The Art of Decision Making
By Dena Falken
Decision making is a process based on identifying decisions, gathering information and evaluating alternative solutions. Using a step-by-step decision-making process can help you make more informed and thoughtful decisions by organizing relevant information and defining alternatives. This approach increases the likelihood of choosing the most satisfying alternative. Decision making is about facing a question like “to be or not to be” i.e. to be the one you want to be or not to be. Managers are always seen on the platform, where they always require making important decisions because their crucial decisions ultimately shape, guide and direct our future. Decision making is described as the economy of thinking
In decision making our mind plays an important role because mind is the heart of any decision making process. To make a good and effective decisions one should stay with the problem for a longer time. Better decisions are the result of good coordination between mind and body. A better understanding of the mind can lead to setting new priorities as to what is taught and learned. Decision making should be rational that means it must be logical and should pursue an orderly path from problem identification to reaching a solution.
This is a life-altering perception, especially for people who believe that the ability of decision making always falls under the tower of ‘STRENGTHS” and “WEAKNESS”. If you think deeper, I believe decision making is more about “ACHIEVEMENTS” and “OPPORTUNITIES”.
The pursuit of perfection in our decisions adds unnecessary pressure and often leads to “analytic paralysis.” Nobody likes being wrong, but we have to shake our fear and accept that decision-making involves taking risks: sometimes we will do it well, other times we will not do it. Errors are part of learning.
Refuse to Face Reality
We see things as we would like them to be, confusing wishful thinking and reality. For example, 75% of drivers think they are above average behind the wheel, which is statistically impractical.
Faced with a scenario, we tend to take a position and may fail to see beyond it, ignoring what could be better options outside of that one. Also, we tend to amplify the positive aspects of our position and minimize the negative aspects.
Blindness To Facts
The way a situation is presented to us and how we present it to ourselves affects our final decisions. For example, when some cancer patients were informed that the one-year survival rate after surgery was 68% a significant percentage opted for this operation. Meanwhile, when other people learned that 32% of patients die within one year of the operation, no one chose to undergo it. The same information was given but presented differently.
To avoid falling into blindness, it is important to look for alternatives and consider them from different angles. Finally, wait a bit before making the decision.
Going With The Flow
There is something worse than being wrong: being the only one wrong. Doing everything others do is easier and, more importantly, can save us from embarrassment. We saw it with the dot-com bubble, for example. Everyone wanted to invest in technology companies when the bubble was rising, even though most investors knew little about it.
The problem with imitating (and not thinking before deciding) is that we eliminate the possibility of finding wiser alternatives than what is fashionable.
Rushing And Risking
Before deciding hastily, we should consider whether a decision is urgent. We tend to rush into activities, barring things off our list to feel fulfilled. But all we do in a hurry is to take unnecessary risks.
Intuition can be an advantage, but it leads to mistakes if we let it prevail over analytical thinking. Also, it’s important to test your intuition with a cheap experiment.
Married To Ideas
It is difficult for us to change previous decisions, even if maintaining the status quo is ineffective or harmful.
Sometimes we don’t consider the consequences of a decision. Or we only consider the most direct and immediate effects and ignore the side effects. And that could cause bigger problems than what we were trying to solve.
This happened to Titanic officials who wanted to arrive at their destination 24 hours ahead of schedule to reassure critics who said their big ship would be slow. They ignored the glacier warning, a warning that should have been delayed for safety reasons.
We often think that collective decisions are more effective, but this is not always true. Reaching consensus also has disadvantages: it can take longer, responsibilities are often spread out, and people can’t speak their minds because of peer pressure or a desire to be accepted.
Decision-making does not complete the decision-making process: its implementation and monitoring are also important. However, some solutions are not implemented in practice due to our limitations (eg lack of will, determination, or time) or external factors (eg lack of authority or support).
It is important to think about the implementation of decisions. And that means assessing our own ability to take a specific approach and accepting that others have their own interests and needs.
What To Decide?
The leader decides what is under his jurisdiction. This obvious statement leads to a dysfunctional abyss when ignored. At some point, we all have experienced leaders who want to decide everything and end up destroying the autonomy they clearly gave them.
