THE BIG STORY

On the road with Decision SCOPE

On the road with Decision SCOPE

June 23, 2015

I am on a mission to help college students improve their decision making skills and I’m channeling this through the new Interactive Workshop, Decision SCOPE.

I have conducted six Decision SCOPE workshops this year, impacting more than a thousand students. I begin with a story about a college student making a dramatic decision. The story features humor, music, romance, and a life-and-death emergency. Then I ask audience members to think of a current decision they are facing. Next I teach them my SCOPED decision process, and they fill out a SCOPED worksheet about their own decision. Finally, I ask a few students to share their decision with the entire group and use their reflections and questions as a springboard for further coaching.

The key learning experience for students is writing about their decisions. When reviewing students’ SCOPED notes, I am always very moved to see the range of decisions they are facing. Students write about decisions ranging from armed services, career path, clubs, education, family planning, finances, health, housing, marriage, parenting, recreation, religion, social life, technology, and transportation. 

I am happy to see that students generally make progress or achieve new insights after SCOPing their decisions. Without SCOPED, or a similar process, students often freeze up and underthink really big decisions; or they spin out in anxiety and overthink decisions that should be straightforward. The workshop productively addresses this dynamic.

What are students saying? Students at Fort Wayne shared their decision making apprehension:

“I am an overthinker and tend to not make much progress…until I tried the SCOPED chart.” – Courtney

“I am very indecisive, so the SCOPED process will be super helpful and useful for me in the future.” – Taylor

“Normally breaking down options stresses me out and confuses me. This eliminates the stress, confusion, anxiety.” - Lauren

As a facilitator, I am delighted to impart a new tool that students find helpful. What is really thrilling is that, judging by their comments, many students found the workshop transformative:

“As unbelievable as it sounds, I am leaving here today with a completely new idea of who I am and who I want to be. This was incredible and by far my favorite presentation ever.” – Lauren, CU Boulder

“The session was honestly life changing. I always have a terrible time making decisions, so this has been so beneficial to my life!” – Allie, Fort Wayne

“After listening to Dr. Belkora, I feel more ready to attack my future!” – Morgan, Kansas City

I developed this workshop based on years of feedback from evaluation surveys, so I am confident that it works well, and ongoing feedback allows me to continuously improve. So far we’ve had great feedback with an 87 percent response rate! Almost half of the respondents have rated the workshop as 5/5. That’s how I know my curriculum is really helping students. 

Decision SCOPE is an experiential workshop: I never turn on a projector. Keeping the workshop experiential is the key to keeping the audience engaged. I am grateful to the Teaching Scholars Program at my home institution, the University of California, San Francisco, for giving me the tools to continuously improve the workshop curriculum and hone my craft. I hope to serve many more CAMPUSPEAK audiences with the Decision SCOPE workshop. Learn how Decision SCOPE can help your organization.

Credit // Author: Dr. Jeff Belkora


Dr. Jeff BelkoraDr. Jeff Belkora’s work as the director of the Decision Services Unit at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center has captured national attention. The unit recently won an award from the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation for its “ideas that had the potential to transform for the better the way health care is experienced and delivered.” In his ground breaking work, Jeff has studied patients making the most critical decisions about aggressive medical therapies. He’s discovered that the steps that help a patient make thoughtful, informed decisions about dealing with cancer can be widely applied to others making difficult decisions.

Jeff is a professor at UCSF where he studies and teaches leadership, teamwork, and decision making. He has spoken about his innovative training and decision-making programs to audiences across the globe. He is the author of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and case studies.