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Making decisions

Published: 17th June 2013 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2013 01:06 PM   |  A+A-

I don’t know what to do’, ‘I am at cross roads’, ‘I’m so confused’ are some classical, common and most popular expressions. People have different personality traits. The first category which believes in action, predominantly takes risks and doesn’t analyse or worry about consequences. The second category of people are extremely cautious, feel threatened and insecure, will not take risks, want to be careful, do not take decisions and believe in waiting. They spend more time trying to understand the pros and cons.

I have categorised them very broadly only to understand why certain people make effective decisions and others just can’t move forward. All our decisions do not necessarily lead to positive results. But unless we take a decision, we will never know if we are right or wrong or how it has helped us. Each individual has unique situations to handle and decisions are always individualistic.

What is it?

In its simplest sense, decision-making is the act of choosing between two or more courses of action. No choice is necessarily the best decision because life takes us through many experiences and we are always learning. There is always scope for improvement.

Stages

One: List all possible solutions/options.

Two: Set a time scale and decide who is responsible for the decision.

Three: Gather information.

Four: Weigh the risks involved.

Five: Decide what’s important.

Six: Weigh the pros and cons of each course of action.

Seven: Take the decision.

The first category of people who believe in taking decisions quickly also need to understand that they have to be smart because there could be many others who will be affected by their decision. They have to be systematic in their approach towards decisions where the stakes are high. If the risks are balanced, they will be able to move to the next level in every project they are involved in.

Taking responsibility

Before taking a decision, it needs to be clear as to who is going to take responsibility for the decision. The degree to which responsibility is shared can greatly influence how much risk people are willing to take. Does an individual or organisation hold responsibility ultimately? It also highlights the need to keep a record of enough information to justify the choice given the circumstance and knowledge you held at the time.

— kalpana@acl-india.in



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