This is the difference between strategy and tactics, the former being the framework within which the latter can be developed. In other words, the strategy defines the vision and the main steps to achieve it. Determining strategy is the leader’s prerogative. Tactics are related to operational activities. They are often placed “in the hands” of younger players as long as they have a good understanding of the leader’s goals, which means they understand his vision.
How Do You Increase Your Chances Of Making The Right Decision?
A good decision is always declared ‘good’ later because the consequences of a decision often allow it to be defined as good or bad. However, we cannot predict the future. However, we can reduce the degree of uncertainty by dynamically analyzing the relevant factors that lead to the identification of “possible futures” that will determine the development of the strategy, or “perspective” strategies, as it is known.
Therefore, preparing for a decision is like looking ahead as if you were trying to dissipate the “mist of war”. This cannot be improvised. On the contrary, it is a rigorous and collective process that includes analyzing all the data that may influence the achievement of goals (such as environment, background, and actors) and an attempt to determine the relative impact of the “course”. events. “Many thinking methods and specific decision tools (strategy games, serious games, simulations, etc.) were developed for managers. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
The Art Of Making Decisions
After all, what can we learn from this? Smart strategic decision-making isn’t just for a few people like Steve Jobs, a character that would be quoted in the economic arena today. Let’s look at the problem from the other side. Decision-making is one of the strongest acts of management. We often judge the management style of a person with decision-making authority through the prism of a decision, even to the extent that decision avoidance can be a management system in itself.
Learn to lead and then improve your management skills throughout your personal and professional life; strengthen your leadership skills, gain experience looking for specific situations, learn from mistakes, compare successes, count on competent teams and all this to make the most of your knowledge and relationships with others and always strive to improve your “knowledge of the world” “go deeper; isn’t this the surest path to the Holy Grail of good decision making? For all these methods there are tools and plans for personal and group development.
Model for the best possible choices
Some decisions are so simple that you barely realize you are making them, while others are time-consuming, risky, and anxious. The decision can be made or interrupted by the project or the company as a whole. And they often solve complex and unpredictable interpersonal problems.
In this article and video, we’ll explore a seven-step approach to improving the quality of your decisions and increasing your chances of success.
7-Step Decision Strategy
To avoid making a bad decision, you need to combine a set of decision-making skills into a logical and orderly process. We recommend the following seven steps:
1. Examine the situation in detail.
2. Create a constructive environment.
3. Create good alternatives.
4. Explore your options.
5. Choose the best solution.
6. Evaluate your plan.
7. Communicate your decision and take action
Step 1: Examine The Situation In Detail
Decisions often fail because important factors are soon overlooked or neglected. So before you decide, you need to fully understand your situation.
Start by considering the decision in the context of the problem you are trying to solve. You need to determine if the problem is a real problem or just a symptom of something deeper.
Take it for granted. It may be possible to address your goal on its own, but several interrelated factors are more likely to need to be considered. For example, changes made in one department can have a negative effect on other departments, so changes are counterproductive.
Step 2: Create a constructive environment for your decision
Can you pay the necessary attention to your decision? Take some time to prepare before immersing yourself in the facts and figures. Remember that most decisions affect other people as well, so it helps to create a constructive environment in which we can explore the situation together and gain support. This is especially true when you need to trust other people to make the decisions for which you are responsible. You need to decide who you want to involve in the process and who will be part of the final decision-making group, which will ideally consist of only five to seven people.
Allow people to contribute to discussions without worrying that other participants will reject them and their ideas. Make sure everyone recognizes that the goal is to make the best possible decision, without guilt.
Step 3: Create Good Alternatives For Decision Making
The wider the options, the better your final decision. At first, it may seem that generating several different options complicates your decision-making, but finding alternatives forces you to go deeper and look at the problem from different angles.
Then it can be useful to use different creative thinking techniques. This can help you break out of common thinking patterns and create truly innovative solutions.
