7 Steps to Great Decision Making

decision making

Decision making is a key part of our life journey. However, poor decisions can lead us on pathways we may regret in the future.  Unfortunately, stress and wild emotions can often impact how we make decisions. If you are driven by feelings like me, it’s important to find ways to make well considered decisions especially for those really important choices in life. By applying a simple step by step process, it’s possible to transform the quality of your decisions. So, whether it’s a decision about a work project, a relationship or other major life event, we all want to these to serve us well in the future. That’s why I wanted to share this very simple seven step process I use when I face one of those important decisions.

decision making

Great Decision Making – Step #1 – Time Out

The first step of the process is to give yourself the gift of time to reflect on the issue to need consider. During this time out we can use this simple process to generate the best decision possible. Decisions we make in the midst of a stressful situation can be those we may regret in the future. That’s why taking a time out is the vital first step to better decision making This creates time and space away from stressful situations when our emotions may be running high.

That’s why step one is the most important. Where appropriate, it means withholding decisions until they can be considered in a neutral environment. Also, this time out allows us to get very clear about the decision we must make. Getting very clear can be helped by putting it in writing and setting some clear criteria around what success would look like some time in the future.

decision making

Great Decision Making – Step #2 – Consideration

Now that you have clearly defined the decision you need to make, it’s possible to collect relevant information about the subject. Firstly, we can reflect internally on our knowledge and views and create a written assessment. Secondly, it’s important to look outside yourself and consider relevant information from other appropriate sources. Looking outside your current knowledge can allow you to make a fully considered decision and leads us to the power of alternatives in the next step.

decision making

Great Decision Making – Step #3- The Power of Alternatives

Now that you have collected and written down your own internal assessment and external information about your decision, it’s time to review what’s on  your page. The critical element here is that you will often see alternatives appearing.  It’s these alternatives that can lead us to consider a range of  potential pathways. It’s often the power of alternatives that can lead us to the most creative and powerful outcomes and decisions.

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Great Decision Making – Step #4 – Synergy

We now have a range of alternatives that may help us create a great final decision. For me personally, I love to apply the power of synergy to these alternatives.  Synergy comes from considering and combining alternatives to make an even better solution. Very often, parts of several ideas can be combined to create a third alternative that we may not have found without this process.

So, apply synergy to consider all of your alternatives and possible combinations. Evaluate each option against your written success criteria that you created is step one. Give each alternative a rating based on it’s likely success of reaching your intended outcome.

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Great Decision Making – Step #5 – The Super Computer

I’m sure you’ve heard people say… ‘I’d like to sleep on that’. By sleeping on any problem or decision you automatically include the power of  your own  super computer.  Our super computer is our subconscious mind. My most successful decisions have come after leaving my subconscious mind to work on the alternatives created by my conscious synergy process. The key hear is to review all your options just before it’s time for sleep. More often than not, you will find that a great solution and decision will appear in your mind after waking.

During our sleep, our subconscious mind filters all the information and events that you have had during each day. Using the subconscious mind in this way has been used by countless scientists and inventors over many years.

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Great Decision Making – Step #6 – Action

Either by using step four and or five, you will have created a well considered decision. Now it’s time to convert your decision into action steps to move you forward. Start off with small steps and then apply the final step. The worst thing we can do is to make a well considered decision and then not act. Taking micro-actions are also a great way to overcome any doubts or fears that may cause us to procrastinate. The key to moving forward is to take micro-actions so that you feel the positive emotion of success early on you new pathway.

decision making

Great Decision Making – Step #7 – Review and Adapt

Once you take action on a new decision, it’s always a good idea to review your outcomes against your success criteria. If you find you are on track and all is going well, then pat yourself on the back and keep moving forward. However, if you find you are not on track, then take time to reconsider the decision, alternative pathways and action steps. Often,  it’s merely a matter of adapting your plan slightly to get the outcomes you expect.

Here are some related posts you may find interesting.

5 Steps to Unlocking the Power of Habit

Smart Goals- Unleash the Powerful You



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