Decision Making Tips
Just as people are different, so are their styles
of decision making. Each person is a result of all of the decisions made
in their life to date. Recognizing this, here are some tips to enhance
your decision making batting average.
Top of page
Copyright ©1996 Liraz Publishing Co.
All Rights Reserved
Do not make decisions that are not yours to make.
When making a decision you are simply choosing from among alternatives.
You are not making a choice between right and wrong.
Avoid snap decisions. Move fast on the reversible ones and slowly on the
Choosing the right alternative at the wrong time is not any better than
the wrong alternative at the right time, so make the decision while you
still have time.
Do your decision making on paper. Make notes and keep your ideas visible
so you can consider all the relevant information in making this decision.
Be sure to choose based on what is right, not who is right.
Write down the pros and cons of a line of action. It clarifies your thinking
and makes for a better decision.
Make decisions as you go along. Do not let them accumulate. A backlog of
many little decisions could be harder to deal with than one big and complex
Consider those affected by your decision. Whenever feasible, get them involved
to increase their commitment.
Recognize that you cannot know with 100% certainty that your decision is
correct because the actions to implement it are to take place in the future.
So make it and don't worry about it.
Use the OAR, O. A. R. approach in decision making. Look at O, Objectives
you are seeking to attain, A, the Alternatives you sense are available
to you and R, the risk of the alternative you are considering.
It has been said that a decision should always be made at the lowest possible
level and as close to the scene of action as possible. However, a decision
should always be made at a level insuring that all activities and objectives
affected are fully considered. The first rule tells us how far down a decision
should be made. The second how far down it can be made.
Remember that not making a decision is a decision not to take action.
To be effective a manager must have the luxury of having the right to be
Trust yourself to make a decision and then to be able to field the consequences
Don't waste your time making decisions that do not have to be made.
Determine alternative courses of action before gathering data.
Before implementing what appears to be the best choice, assess the risk
by asking "What can I think of that might go wrong with this alternative
Many decisions you make are unimportant-about 80% of them. Establish operating
limits and let your secretary or others make them for you.
Consider making the decision yourself in lieu of a group, but recognize
the potential for less commitment by those affected.
As part of your decision making process, always consider how the decision
is to be implemented.
As soon as you are aware that a decision will have to be made on a specific
situation, review the facts at hand then set it aside. Let this incubate
in your subconscious mind until it is time to finally make the decision.
Once the decision has been made, don't look back. Be aware of how it is
currently affecting you and focus on your next move. Never regret a decision.
It was the right thing to do at the time. Now focus on what is right at
Mentally rehearse implementation of your choice and reflect in your imagination
what outcomes will result.
Brainstorming alternative solutions with your staff or others will gain
fresh ideas and commitment.
Discontinue prolonged deliberation about your decision. Make it and carry
Once you have made the decision and have started what you are going to
do, put the "what if's" aside and do it with commitment.
Back to Index of Management Tips