Decision Making Skills

Jan Jones
October 6, 2023

Are you a quick decision maker? A wise decision maker? Being able to make the right decisions is a critical life skill because each decision you make has the potential to alter your life path, no matter how big or small you perceive that decision to be.

It is worth your time, my friend, to review the steps in decision making so that your mind switches to auto pilot seamlessly and filters information quickly through each step.

Decision making steps:

Step1:  Define the Problem That may sound easy looking at the surface, but sometimes the real problem is underneath, like an iceberg, and takes some digging. You don’t want to just treat the symptom. It can be as simple as “I’m hungry”.  Before going to grab some food, ask yourself some questions. “Am I just bored?” “When did I last eat?” “Am I just craving sugar?”

Or let’s look at a bigger decision: perhaps you are struggling with the decision of which college to attend. Dig deep and ask yourself why you are finding this a hard choice. Do you want to stay closer to home but know the further away school is better for your major? You want to go to the same school as your best friend?

Coming to grips with the REAL struggle you are having is step #1 in the process to making a wise decision. You have to know what you are dealing with.

Step 2: Consider All Options This is where you need to think outside the box and get creative, so you are not just looking at the obvious choices. Research, ask others, and list all possible solutions even if they sound out of reach. There may just be an option you have not thought about.

Step 3: Consider All Consequences If you are a visual person it might help to draw a mind map – draw a circle with the option inside it and draw radiating lines from it with each consequence written on the line, negative consequences on one side and positive consequences on the other side of the circle.  If you are a list person, make a T chart of pros and cons. This exercise will help clarify the outcomes of your available choices.

Step 4: Make a Decision At this point you should be ready to make your choice. You have all your options in front of you with possible outcomes of each choice. It’s time to analyze this data and make the best choice.

Step 5: Take Full Responsibility Once you have made the decision, you now must be ready to accept responsibility for all outcomes. No blaming, no whining, the choice was yours, and you did the best with what information you had at the time.

Step 6: Evaluate As time passes, it is important to evaluate your decision. Did you skimp on your research and miss something that could’ve made a difference? Thankfully, most decisions can be recalibrated. Ask yourself what you can learn from this decision that will help you with future decisions.

It is good to practice this process with easy decisions so that when it comes to the bigger, more important ones your mind will intuitively run through these steps. You will find decision making will gradually become easier and faster.

-Jan Jones

For a fresh strategy to deal with FOBO (Fear of Missing the Best Opportunity) watch this video: