The 7 Steps & 3 Challenges of the Decision Making Process

decision making process

"Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Regardless of the position or title you may hold, you find yourself in situations where you often make necessary decisions independently. Wouldn’t it help if you found an efficient way to make thoughtful decisions that positively impact long or short-term goals? How about a step-by-step approach to follow to achieve the best results.

The decision-making process is commonly divided into seven steps. While making decisions, people tend to go through this process; however, they may not realize doing so. Gaining a proper understanding of the steps involved in decision-making will gradually improve the decisions’ effectiveness.

7 STEPS OF THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

Identify the Decision: The first step is recognizing the
problem and making a decision accordingly. The decision should determine why and how it will make a difference and resolve the issue.

Gather Information: Next, it is time to gather every piece of information, so your decisions are facts based on the data collected. Also, the information you’ve gathered requires a value judgment that determines whether the information at hand is relevant or not. To make the correct decision, you need to ask yourself what specific content you need to make the appropriate decision.

Identify Alternatives: When you clearly understand the problem, you need to have alternative solutions to the problem. It’s like having a range of options for making the right decision. This approach helps you determine which course of action will best achieve the objective.

Weigh the evidence:  Select the best alternative options. The second most trusted opinion is helpful at hand to have a different perspective. You need to understand that every object or thing has pros and cons both. Always select an alternative that has the highest chances of success.

Choose among alternatives: When the time comes to make the right decision, you need to understand the risks involved and the potential consequences and outcomes. You may choose more than one alternative to cover the relevant information and risks.

Take action: Now, finally, it’s time to make an action plan for implementation. Getting on board with your decision along with others can raise several questions and doubts people might ask you, and you
need to answer them.

Evaluate your decision: This is one of the most neglected yet essential steps in decision-making. You always need to evaluate the decision you’ve made for effective results. Ask yourself whether you have made the right decision or not and how you can improve the next time.

All the steps explained above will make your decision-making effective, but some challenges in the decision-making process may generally get overlooked.

COMMON CHALLENGES FACED IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS

Too much information/not enough information: Relevant information is required to make the right decision, but it is crucial to identify how much data in total is required. Too much unnecessary information may leave you confused and misguided. Yet, relying on limited information can lead to catastrophic effects.

Misidentifying the problem: In some cases, you can identify the problem and give a solution to it on the spot, but in other cases, which seems to be very rare, the decision is very complex, and you need to take advice from people who have experienced it. This approach will save time and energy in the long run.

Overconfidence in the outcome: Even if you follow the same decision-making process steps, there is a slight chance that you don’t end up with the results as you thought. Therefore, you need to have a valid option to get better results. Do not blindly follow the same steps and be overconfident.

Decision-making is a significant process. It is not mandatory to follow all the steps blindly, but you need to be aware of the common challenges, which makes the decision-making skill even better, thoughtful and
achievable.

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