Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you find yourself confused and not being able to decide between two or more available alternatives? Such as a call or text? Jane Austen or J.K Rowling? Our life events are full of decision-making, from getting out of bed to going to bed, we’re making a lot of decisions every day. While many of them are trivial ones, some of them can have a significant impact on our lives.
However, many people and organizations are not so good at decision-making. The main reason for this situation is that we think we are more logical in making decisions. We neither identify many replacements for our choices nor gather enough evidence about choosing a particular option among a set of alternatives.
This is where decision-making approaches come into play. Studies reveal that most success stories show people taking nearly 35,000 decisions each day. You can also make your decision-making skills better by using proper strategies that are in the best interest of your goals and objectives. Favorable findings that overpower our aims prove valuable in making our lives successful.
We are bestowed with a great power called free will, and we must make the best of it. The consequences of our decisions are also related to us, whether they are good or bad. Moreover, good decision-making is one of the leadership skills possessed by people who aim to lead a set of individuals.
This article will get to know briefly about decision-making and the best approaches to making decisions if you are confused about many alternatives and find it challenging to decide which option to choose. This article is going to help you a lot. Read this article till the end, and you’ll get answers to all the related questions.
What is Decision Making?
Decision-making is one of the exceptional skills of successful people. Making quick decisions is often accompanied by making wrong choices. If we look back to the lives of famous personalities, it is evident that their success resulted from their timely decisions and magnificent strategic techniques.
So, to improve our life choices, we should first understand what decision-making is –
Decision-making refers to the process of identifying available options for a course of action, evaluating them to find one that fits best with your objectives, and arriving at the solution of the problem. It is the combination of intuition, reasoning, and these two.
All the good decisions are made using one’s inner feelings, aka gut feelings, and then reasoning those intuitions based on the facts, figures, and past experiences.
What Makes Good Decision Making?
Good decisions are responsible for promising success for you as a professional and prominent organization in the corporate sector. Making rational and timely decisions utilizing profitable strategies helps improve one’s decision-making skills. Decisions are made by considering the alternatives and the consequences of choosing specific options. To ensure sound decision-making, a person possesses mental maturity, goes for the possibility that is in the best interest of his goal, and provides fruitful outcomes.
Related: 5 Reasons Why Decision-Making Skills are Important for Students?
It is also good to discuss with others only when they have decided to opt for it. In this way, a person gains confidence about his choice and helps evaluate them using past experiences, knowledge, and data. A person can be good at decision-making following the techniques stated in this article later. This section of the article covers some powerful strategies and tips to make good decisions.
Intellectuals believe that the following points should be considered when deciding on something.
1. State your goals
Achievement of goals set by an individual or an organization depends mainly on the decision-making capabilities of individuals. Once you set clear objectives and intentions, you get a clear picture of the path to achieving the desired goals. Your decision-making process becomes much simpler when you have the desired goals and results in mind.
2. Think about the available options
Successful decisions are the ones in which all the available choices and options are considered in the decision-making process. Therefore, it is always considered the best approach to analyze all the possibilities in the decision-making process. Discussion of an idea with other stakeholders and fellows in an organization can help you get their perspectives and explore other potential alternatives to make the best decisions according to the desired goals.
3. Validate all of the options by considering different scenarios
Visualizing the whole situation and outcomes before taking any step towards your required results can help you make the right decisions. One should think about the possible consequences of a particular decision and how that decision would affect the individual and the people around him. This strategy is more valuable and successful than creating a list of strengths and weaknesses because this approach acknowledges that all the benefits and disadvantages do not achieve the same level.
4. Take open-minded decisions
Open-Mindedness in making decisions means that the individual is ready to search for the evidence concerning the alternatives under consideration. Instead of rushing and drawing conclusions, an individual open-mindedly examines the available options and chooses the best of his interest. This does not imply that a person is indeterminate. Instead, this is a robust approach to making effective decisions.
5. Take past experiences into consideration
Past experiences play an essential role in making future decisions. Any decision that results in a positive outcome, people are more likely to go with that choice for the same situation in the future. But for the options that failed in the past, people are hesitant to opt for them in the future as well. Therefore, past experiences undoubtedly play an essential role in decision-making.
For example, a business tycoon is always hesitant to make investments based on the past outcomes that resulted in sinking the company’s economic status.
6. Utilize your available time – Don’t rush
The consideration of time is always an essential component in decision-making activities. The decision-making process takes time. The decisions we make to accomplish goals are executed according to the schedule. Outcomes of decisions enhance as time passes, and the results are mostly the ones that were being discussed and analyzed in the decision-making phase.
The decisions made in a hurry are not always considered the right decisions. When the decisions are made hurriedly, they are driven mainly by partiality and personal likes and dislikes rather than factual positions. Therefore, one must make the best use of time to make the right decisions.
