Create a fun simulation to demonstrate how stress impacts the data you select and the decisions you make

Certainly! To create a fun simulation demonstrating how stress impacts data selection and decision-making, we can design a role-playing activity that incorporates elements from the excerpts provided. Here's a step-by-step guide for the simulation:

Simulation Title: "The Crisis Conundrum"


Participants will experience firsthand how stress affects their ability to process information, select data, and make decisions.

Materials Needed:

  • A set of "crisis cards" containing various workplace scenarios
  • A timer
  • A "reflection worksheet" for each participant
  • A space conducive to small group interaction


  1. Preparation of Crisis Cards: Create a variety of workplace crisis scenarios on individual cards. Each card should have incomplete information, requiring participants to make assumptions or seek out missing data.
  2. Reflection Worksheet: Prepare a worksheet with questions modeled after the ones posed in the "Some Crises Build Character. Others Reveal It." excerpt, focusing on self-awareness and decision-making under stress.


  1. Introduction: Explain to participants that they will be role-playing a leader in a crisis situation. Emphasize that the goal is to observe how stress influences their decision-making process.
  2. Crisis Simulation: Divide participants into small groups. Give each group a crisis card and set the timer for a short duration (e.g., 3 minutes) to simulate a high-pressure environment.
  3. Data Selection and Decision-Making: Groups must quickly assess the situation, identify what data is missing, and decide on a course of action before time runs out.
  4. Reflection: After the timer ends, participants individually complete the reflection worksheet, considering their emotional state, the assumptions they made, and the quality of their decision-making process.
  5. Group Discussion: Reconvene and facilitate a discussion using the SCARF model as a framework to explore how status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness played a role in their responses.
  6. Debrief: Discuss the importance of slowing down as mentioned in "The Importance of Slowing Down" excerpt. Highlight strategies like meditation, exercise, and good sleep habits to manage attention and stress, as well as the practice of journaling to enhance self-awareness.

Debrief Questions:

  • What did you notice about your decision-making process under stress?
  • How did the lack of data influence the assumptions you made?
  • In what ways did you experience a "threat response," and how did it affect your actions?
  • Reflecting on the simulation, what strategies could you employ to improve decision-making in real-life stressful situations?


Wrap up the simulation by summarizing key takeaways about the impact of stress on decision-making and the importance of self-awareness, slowing down, and training to better handle crisis situations. Encourage participants to apply these insights to their professional lives to become more effective leaders and decision-makers.

This simulation allows participants to actively engage with the concepts presented by Ed Batista, experiencing the cognitive biases and stress responses discussed in the excerpts. It also provides a platform for reflection and discussion, reinforcing the importance of self-awareness and proactive strategies to manage stress and improve decision-making.