Decision Making

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Life involves an ongoing need to make decisions and choices. Skillful decision makes people enjoy the feeling of self-confidence that comes from knowing how to make good choices. They do this by gathering all of the information they can to develop a better understanding of the situation, then they proceed by following these guidelines. 

Isolate the Problem

Condense the problem into one sentence, then list a number of possible solutions and consider the worst that could happen for each alternative. Next, ask yourself what the best possible outcome for each would be; also determine whether you need to take action right now. Sometimes the best decision is to do nothing, but don't make that choice simply to avoid an uncomfortable situation. 

Gather Resources 

Consult with an expert on the problem. If that's not possible, ask yourself whether a trusted and knowledgeable friend would make the same decision. Gather as many facts as you can before you take action, but don't delay making a decision solely because you don't have time to track down every single factor. 

Develop a Plan 

Now that you have analyzed your problem and looked at it from many different perspectives, decide how you will carry out your decision. Choose the solution with the maximum benefit and the lowest possibility of damage from the perspective of a worst-case scenario. 

Take Action 

Now that you have made a decision, put it to work. It is impossible to be certain of the outcome of any decision, so decision making always involves some level of risk. You can, however, minimize the risk by visualizing the potential outcome of the decision. The background work you've done will help you know that you're doing the right thing, and you'll be able to increase your decision making skills and confidence as you put your decision into action.