Step 4: Explore Your Options
Once you are sure that you have a good selection of realistic alternatives, it is time to assess the feasibility, risks, and consequences of each. Almost all decisions involve a degree of risk. You need a structured approach to assessing threats and the likelihood of adverse events – and how much they could cost to manage. You will also want to explore the ethical impact of each option and how it can fit into your personal and organizational values.
Step 5: Choose The Best Solution
After evaluating the alternatives, the next step is the decision! If you need to consider different criteria, use decision matrix analysis so that you can compare them reliably and accurately. Or, to determine which one should weigh more when making your decision, perform a pairwise benchmarking.
When anonymity is important, decision-makers hate each other, or there is a tendency for certain individuals to dominate the process, use the Delphi technique to make a fair and unbiased decision. Uses discussion cycles and anonymously written arguments, led by the facilitator. Participants do not meet and sometimes do not even know who else is involved.
Step 6: Evaluate Your Plan
After all the effort and hard work you’ve put into evaluating and selecting alternatives, it can be tempting to move forward at this stage. But now more than ever is the time to verify your decision. After all, looking back is good to recognize why things went wrong, but preventing mistakes is much better! Before you start executing your decision, it’s a good idea to observe it for a long time to make sure you’ve been thorough and that there are no common mistakes in the process.
Your final decision is only as good as the facts and research you’ve done. Make sure that your data is trustworthy and that you have done your best not to “choose” the data. This will help you avoid positive biases, the usual psychological bias when making decisions.
Step 7: Make Your Decision And Act
Once you’ve made a decision, you need to communicate it to everyone involved in an interesting, informative, and inspiring way.
Involve them in implementing the solution to discuss how and why you arrived at your decision. The more information you provide about the risks and benefits, the more likely people are to support you.
Signs You’re Making The Wrong Decision
1. Your heart says no
Our instincts aren’t always the target, but if you have a strange feeling about someone’s request or the risks involved in taking a new opportunity, work through those feelings before moving forward.
2. You are super emotional
It is one thing to be in harmony with your feelings. It’s another thing to let them make important decisions in your life. Emotional responses are designed to protect us from danger (eg, jumping out of the lane of an oncoming vehicle rather than stopping in the middle of a crosswalk). But if we’re upset with frustration, fear, hunger (hunger plus anger), and other intense emotions, we’re more likely to hit “send” if we don’t.
3. Don’t tell the whole truth
Withholding information about decisions you keep from other people can be a sign that you are dead wrong. “A lie is usually a sign that someone hasn’t fully accepted their situation,” says Lee. It could also indicate that we’re not very proud of our choices — because if we were, wouldn’t we want to share them with those we care about most?
4. Make decisions very quickly.
Some decisions – especially important ones – take time to sink into memory and heart. The most important decisions require a good night’s sleep – or some. If you’re in a hurry to make a decision, you’re probably making a mistake. Of course, there are times when you need to act quickly. Whenever possible, you should dedicate enough time to the process.
5. Make decisions very slowly.
The opposite is also true. If you’ve been dealing with this long enough – and you know what to do – some decisions need to be made – even if you don’t have all the answers. It was my fault that I missed the opportunity because I was paralyzed by that decision and did not make the call I already knew I should – and quite frankly, often, because I know that the response to the decision will not necessarily be popular.
6. You consult with your closest mentors.
Not only do I have to invite others to the decision-making process, I also have to listen to the advice of the people I invite. This is another one I learned hard. I rarely make a decision in which the advisory groups I have hired would advise otherwise. In fact, I am seeking a unanimous consensus.
Conclusion To improve decision-making, you need to improve your ability to predict (how different choices change the probability of different outcomes) and your judgment (how desirable each of those outcomes is). While there are countless ways to work on these two skills, there are three simple rules that can help the most. Be less confident at first. We are all safer than we should be at every step of the decision-making process. What else would you think if you were less sure that A is causing B or that B is better than C? Second, always ask yourself, “How often does this usually happen?” If you think that result B is more desirable than result C, ask yourself: how many times has this happened in the past? Third, improve your understanding of probability. Research has shown that even basic probability training makes people better at predictions.