10 Steps To Better Decision Making
Considering The Possibilities
1. Making a difficult choice can seem harrowing when you feel you're working alone. Involve others in your decision making by asking for criticism and seeking advice from those who can approach the choice from a fresh perspective. Listen to opinions that fall on both sides of the topic at hand. You may also want to consult an expert.
2. Learn from your mistakes as well as your triumphs. Examine decisions you have made in the past as they will teach you more than you will learn from most other sources. Though some decisions will not seem important, all decisions shape our lives and should be regarded as educational. Apply that knowledge to your current dilemma.
3. A good decision acted upon in a timely matter is always better than a great one acted upon too late. It is important to recognize that you will never know enough to make the perfect decision. Don't become paralyzed by your need to foresee all possible outcomes to every possible choice.
4. Involve your head and your heart. Ask both practical questions and personal questions about the problem at hand. Considering the facts as well as your feelings (and the feelings of others) when examining your options will ensure that you make a balanced decision.
5. Before anything else, focus on the most basic, necessary results. Often, a decision maker will get bogged down thinking about the non-essential elements of a decision. Avoid considering extraneous factors and far-fetched perfect outcomes. Ask yourself, "What needs to be done?"
6. Consider the entire range of possibilities, no matter how unlikely. When faced with a complex decision, brainstorm by yourself or with others to find as many of the vital elements as possible. Evaluate those elements as they relate to the choice you must make.
7. It was a wise person who noted that, "you can't please all of the people all of the time." Almost all decisions will involve some dissatisfaction or conflict. Some decisions may even create new problems. Once you have made a decision, stand by it. Keep in mind that you have used your best judgment and it was the best choice at the time.
8. Don't waste time on poor choices. Reject poor choices, even if you've begun to implement them, and stop doing the things that aren't working, so you can focus on the solutions that have strong potential.
9. Consult with the people who will be directly affected by your decision. People appreciate being heard and enjoy when their opinions are seen as valuable. Even making a simple choice can have a profound impact on those around you.
10. It is easy to dismiss your intuition, but in doing so, you may be disregarding valuable insight and even solutions. Ask yourself what choices you would make if you weren't afraid and then see what your subconscious offers as an answer. Try to ignore the fear of error when consulting your "gut."