How can we make decisions easier?
Some people just seem to be natural at making difficult decisions while others among us find this really hard! Actually, I’ll let you in on a little secret… we’re all good at making decisions around what we know, but when it comes to more complex or completely different circumstances, even the best of us can struggle!
So here are some pointers to help us all out:
Some decisions are easily made, others have many connotations due to complexity, the people involved, too many options or the need but not necessarily the 'want' when it comes to having to make a decision.
Decision making is primarily based around problem solving so now you are considering two elements. If you look at your daily routine, you’ll find you are constantly making, just not really acknowledging it as it becomes routine.
However, once we drift from familiarity, we encounter uncertainty where the decision you make may have a major impact on life, business or other people.
I believe we’re all capable of making decisions once we develop complete confidence in our abilities. So, to help that process, consider the following ‘five point implementation plan’ next time you have that unfamiliar but all important decision to make.
Look to what the benefits will be as a result of making that decision. Where there are others involved in the process, encourage the positive features and also their contribution.
Get the facts first
All too often people try to make decisions simply based on apparently saving money (upfront costs at least).
Gain all the facts first. For example, if choosing between suppliers, compare hidden charges, perhaps an annual rebate structure or how reliable are they? I once lost a 500m2 order for plasterboard to a rival company because they were 1p/m2 cheaper. I later discovered they had turned up three hours later with six guys on site waiting! That was a payment of 18 hours skilled labour for a saving of £5! You do the maths.
Check out the options
Ensure you have looked at all the alternatives whether it be a product, a service or a process. Explore what alternatives there are by using those around you. From here consider implications of each along with risks and practicality. Ensure the solution matches the objective and funds can match both.
Select the best
If the answer is still vague with each option having its benefits, create a ‘decision matrix’. A simple tool that removes the emotional attachment of decision making. Draw a matrix with options going from top to bottom down the right side. Along the top from left to right, the criteria required to be met. Along each option, give a rating from 0 to 10 under each criteria and on the far right, total up.
Whichever scores the highest will prove to be the best overall option. Once done, walk away and do nothing! Return a day later to re-examine or, if an urgent decision is required, still walk away for a short while and return with fresh eyes to re-evaluate what has been decided.
Announce and proceed
Put on your inspirational hat and go out there to inform all those who will be affected by this new decision. If there is a team of people involved, encourage them to participate, giving them elements to control and be responsible for. Ensure they know how important they are to the overall success of this decision, give them ownership.
Coaching is a renowned method for assisting with gaining clarity. Making the right decision is all about gaining clarity and coaches are here to help support you along your journey and ease the conscious that the right decision has been made due to the introduction of logic over emotion.
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