Making Good Decisions
Updated: Aug 4, 2018
Decisions can be tough and emotionally charged. Minor or major consequences are often at stake. Other people can be impacted positively or negatively. Our integrity and courage are called into play.
There are good decisions and poor decisions and we all make them both. In the hopes that this information will be helpful, let's look at the factors contributing to poor decisions and then at some ideas for making more effective ones.
When we feel good about our decision, we feel more at peace and in harmony with ourselves and others.
Factors that prevent us from making effective decisions:
1. Not looking at the whole picture
Sometimes we make decisions based on face value rather than looking at a broader perspective. By only looking at a narrow picture of the situation we fail to see the alternatives or options. Maybe the decision is a "which one" decision rather than an "either/or" decision. Maybe the decision could be two possibilities; an "and" decision.
2. Having a biased viewpoint
We often seek and favour information that supports the way we are already leaning, which makes us blind to any information that would oppose the way we currently think about the issue. Something that can help here is to mentally take ourselves out of the picture and imagine that someone else is making the decision.
Although emotions are important and can be a driving force towards making decisions, they can also cloud our decision-making vision and cause us to lose our perspective. Our emotions can place us too close to the situation and prevent us from looking at all aspects-the whole picture.
4. Being overly confidant
Overconfidence is a big problem when making decisions. We tend to believe that we actually know about what will transpire in the future. Because we're convinced that we're right, we overestimate the positive consequences of our decision and underestimate the negative ramifications.
How we can improve our decision-making success?
1. Have good timing
It is never a good idea to make important decisions when we are mentally fatigued, sick, tired, hungry, or emotionally charged. In these cases, any decisions made will not have been made with a clear head. We should always wait until we are fully there - physically, emotionally and mentally.
Timing is also about letting some time pass before pouring our decision into a concrete mold. It is better to sleep on the matter and come out with a clearer head.
2. Evaluate the risks
What impact will our decision have on others around us? What consequences will it have? What is the best outcome? What is the worst scenario? Have we been objective in assessing the risks /impacts? Evaluating the risks objectively is crucial to sound decision-making.
3. Get all the necessary information
We need to make sure that we have all the necessary facts (not opinions) to evaluate the options. Do we have a complete understanding of the issue from an objective point of view?
4. Involve others
Are there trusted and competent people that we can consult with in order to help us arrive at an effective decision? Is there someone who knows how to solve this problem or has done it before? It is often advantageous to see the issue through outside, expert and objective eyes.
5. Have a clear plan
It is so much easier to make decisions when we have a clear idea of our long term goals in all aspects of our life. Then it is easier to put our decisions into the "this is beneficial long term" basket or the "this is detrimental long term" basket. A clear plan makes for clearer decisions.
6. Always strive for a win-win decision
There is nothing more gratifying in decision making than knowing we have done our best, and considered all the options and people involved. A decision where everyone involved comes out a winner leaves us feeling that we have made a positive impact and builds our confidence in making future decisions.
We can not always be right in our decisions and sometimes we will make poor choices, but when we have tools in our tool box, it's easier to be effective and positive more often than not.
Has this information been helpful to you? Let me know in a comment.
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Diana's passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.com