People oftentimes complain that they find it difficult to make decisions.
Unfortunately, we all have to face the decision making process all the time, from small matters like what food we should cook today, straight up to life-changing decisions like what subject to choose for study, and who to make a partner.
Some people prolong decision making by the never-ending search for getting more knowledge, information, or wait for other’s recommendations.
Other people make decisions by taking a vote, sticking a pin in a list, or flipping a coin.
What Is Decision Making?
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the term decision making suggests the process of choosing something significant, particularly in a group of people or in a company.
Trewatha & Newport explains the decision-making process as: “Decision-making involves the selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem”.
In psychology, decision-making is considered as the cognitive method occurring in the range of a belief or a course of action amongst various probable alternative options.
It is necessary to make distinctions between competing alternatives and take results into account when making ethical decisions
It suggests the way of deciding and picking among options in a manner consistent with ethical beliefs. In making ethical decisions, it is important to understand and eradicate unethical choices and choose the best ethical alternative.
The process of making ethical decisions requires:
- Commitment: The urge to do the best thing despite the cost
- Awareness: The conscious to perform consistently and use moral beliefs to daily behavior
- Competency: The capability to gather and assess information, generate options, and predict possible outcomes and uncertainties.
Good decisions are both ethical and effective:
- Ethical decisions made by providing trust; show honor, integrity, and honesty and are consistent with good citizenship. These practices give a basis for making more suitable decisions by placing the ground rules for our behavior.
- Effective decisions are valid if they achieve what we want to accomplish and if they advance our objectives. A decision that produces unintended and unwanted consequences is ineffective. The key to making effective decisions is to conceive about options in terms of their capacity to achieve our most crucial goals. This indicates we have to assume the discrepancy between immediate and short-term objects and longer-range objects.
Steps of the Decision-Making Process
Below are some important steps in the decision-making process. Each step may require different tools and techniques.
Step 1: Identification of the Purpose of the Decision:
You understand that you are required to make a decision. Try to determine the type of decision you need to make. This first step is very crucial.
Step 2: Information Gathering:
Gather some relevant information before you make your decision. You should know what information is required, the most reliable sources of information, and how to receive it. This action includes both internal and external “tasks.” Some information is internal: you will explore it through a means of self-assessment. Other information is external: you will obtain it online, in books, from other people, and from other sources.
Step 3: Principles for Judging the Alternatives:
In this step, the baseline standards for judging the alternatives should be set up. When it comes to determining the standards, organizational purposes as well as the corporate culture should be taken into concern.
For instance, profit is one of the foremost concerns in every decision-making process. Companies normally do not make decisions that lessen profits, unless it is an unusual case. Moreover, baseline principles should be recognized related to the problem at hand.
Step 4: Brainstorm and Analyze the Different Choices:
Brainstorming to note down all the thoughts is an excellent option. Before the concept generation step, it is necessary to recognize the reasons for the problem and prioritization of causes.
For this, you can make use of Cause-and-Effect diagrams and the Pareto Chart tool. The cause-and-Effect diagram supports you to recognize all possible reasons for the problem and the Pareto chart enables you to prioritize and know the causes with the most powerful effect.
Then, you can move on to creating all potential explications or alternatives for the problem at hand.
Step 5: Evaluation of Alternatives:
Use your analysis principles and decision-making guidelines to assess each alternative. In this step, the experience and effectiveness of the analysis principles come into action. You require to analyze every alternative for their positives and negatives.
Step 6: Select the Best Alternative:
Once you have completed Step 1 to Step 5 process, this step is simple. In addition, the selection of the best alternative is an informed decision since you have previously accompanied a methodology to determine and select the best alternative.
Step 7: Execute the Decision:
Turn your decision into a plan or a series of activities. Execute your plan by yourself or with the support of subordinates.
Step 8: Evaluate the Results:
Evaluate the result of your decision. Examine whether there is anything you should acquire and then correct in future decision making. This is one of the best methods that will enhance your decision-making abilities.
When it comes to making decisions, one should always take positive and negative consequences in the consideration and should choose the positive results.
This act will bypass the probable damages to the organization and keeps the company working with maintained growth. Sometimes, withdrawing decision making appears more lenient; particularly, when you get into a lot of confrontation after making a difficult decision.
But, making the decisions and admitting its results is the only way to keep control of your corporate life and time.
Hope this article will help you in making a decision and enable you to teach from it. Your feedback will always be welcomed.