Decision Making 101: How to Become a Successful Decision

The subject of decision making often occurs when I work with clients. This is a key skill for life and leadership. Many people are overwhelmed with choices, plagued by indecision, and stressed by analysis paralysis. I understand. You want to make the right decision. The best solution. And in many cases the large number of options you have to wade through asks you the question of the very decision you make. We face decisions all the time. In fact, many sources claim that we make up to 35000 remotely conscious decisions daily. It seems like a ridiculous amount, but it's entirely possible. Let's guess. When you woke up today, you probably decided to get out of bed or hit the snooze button. You decide whether to go, how to dress and what to eat for breakfast. Research from Cornell University suggests we make over 200 decisions a day just for food.((Cornell Chronicle: 'mindless autopilot' causes people to grossly underestimate how many daily food decisions they make)) Then you've probably decided what route to take to work, whether to answer email or check social media – and if you've found your way through social media, you've probably made dozens of decisions about what to read. , pass, like, comment and share. Once at work, you've probably made over a hundred decisions, emails, meetings, and conversations with colleagues from the moment you walked in the door. If you find yourself struggling to make a specific decision, feel like you're a bad decision maker in general, often doubt yourself or regret making a decision, or would like additional resources in your decision making toolkit, you're in the right place.

The 3 Ps of decision making

First, I would like to present the 3 points of decision making:

  • perspective - what think o When making a decision
  • Process - Steps to make a decision
  • Preference - Definition Your best strategies for making decisions

Perspective: what think o When making a decision

As you now know, we make tens of thousands of decisions every day. So much of making the right decisions lies in how we think of ourselves as a decision. Here are some things to consider:

Put the solution in context.

How important is this decision? Sometimes we agonize over the smallest decision about what to cook for dinner or what to wear. These decisions are unimportant in the grand scheme of things and have little consequence. The next time you're stuck on a decision, take a step back and ask yourself to appreciate the importance of that decision. On a scale of one to five, five is a very important decision in one's life (to change profession, whom to marry or have children) and one is fairly innocuous with small effects (whether ordering food or commenting on a social media post). If it's five, you probably want to spend more time on that one; but if it's one, you can make a quick decision and move on. If it is not important in 5 years, you should not spend more than 5 minutes on it.

Know yourself.

Many ancient philosophers from Aristotle to Socrates touted the benefits of "knowing yourself." This applies to decision making, too. We make decisions based on our own perspective and lens, and it's important to get to know yourself: your style, values, beliefs, fears, stories, and what works for you. When you have strong self-knowledge, it makes many decisions much faster and easier. For example, when you know your values, and for example, know what you value families, it's easy to decide to skip this work event for your child playing football. Or, if you value ambition, it's easy for him to decide to work late at night and skip Happy Hour with his friends. The other part, knowing itself defines why you are stuck. There's probably a pattern when you're stuck in indecision. Trying to figure it out. Maybe you're stuck trying to find most the best solution or when you don't have a clear idea. Maybe you're stuck because you don't want to provoke conflict, or you're worried about the consequences. Or perhaps you are stuck when you have too much time to decide and need a deadline. You can also look at your history for when you were confident and made the best decisions. There's a template for that, too. What worked before? Use this formula to get ahead today.

In your own be true. - William Shakespeare

Learn to satisfice (yes, that's the word).

In his book The paradox of choice: why more or less Barry Schwartz talks about the power of satisficing instead of maximizing. Maximizers want to absolute best solution. They exhaust all possible options, trying to find the one right choice. This often leads to analysis paralysis, stress over the decision and regret after the decision has been made. "Minimalist" answers strive to find what is "good enough". They know that this is not ideal and strive to find a solution that satisfies most of their needs or requirements. When you learn to satisfice instead of increasing, you can do better, make decisions faster with less regret.

Recognize that you are not always happy with your decision.

Often people are hesitant to make a decision because they don't like the decision - even when they knew this is the best solution to choose. And just because the solution is correct doesn't make it easier to do so. I ran into clients all the time. They tell me they don't know what to do; but as we say, in fact they not знают exactly what they need to do, they just won't like the answer. This is especially pronounced when people have a true dilemma, when all options are equally terrible, but the choice is inevitable.

Determine which solutions to optimize to avoid decision fatigue.

