Everyday situations and events would pressure individuals to make up their minds in order to move on with whatever it is they have been mulling over. Whether important or not, decisions are made every single day and every time there is a need to. Hasty decisions usually do not generate positive and effective results, although there are times when quick decisions are needed to get things going. A well-thought of and planned decision usually creates desirable and favorable outcomes.
Making a decision is not as easy people think it is. It can sometimes be a mind-boggling thing to do. Ideally, any kind of decision making should be done through a process or a list of steps and procedures. The process of arriving at a decision affects the choice being made. Especially for major decisions in one’s life, a systematic manner of choosing the decision brings a greater chance of success.
The Process of Making Decisions
1. Define and Understand the Problem or Issue
The first step in a decision making process is to identify the main cause for the need to come up with a decision. It may not necessarily be a problem. At times these may be issues and choices to make. Part of this phase is determining the goal as well. The goal helps motivate the person in getting clear thoughts.
2. Create and Evaluate the Choices or Alternatives
Alternatives allow for possible options for a sound decision. Identify the list of choices, which are appropriate for the issue or situation on hand. It is important to be creative in developing alternatives, not just simply sticking to the usual. Out-of-the-box choices may seem weird but they can possibly be the best options for a decision to be made. After developing the options, do not miss to evaluate them. Gather facts and information about each alternative. Weigh the pros and cons as well as the benefits and the consequences of each. Some people even use criteria highlighting on feasibility, acceptability, and desirability.
3. Make the Decision
After the evaluation of alternatives, the list must already be cut down into the most promising and most applicable options. This step is crucial because only one choice has to be selected and from that chosen alternative, a decision will be made. All implications must be made known to all the people who have created an impact on the decision.
4. Implement the Decision
Once the decision has been made, apparently the next step would be to manifest it where applicable. If it is a solution to an existing problem, then apply the decision to fix the issue. If it is an opportunity, then apply the chosen alternative for that opportunity.
Monitoring the Decision
After following all the necessary steps in decision making, the process does not end there. A regular monitoring of your decision is equally important as the abovementioned steps. Keeping track of the implementation of the decision will also give you an idea of its possible outcome. Decision results could lead to either positive or within expectations or it could also turn out to be negative or a failure.
In monitoring, you can ask questions such as:
a. How can the success of the decision be evaluated?
b. How else can the decision making process be improved?
c. What have you done so far during the process?
d. What areas still need to be developed and improved?
e. What self-realization have you made after arriving at a decision?
Another reason for following a process in decision making is the limited time. Although it may not apply to all kinds of situations, time still somehow pressurizes individuals to make a choice. With a systematic way of working through a decision, time will not be a problem. At least, when the initial chosen alternative was a failure, there is still time to redo the process.
For example, when a certain project did not work because the option did not turn out to be feasible, you can always change your decision on how to go about improving the project. Always make it a point to follow the correct procedure in decision making so as not to waste time and effort. Furthermore, a structured way of making decisions will also yield good results.