Four Tips for Improving Your Decision-Making Process

Published: 19 Feb - 2021 by Ben Rendle

Making the best choice can often prove challenging. Luckily, there are ways to make your decision-making skills better.

People who can make the right decision at a moment's notice are always well-respected among their peers. 

It might seem like this ability comes naturally. But in reality, it's a skill you can learn and develop.

Here are four tips about decision-making that will help you do just that.

Tip #1. Learn From Experience

Experience from previous situations comparable to the present can inform your decisions and serve as a useful guide and point of reference. That’s why in many cases, keeping a record of past crucial decisions can prove invaluable.

But you don't have to rely only on your own experiences. 

When faced with a decision, especially if it's a crucial one, don't shy away from consulting other people. Those working in the same field as you could have useful insights and knowledge that you can leverage in your decision-making process.

Tip #2. Compare Costs and Benefits

You can apply cost-benefit analysis to most choices. It comes down to weighing the pros and cons, considering what resources to use, and understanding the outcome of your decision.

Think about the available options and imagine what it would take to act on each of them relative to what you'd achieve through those actions. It would be very helpful to remain realistic when considering both positive and negative aspects.

Once you've measured the costs and benefits of your decision, the solution might become obvious even if it's not the one you initially expected.

Tip #3. Break Down the Questions

Complicated decisions can often be broken down into smaller components that are less challenging to understand and resolve. If you can see the large picture as a set of simple, interconnected factors, you'll have an easier time reaching a decision.

Starting from the current state of matters, define the outcome of your choice as the endpoint. 

Then, look at all of the points leading to that outcome. Ask yourself what's the most optimal path leading from one to the other and weigh the costs and benefits of each step.

The gained insight from breaking down the questions can make your decision-making much more straightforward. You could even find a more effective way to resolve the issue at hand.

Tip #4. Prioritize

If you're facing one complex decision or a series of smaller ones that require your immediate attention, the situation can become overwhelming. However, you won't always have the luxury of taking a step back and carefully examining each question.

This is when prioritization can be of vital importance.

The essential decision you should make is which matter requires your attention the most. When you realize which issues are pressing and which can be put on hold, the situation will become more transparent and you'll be able to direct your actions more efficiently.

Prioritizing is equally useful when it comes to a single big decision. In this case, however, you should concentrate on which outcome is the most important rather than which question needs answering first.

Weighing short-term and long-term profit is a good example of prioritizing. Faced with a choice between the two, a company will decide on the course of action based on which type of profit it prioritizes.

Improve Your Decision-Making

Making well-informed, reasonable decisions is at the core of every successful venture. Luckily, you can improve your decision-making process using the described methods and start making choices that lead to the most beneficial outcomes.

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