Moreover, the decisions that are made use more energy. In the end. this includes your ability to make wise decisions. This is called decision fatigue. There are many areas in life where you can automate decisions so that you don't have to make them at all. This leaves more mental bandwidth for important decisions. Think about the decisions you make in your daily life, where you could speed up the process and install instead of automatic selection. Maybe it's what you eat. Could you simplify and have eggs on toast every morning so you don't have to make that decision? Maybe that's what you're wearing. Steve Jobs was known for wearing his black turtleneck and blue jeans, freeing his mind to make other, more important decisions. How can you reduce or even eliminate choices in your life so that you make room for the ones that are most important to waste your time and energy?

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Consider the risk of indecision.

Maybe you've explored your options and narrowed them down, but just can't make up your mind because of the potential risks. I am working with a client who is considering leaving his job and moving to a new industry. As he explored possible alternatives, he kept coming back to risk leaving his safe, stable position. Will he be able to find another job elsewhere? Does it pay the same? Will it have the same level of flexibility? As he considered these risks, I asked another question: What is the greater risk here? As he shifted his gaze, he realized the greater risk was in staying in his work - unhappy, unsatisfied and stressed. This negatively affects his health, marriage and family. Therefore, when you feel stuck making a decision and connected with everything, or something, consider it a big risk. Instead of “What if it's not? What if there is something there? What if this is the worst decision I've ever made?" Try to change your paradigms like my client. Is it a big risk actually staying where you are? It's better to rock the boat than to die drowning in it.

Process: activity to make a decision

In 2007 Pam Brown Singleton Hospital in Wales created a 7 step decision process. Many others have followed suit with hundreds of different adaptations of this same formula.((Wikipedia: decision making)) I use a similar process to help clients understand the next step in their lives and careers. Here are 7 steps:

1. Set a goal and a result.

What decision are you trying to make? What are you trying to achieve with this solution? My mentor once said: “A well-formulated problem presents its own solution.” Get crystal clear on the problem and solution.

2. Collect data.

This step is to gather enough information you need to make an informed decision.

3. Development of alternatives.

Brainstorm and identify your options. You want to make sure you have enough options so that you can make a good decision, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed. This may seem counter intuitive, but research proves that when you have too many options, it reduces your satisfaction in the end decision.

4. List the pros and cons of each alternative.

In this step, weigh the evidence and identify the advantages and disadvantages of each. You can also look at how likely each option is to meet your goals.

5. Make a decision.

It's decision time. Here, choose the best option among your alternatives. Don't know how to decide? Check the strategy settings below.

6. Take immediate action.

What is your first step?

“A real decision is measured by the fact that you have taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't really decided yet." — Tony Robbins

7. Learn and reflect.

Now, it's time to rethink your decisions, understand the consequences of your choices, and use this information to improve your decision making in the future..

Preferences: Specifyyours best strategies for precision clearance

Once you have perspective and understand the process, you can start using the strategy that works best for you. Here is a range of possible decision-making tools that I have collected and tested over the years with myself, clients, family and friends.

Listen to your inner voice.

Trust your intuition. Stop listening to everyone else and what they say, you have to do and understand what you believe. Here's how.

Define risk/reward.

My father raised us to always think about the risk/reward and cost/reward of our decisions. Is the reward worth the risk? Are they worth it? There will always be compromises in life; are they acceptable? Think about the decision or choice you are trying to make right now. Ask yourself: “Is it worth it?” Is what I choose worth the time, energy, effort, risk I'm taking? If your answer is a resounding “yes!” than go for it. If your answer is a tepid “maybe”, then you probably need more information. If it's a resounding "No", well then you really have your answer.

Friend's phone.

It's hard to make decisions alone, so help is needed! Consider a best friend (who knows how to listen), a coach (who you can go through with relevant questions to bring out your thinking), a mentor (who has been in this situation before). Be careful about who to involve. Part of the problem in making decisions is not to swing too far into your own beliefs. Everyone will have their own opinion. Don't let someone convince you otherwise when you don't know what's best for you.

Use visual/auditory/kinesthetic NLP models.

Are you visual, auditory or kinesthetic judgment? How do you know? Think about the decision you made recently, everything went well and put yourself back in the mindset when you made that decision. Did you do this based on the picture you have, what would it “look” like (visually), your internal self-talk or dialogue (auditory) or the feeling you experienced (kinesthetic)?((iNLP Center: decision strategies)) I try to visualize the result, then go to your intuition. If I can't or it's not right, I don't move forward. Too much self-talk or internal dialogue may tend to get in my way.

