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8 Steps to Decision-making Process

8 Steps to Decision-making Process

It is very important to contemplate carefully and systematically before taking any crucial decision. MissionSelf here highlights 8 steps to a decision-making process that will show you how a decision can be taken in a systematic way.
Deepa Kartha
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Decisions are a part and parcel of life. When important decisions are made in the span of a moment without involving a thoughtful process, there are high chances of it turning out to be a failure. There are various types of decision-making, which can vary in importance. There could also be some instances where decisions may need to be taken very quickly. But when we are faced with problems or dilemmas where our decision has the ability to affect not only us, but others around us as well, then they have to be made very carefully. Many people take decisions depending just on their gut feeling. However, if the decision involves money or someone's life, it is important to analyze the situation carefully before making the final decision. The steps can help us make significant decisions thoughtfully.

Steps Involved in Decision-making

Step 1

To begin with, understand the importance of making the decision. You would have to make a list of some important factors:
  • Time required to make the decision
  • Result of making a good and a bad decision
  • People who would help you
  • People who will face the consequences of the decision
  • Effects of the decision on you and surrounding people
  • What will happen if the decision is not made?
Step 2

Every decision is made to achieve some kind of goal or objective. So, the next step would involve charting down the goals that you want your decision to achieve. At this stage, it is also necessary to make a note of the consequences that are not desirable once the decision is made.

Step 3

For a person to make a decision, he or she has to be confronted with two or more options. If there is no option, making a decision would be impossible. So, the third step requires you to make a draft, stating the options that are available to you. One may also create some options that may not actually exist. Doing so may help you find some solution to your problem and make the decision process a little easier. Once you have listed the available options, you have to examine each one and segregate those that sound very promising from those that do not seem so relevant. However, you have to be careful not to take out any option from your list before it is analyzed in detail.

Step 4

Step 4 is where you have to analyze the different options in detail. Your analysis would be on the basis of what would be the result of each option available to you. You can take the help of different people at this stage, asking them to give their opinion on each option. Here, you would be able to recognize certain options that require more research or contemplation. This stage is a filtration process where the options that seem to be irrelevant should be taken out of the list and only the best possible ones retained.

Step 5

At this step, you have to develop some criteria, according to which you have to compare the various options available to you. These criteria are conditions that would help you in evaluating the different options and would aid you in taking the decision.

Step 6

Once you have decided on the criteria, it is time for analysis of each option according to the set conditions. Make a table, where the criteria appears in columns and options appear in rows. Rate each option with a numerical digit, as per how it would be beneficial for each criterion.

Step 7

After rating the available options according to criteria, at the seventh step, try to combine different options that are available to you and see whether you can come up with a better solution, instead of just choosing one option. You also have to summarize the results you got for each option to make the final decision.

Step 8

This is the final stage, where you have to make the ultimate decision. Before you do this, it is important to go through all the steps and recheck all the information. This would be beneficial for delaying the time of taking the final decision, if you find any missing information. One very important thing that you have to keep in mind is that every decision you take would have some level of risk. Knowing the potential risk involved in the decision one makes would aid in preparing for the problem that arises with the decision.

These are essential decision-making techniques that would prevent one from choosing the wrong option. This is also an important way of learning proper judgment skills that would assist you in every decision you make.