Life is full of decisions ranging from the simple to the complex on matters of what to wear to office to more profound business decisions like expansion or seeking loans.
We make so many decisions each day consciously or unconsciously as a matter of routine or habit, resulting in tiredness and fatigue. Therefore, when it comes to life altering decisions, confusion reigns and thoughts go on ceaselessly because of the available choices. The crux is to arrive at the right choice.
Self awareness and analysis are two key factors to assist us in making the right choices. Conscious awareness that a practical and beneficial decision has to be taken amidst all the commitments is the first step. Decisions made in haste or as a reaction to a trigger invariably backfire, leading to more complications and frustrations. At the same time, the other extreme of this decision making process would involve too much thinking, which again hampers decision making. Therefore, a person needs to be aware of the issue, analyse the pros and cons to arrive at an amicable solution.
But can all decisions be made after prolonged thinking? Some situations require spur of the moment decisions. So, what aids good decision-making?
Understand that it is the right choice:
To have self awareness, we need to understand the physical and mental symptoms and the action to be taken.
Physical/mental symptoms - Faster heartbeat and pulse rate, tightness in any part of the body along with fast thoughts that are more emotion based.
Action - Breathe deeply, calm your mind and body by sitting quietly in one place and then bring up the issue for decision. There will be clarity in thinking thus enabling the right decision.
Consider future implications:
Decisions should not be short sighted but the consequences or implications in the future need to be considered. Most of us have the tendency to solve the issue quickly, leading to immediate satisfaction without bearing in mind that the problem could rear its ugly head in the not-too-distant future. The decision may not be favourable to us but may benefit others. Are we prepared to do that? As a consultant, we may have to dissuade a client from going for expansion considering the futility of the business even at the cost of losing the client!
List out the pros and cons of the decision; consider the favourability of the result not only for yourself but others who would be affected by it. We need to ask ourselves how this decision will favour us in the future and if we are being true to ourselves? Consult mentors and peers if need be.
Besides this perspective from the individual point of view, the trend which is fast picking up among corporates is collective decision making. Collective decision making can arise from simple processes.
Prioritisation: To start with, there may be a number of decisions, hence identifying, listing and prioritising the important ones would be a first step.
Delegation: Groups can be assigned to come up with solutions by assessing the factors that would go into the decision making. Each group can collectively come up with strategies and plans.
Brainstorming and intervention: Brainstorming by a larger group of key personnel along with the initial small group would enable discussions on the outcome of the decision. It will also bring out suitable interventions to alter the factors for the benefit of the organisation.
It is important to note that implications about future need to be considered while going through this process of decision making.
These points are only a framework on which individuals and groups can build or customise on processes for effective decision making. It will help avoid major repercussions in the future and in general to safeguard against poor calls.