Making Tough Decisions

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Life and business present crossroads where you have to make decisions that may leave you ambivalent. These decisions might not align with your personal beliefs and may go against your natural instincts to reach a compromise. While making these critical decisions, the old adage that, "Only time will tell," may not be a satisfactory comfort. There is a reasoned pattern of thinking that can give you resolve about these decisions. This will be accomplished by (1) identifying the source of the issue that led to your decision, (2) evaluating other people ('s) roles in decision process, and (3) weighing arguments on both sides.

Identifying a specific pattern of reasoning enables you to confirm that your decision was not arbitrary or self-serving. Having a process for decision-making lets you trust your judgment. The first step is identifying the source of the issue. This involves thinking back to when you first encountered it. Maybe someone raised it or you may have brought it on of your volition. If it is someone else's actions that brought you to the decision point, you need to go beneath the surface. Correctly diagnose the actual issue to ensure that your decision will address the heart of the matter and not just the symptoms. If the issue was raised by your efforts, you need to separate your own bias from the objective issue.

Secondly, you need to be aware of other's roles to the decision process. Frame the contributor's role to differentiate how much of this issue is man-made vs. how much is a naturally occurring issue. The point is not to blame but to ensure that you are looking at this issue as objectively as possible. People may have directly or indirectly contributed to the situation. You need to pinpoint their contribution and decide whether it is positive or negative. If it is a man-made issue, it will be skewed to someone's perspective and not the objective facts. The difference can weigh heavily on the decision process.

Lastly, arguments on both sides should be weighed. You must be open minded and deliberate based on an objective criterion of what the issues surrounding the decision represent and potential consequences on either side. This will require you to consider the short-term and long-term consequences. You are not necessarily looking for a way to reconcile all interests because that is usually not a plausible scenario. However, knowing that you carefully weighed your options will allow you to look at the deliberation process with confidence that you made the right choice.

© Copyright Catherine Delcin, All Rights Reserved.
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