How Tony Robbins Makes Decisions


image“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” — Roy E. Disney

How does Tony Robbins make decisions?

He uses a simple process he calls OOC/EMR.

The beauty of Tony Robbin’s decision-making process is that you can improve your ability to make better decisions, and you can apply it to all areas of your work and life.

And, as some say, your life is the sum of your decisions.

4 Rules for Better Decision Making

Before going through the decision making process, Tony Robbins shares 4 rules that he uses to guide all of his decision making:

  1. Rule #1 – All important or difficult decisions must be made on paper.  Don’t do it in your head.  When you try to do it in your head, and it’s that important, you end up looping back over the same things, without getting to any resolution.  Looping adds stress and pressure to you.  You end up feeling like you have no time because you have pressure.
  2. Rule #2 – Be clear what it is you want, why you want it, and how you know when you’re getting it.  You have to be clear on what you want and the purpose.  Even if you are clear on what you want, you might forget the reasons why you want it.  The WHY is what will get you to follow through on your decision.  Get as specific as possible about what you want, why you want it, and how you’ll know when you’re getting it.
  3. Rule #3 – Decisions are based on probability.  Don’t wait for absolute total certainty.  In most cases,  you’ll never get it.  You have to give it to yourself.
  4. Rule #4 – All decision making is value clarification.  In most cases, you don’t have just one outcome.  You have lots outcomes that you’re going to try and achieve simultaneously.

Keep these 4 principles in mind as you go through Tony Robbins’ decision making process.

The OOC/EMR Decision Making Process

Tony Robbins calls his decision making process OOC/EMR.  It represents the following steps in his decision making process:

  1. Outcomes
  2. Options
  3. Consequences
  4. Evaluate your options
  5. Mitigate the damage
  6. Resolve

It might look like a lot of steps, but it’s a logical flow and if you want to get better at decision making, it helps to chunk it down into steps that you can focus on and improve.

1. Outcomes

Tony Robbins starts by identifying the outcomes that he wants to achieve.

Tony Robbins asks the following questions:

  1. What is the results you are after?   
  2. Why do you want to achieve it?

This helps create clarity about the results that you are after, and their order of importance to you.

Tony Robbins says that “reasons come first, answers come second.”

2. Options

Tony Robbins writes down all of the options.  He even writes down the ones that sound far fetched.


Tony Robbins says there is a principle at play here.  The principle goes like this:

“One option is no choice.  Two options is a dilemma.  Three options is a choice.”

Write down all the options you can think of whether you like them or not.

3. Consequences

Tony Robbins walks through the consequences of each of the options.

For each option, he asks the following questions:

  1. What are the upsides and downsides of each option?
  2. What will you gain by each option?
  3. What would it cost you?

4. Evaluate Your Options

Tony Robbins reviews the consequences of each option.

For each option or choice, Tony Robbins asks the following questions:

  1. What outcomes are affected?
  2. How important on a scale of 0-10 is each upside/downside in terms of meeting your outcomes?
  3. What is the probability in terms of 0-100% that the upside/downside will occur?
  4. What is the emotional benefit or consequence if this option were to actually happen?

Tony Robbins uses this stage to eliminate some options from the list.

5. Mitigate the Damage

Tony Robbins reviews the downside consequences of each of the remaining options.

For each downside, Tony Robbins brainstorms alternative ways to eliminate or reduce the downsides.

6. Resolve

Tony Robbins chooses the option that provides that greatest certainty that will achieve his desired outcomes and needs, based on the most probable consequences.

Tony Robbins suggests the following steps at this stage:

  1. Select your best option and strengthen your resolve to make it work.
  2. Resolve that no matter what happens, this option will give you a win.
  3. Design your plan for implementation and then take massive action.

Tony Robbins reminds us that it’s better to make a decision and monitor to see if you need to shift your approach than to remain paralyzed in indecision.

Decide with Your WHY

Tony Robbins really makes the point that if you know your WHY, then your decisions will be both easier to make, and easier to stick with, especially when things get tough.

You’re going to have to decide from all these things you want, what’s #1, what’s #2, what’s #3.  Sometimes you’re not going to get them all.  You might not be making a decision, because you are being unrealistic.  Maybe you can get #1, #3, #4, and #5.

Stay flexible.

Figure out what’s more important to you.  What will help you decide that is, why do you want more money or why do you want to be able to sleep until noon?  Maybe it will allow you to change your life, change the people you care about, start an orphanage, travel around the world, etc.

By knowing the WHY, it’s easier to clarify which is more important than another when you are designing an outcome.

No more analysis paralysis.

You now have a way to take your power back, make better decisions, and keep learning.

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