7 Steps to a Better Decision Making Process

 

Why do you get stuck during the decision making process? Is it because you don’t like change? Do you lack confidence? Or are you like me and sometimes fear making a mistake?

No matter the reason, when you feel paralyzed in the decision making process, you can end up with the absolute worst result: no decision! So next time you feel unsure about how to make a decision, follow these seven steps to a better decision making process.

7 Steps to a Better Decision Making Process

Problem. No one struggles making a decision when the outcome is clear. It’s when the outcome is unclear that we get stuck like glue. That’s because difficult decisions usually uncover problems. This means the first step to a better decision is to clearly articulate the problem you are trying to solve.

Reframe. Problems are not dead ends, they’re detours. They are opportunities looking for solutions. Therefore, if you reframe your problem into a solution you’d like to achieve, you create a positive vision for your decision.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”  —Theodore Roosevelt
Options. Most people look for the one, right way to make a decision. Yet there are often several paths to a good decision. This means after you have clearly articulated the problem and have reframed it into the solution you want to achieve, step three is to list out multiple options for arriving at your decision. A great tool for evaluating the pros and cons of each option is a SWOT analysis.

Choose and Craft. After you have weighed the pros and cons of each option, it’s time to choose one and craft your plan. This is where fear or lack of confidence cause many people to get stuck. But remember, the worst decision you can make is no decision. So if you have done a SWOT analysis and weighed the pros and cons, trust your research, make a choice, and move forward.

Execute. Don’t make this step too hard. Just follow the plan you’ve crafted.

Size Up. As you execute your plan, be sure to evaluate it along the way. For decisions that take time to implement, a good strategy is to evaluate every 30, 60, or 90 days.

Sure Up or Scratch. As you execute and evaluate, there will likely be parts of your decision that need to be strengthened or improved. You may also discover that you’re not achieving your desired results and you need a new plan. In either case, you can pivot and respond accordingly. This is what makes any decision, even a “bad” decision, better than no decision. No decision leads you nowhere, whereas even if you have to pivot from your original decision, at least you know what doesn’t work and have additionally insight into what will likely work.

 

One last comment. Did you notice this decision making process is a PROCESS? Each step builds upon the former. Additionally, it is circular. This means if you have to scratch your decision and start over, you simply circle back to the problem and start the decision making process again.

 

Questions: What part of the seven steps to a better decision making process is most challenging for you? Are there any additional steps you would add to this decision making process?