How to Make Decisions: A Model for Making the Best Possible Choices - Deepstash

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Be wise today so you don't have to cry tomorrow.

~E.A.Bucchianeri

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Some decisions are so simple that you're barely aware you're making them, while others are time consuming, high risk, and can leave you feeling anxious.

Decisions can make or break a project or an entire business. And they often involve complex and unpredictable interpersonal issues, too.

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A 7 Step Decision Making Strategy

  1. Investigate the situation in detail.
  2. Create a constructive environment.
  3. Generate good alternatives.
  4. Explore your options.
  5. Select the best solution.
  6. Evaluate your plan.
  7. Communicate your decision, and take action.

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Note

This process will ensure that you make a good decision in a complex situation, but it may be unnecessarily complicated for small or simple decisions. In these cases, jump to Step 5.

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1.Investigate the situation in detail.

Start by considering the decision in the context of the problem it is intended to address. You need to determine whether the stated problem is the real issue, or just a symptom of something deeper.

Look beyond the obivious

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2.Create a constructive environment.

Can you give your decision the attention it needs? Spend some time preparing yourself before diving in to the facts and figures.

Remember that most decisions will affect other people too, so it helps to create a constructive environment in which to explore the situation together.

This is especially true when you have to rely on other people to implement a decision that you're responsible for. You'll need to identify who to include in the process and who will be part of any final decision-making group.

Enable people to contribute to the discussions without any fear of the other participants.

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3.Generate good alternatives.

The wider the options you explore, the better your final decision is likely to be. Generating a number of different options may seem to make your decision more complicated at first, but the act of coming up with alternatives forces you to look at the problem from different angles.

These can help you to step outside your normal patterns of thinking and come up with some truly innovative solutions.

Brainstorming is probably the most popular method of generating ideas.

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4.Explore your options.

When you're satisfied that you have a good selection of realistic alternatives, it's time to evaluate the feasibility, risks and implications of each one.

Almost every decision involves some degree of risk. You'll need a structured approach for assessing threats and evaluating the probability of adverse events occurring – and what they might cost to manage. You'll also want to examine the ethical impact of each option, and how that might sit with your personal and organizational values.

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5.Select the best solution.

the next step is to make your decision!

If you have various criteria to consider, use Decision Matrix Analysis to compare them reliably and rigorously. Or, if you want to determine which ones should carry most weight in your decision, conduct a Paired Comparison Analysis.

If your decision is being made within a group, techniques such as multi-voting and the Modified Borda Count can help you.

When anonymity is important, decision-makers dislike one another, or there is a tendency for certain individuals to dominate the process, use the Delphi Technique to reach a fair and impartial decision.

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What Is Delphi Technique

The Delphi technique is a process used to arrive at a group opinion or decision by surveying a panel of experts. Experts respond to several rounds of questionnaires, and the responses are aggregated and shared with the group after each round.

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6.Evaluate your plan.

Now, more than ever, is the time to "sense check" your decision.

Before you start to implement your decision, take a long, dispassionate look at it to be sure that you have been thorough, and that common errors haven't crept into the process.

Your final decision is only as good as the facts and research you used to make it. Make sure that your information is trustworthy, and that you've done your best not to "cherry pick" data. This will help you avoid confirmation bias, a common psychological bias in decision making.

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More On '6.Evaluate Your Plan'

Discuss your preliminary conclusions with important stakeholders to enable them to spot flaws, make recommendations, and support your conclusions. Listen to your own intuition, too, and quietly and methodically test assumptions and decisions against your own experience.

Use Blindspot Analysis to review whether you've fallen prey to problems like over-confidence, escalating commitment, or groupthink. And consider checking the logical structure of your process with the Ladder of Inference, to make sure that a well-founded and consistent decision emerges at the end.

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7.Communicate your decision, and take action.

Once you've made your decision, you need to communicate it to everyone affected by it in an engaging, informative and inspiring way.

Get them involved in implementing the solution by discussing how and why you arrived at your decision. The more information you provide about risks and projected benefits, the more likely people will be to support it.

If people point out a flaw in your process as a result, have the humility  to welcome their input and review your plans appropriately – it's much better to do this now, cheaply, than having to do it expensively if your plans have failed.

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Taking right decision plays a very crucial role in one's life because life is a matter of choices and every choice you make makes you.❤

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