There are important steps and keys to making a good decision.
Good or sound decision-making is necessary for living life productively and efficiently.
All of us are confronted with various decisions to make on a daily basis. Some are small and of minor consequence, while others are huge and potentially life changing. Some are simple and obvious choices; others are more difficult and painstaking.
For those that are complex and difficult to make, there is a process we can follow to help us come up with a good solution.
The Keys To Making a Good Decision
- Identify the decision to be made as well as the objectives or outcome you want to achieve.
- Do your homework. Gather as many facts and as much information you can to assess your options.
- Brainstorm and come up with several possible choices. Determine if the options are compatible with your values, interests and abilities.
- Weigh the probabilities or possible outcomes. In other words, what’s the worst that can happen? What will happen if I do A, B or C and can I live with the consequences?
- Make a list of the pros and cons. Prioritize which considerations are very important to you, and which are less so. Sometimes when you match the pros against the cons you may find them dramatically lopsided.
- Solicit opinions and obtain feedback from those you trust or have had a similar situation to contend with. There may be some aspects you haven’t thought about.
- Make the decision and monitor your results. Make sure you obtain the desired outcome.
Points To Consider
There are no guarantees. Certainly you can never know in advance whether a decision will be correct, therefore, you must be prepared to take risks.
Look for the opportunities. If you make a mistake, view it as an opportunity to learn what didn’t work and why. Many times decisions are reversible and you can change your mind.
Hindsight is 20/20. On occasion, you might discover in hindsight situations that may have affected your decision had you known about them earlier. This is normal and typical but should not stall your decision-making process.
Do not get stuck and do nothing. If you’ve done everything you can to make a good decision and still can’t make up your mind, do not delay making an important decision for fear that you don’t know enough or will make the wrong choice.
Don’t let fear stop you. Sometimes people become so paralyzed with the fear of making a wrong decision that they panic and lose sight of what they’re trying to accomplish. This hinders making any decision.
Don’t second-guess yourself. In the end, second-guessing yourself also undermines what you’re trying to accomplish. Once you’ve made the decision, let the chips fall where they may. At the very least, you will have learned important lessons.
When all is said and done, all you can do is the best with what you have to work with. Incidentally, do not underestimate the power of intuition, or your gut feeling. After all the facts are weighed and evaluated, it can be the final determinant. Quite often it may be all you have to go by.