Decision Making Making Decisions Decisions Decision Making Process Problem Solving

Decisions are all around us and we make them on a daily basis. Some decisions are minor and some are life changing. Every decision that we make will affect us in some way, either positively or negatively. Many of our daily decisions we make without much thought. These decisions involve issues like what we are going to wear, where we are going to go, and what we are going to do. The manner that we make decisions reveals our character and our conduct in life just as much as the decisions themselves. We build our decision skills on a daily basis.

Eleanor Roosevelt made some powerful observations about the issue of decisions: “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

How do we make a good decision?

Making a good decision requires some critical thinking. This means that we have to invest time into the process and genuinely consider the issues or people involved. Good decisions can either make us or break us in life. Here are four simple steps that we can take to help make better decisions.

Think through the issues involved

With every decision, there are pros and cons that are considered. No good decision can be made, without a careful consideration of the issues that are involved. Brainstorm on all of the possible issues involved in a decision and create a list of the issues. Think through the most crucial issues involved and then move through the decision.

Think through who will be affected

One of the worst mistakes is not considering those affected by the decision. When considering starting a new job, you need to consider how that might affect your spouse and children. Every decision that you make will eventually affect someone else and if those people are not considered, you cannot make an effective decision.

Think through the various options

One thing that helps make positive decisions happen is looking through various options. Again, brainstorm and list a variety of options that might be possible for the situation. Begin eliminating options until there are two or three good ones and then continue through the decision making process.

Think through what steps need to be taken

The only way to make impact with good decision is to follow through with appropriate actions. No decision can be called good, if there is no action taken to carry out the decision. Once a course of action is decided, think of all of the actions that need to be taken to carry out the decision. Create an organized listing of all the actions steps and the order which they need to be carried out.

Good decisions rarely are made in an instant

Quick decisions are often poor decisions. Good decisions take time to process the information needed and take time to apply that information to the specific situation. There will be times when decisions will need to be made quickly. In these times, we can depend on the good decision making skills that we have already developed. The trap with taking time to make a decision is that often we spend too much time analyzing that we never actually make the decision.

Good decisions rarely come without involving others

No man is an island John Donne

Decisions often involve gathering information and insight from other people. This is especially true if the decision requires expertise or experience you do not possess. When consulting others be sure to have specific questions ready that will help your search for additional information.

Good decisions rarely come without some degree of disagreementNot everyone is going to agree with the decisions that you make, even if the decisions are the right ones. Often, making the right decision will cause disagreement. No decisions would ever be made, if we wait for everyone to agree. Once the decision is made stand behind it and be able to defend it. People may question the decisions that you make but when you make good decisions, you can stand strong.