7. Be prepared for the consequences
The decisions you make significantly affect you and others as well. One must make decisions without considering the consequences of committing mistakes. It is essential to discuss all the possible alternatives and analyze the results before making the final decision, but the options that seem to be the most secure are not always the best.
Therefore, if you decide without worrying about the obstacles and considering the wide range of alternatives, you can make the best possible decision that will yield the required results.
8. Don’t let your traits affect the decisions you make
The Decision-making process should not be affected by one’s business or traits. Natural biases and nepotism can affect our choices as we are humans. We have our likes, dislikes, and fears, due to which we can make certain assumptions about people.
Moreover, people are naturally risk-takers, and it is a part of their personality to make decisions without thinking of the consequences. Such people should not be involved in the decision-making process.
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Decision-Making Approaches That Work
Below are some of the widely used decision-making approaches that many large organizations use.
1. Absolute or Autocratic decision making
The term “autocratic” refers to leadership in which the power is in the hands of a single person, and little effort and input are asked from other people. Most of the decisions are taken by a single autocratic leader. This decision-making approach is appropriate when people are less authoritative and on a smaller scale.
Most of the decisions in this approach are the ones made on the upper hierarchy of an organization. The leader decides and informs about the decision of the group. Following are the advantages and disadvantages of using this approach:
This is a very rapid approach as the leader decides and does not ask the subordinates for their input. There is no discussion. Therefore, the decisions are made in less time.
There is no collaboration between the subordinates and the leader. This can result in creating disharmony and inefficiency at the lower level.
2. Decision making with participation
For the situations where we need to make big decisions in a limited available time, discussions involving participation are preferred. The final decision consists of the input from the individuals who are part of the discussion panel. It is essential to understand that participation decisions are made when the decision significantly impacts its magnitude and risks. Input from many people helps to reach a decision that has fewer risks. Through acknowledgments, we can reduce the potential threats and risks involved in the implementation phase because all the individuals have the chance to present their ideas and then finally reach a decision that consists of the say of all the individuals.
Participatory decision-making approaches value the input from all the individuals, and all the perspectives from different individuals are made part of the final decision.
It is always time taking process when you must make a decision that involves input from all the group members. It involves coordinated debates and panels that share all possible consequences, outcomes, hurdles, ideas, feelings, and perspectives.
3. Autonomous decision making
Autonomous decision-making is a practice where the decision-makers understand a challenge, make clear goals and targets, and then make decisions that can achieve the desired results. Mid-sized choices do not require the top priority, but you must decide and move to the next one. In this case, the Democratic approach is considered the most suitable, where the majority decides. Entities work together in this fashion. We can have an organization where different people have different perspectives and ideas to approach a goal. Still, they vote, and the majority decides the road map to accomplish the goals.
This decision-making approach provides a platform for each individual to share their perspectives and opinions and decide on the majority.
Individuals of an organization may abide by the decision made by the vote, but they may not take ownership of the final decision if they fail to be in the majority.
4. Problem avoidance
Problem avoidance refers to simply avoiding the problem and not seeking any solution. This approach may be considered non-practical, but there can be many reasons that a person can opt for this approach. Sometimes, a situation can arise with insufficient alternatives for a problem solution. Moreover, choosing from a set of options can lead to loss, and the others are also not in the best interest of the pre-set objectives.
Also, the individual might not have the authority to decide on the alternative that he has chosen. Due to these and other such factors, it is better to avoid the problem and make a no-decision.
5. Consent based decision making
As evident from the title, this decision-making approach involves discussing available options with the group of people and then selecting the best alternative with the mutual discussion and agreement of the whole group. This is a helpful technique when the organization has plenty of time to discuss the pros and cons of a particular alternative easily.
The consent-based decision-making approach is the best choice for making the most significant decisions in large organizations. The available options get discussed a lot with a large number of people, hence removing the chance of uncertainties in the final decisions. The pros and cons of this approach are as follows:
Good communication and collaboration in the team can boast the level of commitment among the team members and help them understand the situation better, ultimately improving the decisions.
The group might think they have the right to make the final decision. But that is not the case. As they can provide their alternatives, the final decision will be in the hands of the leader.
Decision-making approaches play a vital role in the functioning of large organizations as decision-making is a continuous activity and involves many cognitive thinkers possessing sound scientific knowledge, logical thinking, and analytical skills. It penetrates all the functional activities of organizations as all of the ventures, and their success is associated with the approach used.
This term is goal-oriented as we follow those decisions to seek our goals. And without proper decision-making, companies will face many problems at functional, administrative, and operational zones to achieve their pre-set objectives. So, the decision-making approaches are devised and help make decisions that benefit the organizations. In this way, by continuously making proper and timely decisions, a company progresses and keeps achieving its goals.