How To Properly Assess A Risk

Everyone faces risk. In fact, you face a plethora of risks day in and day out. You probably don’t even realize the risks you face.

There are risks that you can easily assess. Crossing the road, navigating your car, or going into work.

Tiny risks, yes. But risks none the less. And you take them on without a care.

Then there are higher consequence risks. The risks that makes you wonder. The risks you wonder how to properly assess them.

In his book, Take The Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk, Ben Carson lays out the foundation for making wise choices when it comes to facing risk.

The BWA

Carson uses a system called the BWA, or Best/Worst Assessment. The BWA is a system you can use to decide whether or not to take a risk.

The BWA helps you to analyze the risks you face. When you answer the four simple questions the BWA contains, you’ll be able to come to a decision quickly.

What questions do you ask yourself when you use the BWA? The 4 questions are:

What is the best thing that can happen if I do this?

What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?

What is the best thing that can happen if I don’t do it?

What is the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do it?

Using The BWA

You’ve now got the questions that will help you make better decisions regarding risk. The questions are pretty simple, aren’t they?

Having the questions alone won’t do you any good. You must begin to use the BWA and answer the questions when you face a risky situation.

Risky situations may include:

Should I quit my job?

Should I marry the woman I’m dating?

Should I go back to school?

Should I fire Dan?

Each of these decisions can be tough. They require a lot of thought and consideration. Sometimes you might struggle to come to a conclusion.

This is where you can use Carson’s BWA method. Ask yourself the 4 BWA questions and your decision becomes a lot easier.

Take the question: Should I quit my job?

By asking yourself the questions in the BWA, you come out with a better sense of clarity. Lets use the BWA and see one possible scenario.

BWA Question: What is the best thing that can happen if I do this?

I find a job I really enjoy. The job uses my strengths more effectively than my previous job. I feel more fulfilled and happy with the new job. I’m able to lead with more authority and influence.

BWA Question: What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?

I’m unable to find a job that suits my strengths. I may have to take a lower paying job or a job people may consider beneath me. My influence as a leader may diminish.

BWA Question: What is the best thing that can happen if I don’t do it?

I hold onto a job that doesn’t make me truly happy. My bills are still paid but my leadership abilities aren’t stretched or put to the best of use.

BWA Question: What is the worst thing that can happen if I don’t do it?

My unhappiness with my job shows. Eventually, this leads to me being fired. I have to find a new job and place to lead.

When you break down the question using the BWA method, you can assess the risk and bring clarity to your mind. Do you see how it worked with the question of whether or not I should quit my job?

I was able to see the pros of taking the risk or not taking the risk. The BWA also gave me clarity on what happens, good or bad, if I decide not to take the risk.

If you’re facing a tough decision, you can use the BWA method to properly assess the risk or decision. You can walk away from the risk knowing you made the best choice you can with the information you have.

Question: What risk are you facing that you can apply the BWA method to? Share the risk in the comment section below!

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