

 1 hour and 20 minutes from downtown Vernon, this mountain offers 118 runs as well as cross country skiing.

To the north:

3. Sun Peaks Resort, Kamloops

2 hours from Vernon, protected from the mild, coastal weather by the Coast Mountains, they receive on average nearly 6 metres of light, dry, 'easy-to-ski' powder. Sounds good to me.


4. Harper Mountain, Kamloops

Only an hour and 47 minutes from Vernon, Harper Mountain is smaller than your standard resort, but has cheaper lift tickets too!


5. Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Revelstoke

It's always great to have an excuse to visit Revelstoke, so why not make the 2 hour drive? This mountain offers something for everyone: begginers and experts. Also, make sure to end your trip with a soak in one of the nearby hot springs!

To the south:

6. Apex Mountain Resort, Pentiction

2 hours and 20 minutes south, Apex Mountain is a full service destination resort known for the lightest champagne powder snow, incredible terrain, and friendly people.


7. Mount Baldy, Osoyoos

This mountain seems to be closed at the moment, but they say to stay tuned! 3 hours away.


8. Pheonix Mountain Resort, Grand Forks

Phoenix Mountain is a small ski resort in the Boundary Country, 3 hours south of Vernon, near Grand Forks and Greenwood. Phoenix provides terrain for all skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced and has a unique community atmosphere and claims to be "The Best Little Mountain in BC"!

9. Red Mountain Resort, Rossland 

Furthest away yet, at 4 and a half hours, is Red Mountain Resort in the Kootenays, which I am sure will amaze with the remote setting and breathtaking mountains. They claim to have the best tree runs in BC. I will let you be the judge of that.


And if you are really up for an adventure...


10. Kingfisher Heliskiing out of Cherryville. You're on your own for that one... but send me pictures!


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October sales of single family residential homes continue to decline dropping by 24.4% (down 22 single family residential units to 68) compared to October last year (90 units) and down 16 units from last month’s 84 units. The North Okanagan real estate market although healthy, continues to stagnate while we continue to see much better numbers in the Shuswap to the north and Central Okanagan to the south. Year to date sales in the North Okanagan continue to trend down 10.5% from 916 last year to 820 this year. BUT WAIT! With the federal election now over, November is showing a stunning rebound!


Sales - The total sales for the 12 months ending October 2015 was at 925, down 8.7% from the 1013 for the 12 months ending October 2014. The recovering market appeared to be taking a break, although this is still the 2nd highest volume of sales in the last 8 years since 2008. This is the third month in 2015 that sales showed a decrease over last year, another factor that showed a stalling recovery. However, now that last month’s federal election is behind us, sales in the first week of November have rebounded an amazing 150% to 25 single family home sales from 10 for the same week last year. It will be interesting to see how sales go for the rest of the month and the rest of the year.


Inventory - The average monthly inventory of single family homes dropped only 3% to 548 for the last 12 months ending in October 2015, now the lowest average inventory we have seen in the last 8 years. Inventory has not been this low since 2007, before the start of the recession triggered by the US banking crisis. With more Buyers out there looking for reasonably priced homes Sellers can finally make that move.


Prices - Prices continue to edge up and we are seeing continued upward pressure on average median prices. At $352,964, average median prices for the last 12 months ending in October 2015 rose 2.5% from 12 months ending in October 2014 and up 6% from 2013 when we reached the lowest average median price of the last 9 years. If more Buyers enter the market and the inventory continues to tighten, we will see more upward pressure on prices.


Absorption Rate - The rate at which our inventory is being absorbed by sales dropped slightly again compared to last month. The average absorption rate of 13.64% over the 12 month period ending October 2015 dropped below last year’s figure for the second time this year. At the end of October 2015, the inventory remained at 8 months of available homes on the market, up one from last month. This is still considered a balanced market and favouring neither Buyers or Sellers.


As predicted, the real estate market slowed down during the period leading up to the federal election the same way that it did during Alberta’s provincial election in May 2015 when Edmonton real estate experienced the lowest sales in 20 years followed the next month by a rebound in sales and rising prices. Our real estate market in North Okanagan appears to reacting in the same way as we see the 150% increase in sales for the first week in November. Let’s see what happens next!


At this point we still expect that the market over the next 6 to 18 months will be characterized by increasing sales and lower inventory moving more strongly towards a market that favours Sellers with more competition from Buyers and rising prices. Prices will rise when consumer confidence gains momentum and brings with it more Buyers putting downward pressure on available inventory.


If you have any questions about the market, please feel free to contact me at any time. You can go to my stats page here to view the graphs and full detailed data.

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