Decision Making – Don’t Put it Off!

by Michael on January 28, 2013 · 0 comments

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Which candidate should I choose? Which project do I undertake? Whether we are looking at the everyday or our private life, we are constantly faced with decisions. It is rarely a matter of two choices, and we are often unaware of the consequences of some decisions. We’ll give you a few tips on decision making and show you how to develop your decisiveness.

When making decisions, there is an ever present risk that you will make mistakes, however, not making a decision often has worse consequences than making a bad decision. Where does fear develop from when you have to make decisions? It is the feeling of dread after making a decision that the other option would have been better. If it turns out after a decision that you wish you had chosen differently; you only have one solution. Make a new decision.

Here are a few tips on how to accelerate and optimize the decision making process, and help guard against the risks of wrong decisions:

  • Always keep in mind what alternatives and determining factors there are and clarify these alongside your objectives.
  • Consider your problems from an outside perspective and analyze them from different sides.
  • Don’t make a decision too quickly. Preferably sleep on it for a night, before you make an important decision.
  • Despite the risk of decisions, you ought to make decisions. Otherwise, you will be seen as incapable of acting and relinquishing power.
  • Listen to your gut instinct or subconscious occasionally.
  • Think of the possible consequences, chances and risks of possible decisions and write these in a “pros vs. cons” list.
  • Divide bigger problems into smaller parts and proceed with a structured method.
  • Reflect upon decisions. Why did you choose what you did? Have you already gained experience from the decision?
  • Provoke criticism. In a circle of your employees, you could use the Walt Disney method for example. The players involved take on the role of a visionary dreamer, a pragmatic realist or a constructive critic. The decision problem will then be observed from three perspectives, helping you to recognize the effects of a decision.

Here are two further methods to aid decision making:

CAF – Considering all Factors by Edward de Bono

This method is the fundamental preparation for decisions. First, you have to define a question for the decision that you want to make. List all the factors which could influence the decision and set priorities based on the listed points. Begin with the most important at the top, and the least important towards the bottom, then proof read the list based on decision making alternatives.

7plusminus2 by George A. Miller

The complexity of the problem will be reduced by this method, without which, the decision would not obtainable. G. A. Miller stated that the capacity for simultaneous memory lied with 7 items (plus or minus 2.) More than 7 pieces brings the feeling of chaos, and the human brain cannot process anymore.


  • Define the question that the decision should meet
  • List aspects that could influence the decision
  • Summarize all single factors in seven groups (plus or minus 2)
  • Individually review and process each module

The biggest mistake is not to make a decision. Have courage and dare to risk making a mistake. You can only learn by making mistakes!

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