The Do’s and Don’ts of Successful Decision Making

Jack Prot

Decision-making always involves an element of risk. There is the possibility that a decision can end up being the wrong course of action. However by following some steps and avoiding others, successful decision making can be approached with more confidence and be more easily achieved.

The “Do’s” of successful decision-making include:

· Do identify why the decision needs to be made. Making choices arises when a situation needs to be addressed.

· Do gather all the information necessary to make the decision. Missing important information may lead to an unsuccessful decision, or a one made for the wrong reasons. Make sure you have all the details before making a choice.

· Do consider all the possible outcomes. List all the possible decisions that you could make in the situation.

· Do decide if group input would benefit. Sometimes it is effective to involve others in the decision making process.

· Do draw on past experiences. Have you had to make a similar decision before? Was the outcome successful? What did you learn?

· Do choose and execute the best outcome. Taking strong, confident action is one of the key aspects to successful decision-making.

· Do get feedback from others once the decision has been implemented. This will help you judge whether it has been successful, and provide valuable information for future choices.

The Don’ts of successful decision-making include:

· Don’t feel pressured to make a decision too quickly. Good decisions need to be made once all the necessary information has been gathered and critically analyzed.

· Don’t doubt your ability. Making a strong decision can be hard. It can have negative effects on those involved, making it hard to remain confident in your ability to make the best decision. However successful decisions bring about beneficial change and progress, even if in the short-term they can seem unpopular.

· Don’t procrastinate. Most decisions are made with the desire to make the “right” and “best” choice. This can lead to hesitation and procrastination. However, delaying a choice through hesitation can often do more damage. A choice made with strength and conviction will often result in success.

· Don’t make a decision influenced purely by your emotions. Although there is definitely a place for emotional decision-making, making a choice when one is feeling angry, threatened or another strong form of emotion often leads to a lack of rationale and clarity.

Decision-making is experienced by most of us on a daily basis, whether at work, in our personal lives or in another situation. If we follow proven decision-making guidelines we can improve our skills and learn to make strong, confident and successful choices.

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