We cannot avoid making decisions. Right or wrong, decisions are made every minute of the day. They are unavoidable. And if we try to avoid making decisions, someone else will make them for us.
Do you really want to put your life and decisions about your life in the hands of someone else?
It is best to make our own decisions. Making decisions is a way of moving forward in life. Not making decisions is to stagnate and die.
We are faced with challenging decisions about our lives every day; from the simplest to the most complex tasks.
Let me share with you some points and principles on decision-making to make the task easier and more rewarding.
- Do not make decisions when you are feeling angry or emotional.
If you make decisions during these times, you are likely to end up regretting the decision you make. Decisions made under the influence of these emotions are always subjective and destructive and will do neither you nor anyone else any good. All good decisions are made when a person is sober and clear-headed, as this is the state of mind in which we can think most objectively.
- Do not make a decision until you have heard all sides of the story.
Do not assume you know everything needed to make a particular decision. Talk to people who are experienced about the subject. Not only will they present you with new options, but their insights could completely change the way you think about your decision. You must always be willing to hear an opposing view. Be as detached and objective as possible from the task and the decision-making process.
- Consider all your possible options.
I have yet to meet a decision maker, good or bad, who had checked out all available options. You can invariably come up with options never considered, or hear options you would never have thought of yourself.
- Do not make decisions when you are under pressure.
Remember the oldest technique in the book of selling; sales people will use pressure to try to make you decide in haste:
“It’s the last best deal in town… you cannot let this go! You will lose this deal, you have to decide NOW!”
Do not fall for this old trick… if the deal is not there when you are ready, then it is not the deal for you. There will be plenty more deals waiting for you when you are ready to make a decision.
- Do a reality check before making a decision.
Make a list of things that can go wrong and the things that probably will go wrong. Keep the number of things that must go right for the decision to succeed to a minimum. At the end of the day, there are no wrong or right decisions per se, but we do need to be prepared to correct some decisions to make them better. Expect the worst and work for the best. If you did not make the best decision the first time around, this is great if you can learn from it! But do not stop there. Be sure to continue to manage your decisions and your decision making processes.
Good decision making comes from disciplined thinking. If you follow some of these basic principles before making decisions, the results of your decisions are most likely to work. If you think haphazardly when you make a decision, then little of what you plan will eventually work out.
Good decision making is habit forming. Each time you make the right decision, you gain more self-confidence to keep making good decisions.
Please take a moment to ponder… Follow some of these basic principles before making your next important decision(s); these principles are most crucial to remember and apply.
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd