Decision making is considered to be an art as well as a science. Many businesses worldwide make decisions that affect various functions of their organization. However, have you ever wondered what separates a good decision from a bad one? A good decision takes into account the five steps in the decision making process. We will discuss these 5 steps in the decision-making process in this article.
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Decision Making Definition
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the term decision making means “the process of deciding about something important, especially in a group of people or in an organization.” Moreover, decision making in the business setting would be deciding something important regarding an organization. Since these decisions are crucial for businesses, usually those at the top of the organizational hierarchy make these decisions. However, if the organization has a more inclusive decision-making process then more people will have a say in the final decision. However, regardless of the number of people involved in making the decision, there are five steps to the procedure.
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1. Identify Your Goal
Firstly, before making any decision, you must have an end goal in mind. Moreover, you should make sure that every single action you take is towards the fulfillment of that goal. The goal will translate to the purpose of your decision and the problem at hand that needs to be solved. Once you have that figured out, you will find it much easier to stick to your decision and see it through. However, if you are confused about your goal, your decision will lack conviction, and half-hearted decisions are rarely ever effective.
2. Gather Information regarding Alternatives
Before making your decision, it is imperative to have alternatives in mind. This is because you can never know if another alternative might seem more feasible than the one you may have thought of. Hence, you must research and come up with alternatives, and analyze these alternatives based on the benefit or cost they may accrue to your decision. The more information you have about the decision and its alternatives, the more effectively you can make your decision. What may come in handy in this step is taking advice from experts or those whom you trust the most. They will be able to give you unbiased and informed advice related to your decision.
3. Analyze possible Consequences
This is more to do with foreseeing what can go wrong and what can go right with every alternative you have chosen in the previous step. This step will allow you to be prepared for anything that may come your way as a result of your decision. Hence, it may be one of the most crucial steps in the process, one you do not want to miss out on. It also allows you to consider the consequences of every possible decision you could make, helping you make an informed choice as to which path to take. Weigh the pros and cons, choose the decision with the best consequences as per the cost-benefit analysis. Then, move to the next step.
4. Make your decision
Finally, the big decision. In this step, you choose the decision with the best consequences analyzed in the previous step, and you follow through with it 100%. Once you have followed the previous step, many of your doubts may have been overcome. However, you may still be confused about the decision you have opted for. In that case, we would recommend that you follow your instinct. Many times we may know subconsciously that a decision may be the right one to take, but do not follow through anyway. This is the time to finally do it. You know what the right decision is based on the previous steps, just follow your gut.
5. Evaluation of the decision
Evaluation of your final decision may be just as crucial as the previous ones put together, if not more. This helps you learn from your mistakes and helps you improve upon your successes. You must rectify incorrect decisions, or even tweak the correct ones to better meet your requirements. This will help you refine your decision-making process even further.
Have you followed these five steps while making decisions? Try it, and let us know your results and thoughts in the comments below!