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Flip a coin.

Have you ever flipped a coin, only to decide to do the exact opposite of what the coin said? The coin incites our instinctive reactions because it gives us something to react to. Is this the solution you're stuck with right now? Flip a coin. Are you happy and ready to go with this answer? Or do you want to flip again? Best two out of three, who? Well then you already know what you want, don't you?

Take measures.

Sometimes you don't know until you are "in it". When you are faced with two options, make the best choice with the information you have and that you feel better about, and then start moving. You will know if this choice is right for you if you feel good as you move forward. You know it's wrong if you continue to feel heaviness or resistance. The more you move forward, the clearer the signal will become.

Ask for divine guidance.

I have many friends and clients who use tarot cards, meditation or prayer to make important decisions. Which of these might work for you (or already does)?

Use of software solutions.

For complex decisions, especially those involving many people, a team, or serious consequences, try using decision making software such as cloverpop . Consultant Carolyn Murphy stop such meetings highlights that software like this can help teams make better decisions faster:

“We love it because collaborative decision making is a huge pain point for teams and Cloverpop uses all the best decision-making in an easy-to-use format putting cognitive diversity to life. Teams can reference solutions and save a lot of time.”

Follow Colin Powell's 40-70 rule.

Former Secretary of State Powell's advice on leadership and decision-making by states that you need between 40-70% of the total information to make a decision. Less than 40 and you are bound to make the wrong decision; but if you wait until you are 100% sure it is almost always too late and you have missed the opportunity. The bottom line is, gather enough information to make the right decision and then go with your gut.

There is a solution.

Yes, you read it right. I know this may seem a little strange, but hear me out: A few years ago, I read about a CEO who made all his big decisions this way. Let's say he's considering acquiring another company. He wanted to sit down and imagine what he ate, which was the solution. Then he would stop, wait and see how he felt. Did he feel energized and alive, or did his stomach hurt? Essentially, this tactic allows you to get out of your head and instead rely on somatic markers ((science straight: somatic marker hypothesis)) - or feelings in your body to make decisions.

Use your emotions.

Our emotions affect our ability to make decisions. When you need to know and understand your emotional states, you can make more informed decisions. On the other hand, when you are not aware of your emotions and whether they can really be related to the decision itself, then you may make the wrong decisions for the wrong reasons. See the chart below for details or to learn more about emotions in decision making:((psychology compass: 4 Ways Emotional Control Boosts Your Decision Making Skills))

Sleep on it.

When my father has big problems he tries to solve or make a decision, he thinks about it before going to bed. In the shower the next morning, the solutions start bubbling. Research confirms what he already knows. When you sleep on it, you make the right decisions. ((Living Science: why sleeping on it helps))

A set of rules.

Set rules and boundaries about how many options you have or how long you have to make a decision. This may include a deadline or an ultimatum to help force the decision to be made.


On the other hand, sometimes we pressure or put false deadlines on ourselves and we don't have an answer because we're not ready or not at the right time…just not. If you have the freedom, sometimes the best thing you can do is wait until the right solution comes up on its own. Sometimes it can be just a few minutes or hours and other times it can be months.

Bottom Line

That the decisions you've been putting off or painfully now it's time to move forward. It's time to decide. Get a perspective, follow the process, and determine which strategy you prefer. Don't know where to start? See which one pulls you in, what worked better in the past, or just pick one of them, test to see how it goes and test some more. Then when you made up your mind do not look back. Of course there is some value in analyzing the solution so you can do better. nextbut looking back and wondering if you made the right decision, or fantasizing about the outcome of the best decision, only causes stress and regret. Instead, practice gratitude for your decision. Remind yourself why it's the right thing to do and why you chose it in the first place. Put energy into making sure the decision was right. I had a client recently told me this as she was discussing a bigger solution. Finally she said: “I have just stated that the decision I have made and decided that I am going to make it work.” Finally, when things don't go the way you hoped, remind yourself that you made the best choice you could with what you had at the time. You can't know what you don't know and we all know, hindsight 20/20. We are all humans. We evolve and learn and evolve and make mistakes is just part of the process. Learn from them, grow out of them and move forward to the next decision in your life. You have roughly 35,000 to do today, so let's not waste another minute.

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