One of the qualities of a great leader is the ability to make a decision and to live with it. Some people are born with this skill, however most of us are incapable of making decisions and sticking by it. I believe taking the right decision is crucial for success. Here are a few points that can help you make the RIGHT decision and how to abide by it.
What is a decision ?
Before we start it’s important to know what we are talking about: Decision making can be regarded as an outcome of mental processes (cognitive process) leading to the selection of a course of action among several alternatives. Every decision making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion. For this post I will mostly point out actions.
Some of the decision making techniques that we use in everyday life include:
- listing the advantages and disadvantages of each option
This is a smart way to start
- flipping a coin, cutting a deck of playing cards, and other random or coincidence methods
This is the worst possible way of taking any decisions
- accepting the first option that seems like it might achieve the desired result
Sadly a lot of people take the first option they think about because they do not believe there is any other way of fixing a problem.
- prayer, tarot cards, astrology, augurs, revelation, or other forms of divination
I am not even going to comment on this, don’t pray & don’t look for cards to make the decision for you.
- acquiesce to a person in authority or an “expert”
Why use an expect ? You are the expert at making your own decisions!
- calculating the expected value or utility for each option.
This is smarter, calculating the risk and personal desire is a start.
1- Look at every aspect of the problem before making the decision
In most cases you don’t need to make a decision right away, so take your time and analyze every aspect of the situation. It’s very important to be neutral when analyzing the situation. If your decision affects other people, try to put yourself in their shoes to see how they would feel about it. Try to think about their objections and if they would appreciate it, as this can help you figure out if your idea is right or wrong. Nothing looks more unprofessional than having to back down on a decision because of discontent from other people (Our politicians makes this mistake quite often).
2- Don’t look back
Once you’ve taken all the necessary steps in making the right decision don’t look back, believe it’s the best choice possible and never open the door in your mind to change it. This is a mental battle but it’s very important to understand that once you open the possibility you can create it. I’ve talked about the creation process. For example let’s say you want to quit smoking, if you never tell yourself that you will smoke again or that you can, chances are that you won’t. However if you open the door in your mind that a cigarette would be good, only one won’t hurt and such, then chances are you will not be able to quit. In this situation you need to tell yourself it’s over PERIOD, never open the door to any other possibility. Our thoughts are our greatest friend but also our most powerful enemy.
3- Talk to people and seek advice (not an answer)
I am sure you’ve notice by now that in most of my posts I always seek other people’s advice, as in some cases it’s good to get help from our peers. For decision making you can also look for help, however do not find someone to make the decision for you. Ultimately you need to do that by yourself with the information you gather from your peers. Most of the time we are afraid of the outcome because it’s unknown, this is perfectly normal and we need to learn to overcome that. The more decisions we take the easier it is to make them. Just like anything else in life.
My last point is less factual but I also believe it can play an important role in decision making. Your gut feeling is also something not to underestimate, it’s very important to follow your instincts and what feels right. Most decisions in life will affect us personally, so if they don’t feel right there might be a reason for that. Trust your instinct and your judgment, as this will help you make the right choices in life. Remember each choice we made brought us to the point we are in life, every action has a reaction make sure you make the right actions/choices/decisions to achieve the desired goals.