Making a good decision… What a problem…
Some people contend, that in its simplest form, life is a series of choices. This is, in some sense, true. Except that, it’s not that simple, because life itself is not that simple. The complexity of life or, rather, living a life, means that the choices the average individual faces over the course of a lifetime are equally complex. These choices range from simple survival decisions (Should I eat that mushroom?), to difficult moral personal choices (Should I speak out against this injustice and incur increased personal risk?) Obviously, the one thing that all these decisions have in common is the option of choosing action and outcome. However, because the nature of these various actions, and their potential outcomes, vary wildly, no one strategy can encompass the process of deciding between them This is where an understanding of what a decision is becomes important.
A decision is, of course, the action of deciding something. A person faced with a choice makes a choice. The most basic example of this is the proverbial fork in the road. When facing a fork in the road, you have the choice of going left or going right. You stop for a period of time while you think, and then you decide to go either left or right. Once the decision has been made you take the path you’ve chosen.
That’s straightforward and obvious, right? To some extent, the answer to that question is yes. To a greater extent, however, the answer is no. To become a more efficient and more focused decision-maker, you need to understand all the processes that went into making the simple decision above.
First, there was a problem. The path you were walking on divided into two. Second, there was the nature of the problem. Because the path was divided, you were forced to go either left or right to reach your destination. Third, you needed to choose between these two options in order to continue. Fourth, you utilized your experience, knowledge and intuition to decide which option was best suited to your needs. Fifth, you actually made the decision. Finally, you, once again, began moving forward towards your destination based on that decision.
As you can see, the simplest of decisions entails a number of steps. In most cases, we handle these steps subconsciously, without really being aware of what it is we are doing. When the decision we are faced with is simple, this “autopilot” method of choice isn’t a problem. However, when more complex decisions need to be made, not understanding the process can give rise to difficulties.
When examining the definition of a good decision, we must consider what makes one decision better than another. A good decision is one that is well thought out and has a positive outcome. It also helps if the decision is based on a sound set of facts and principles. A good decision is one that considers the effects of the decision on all parties involved, rather than just the individual making the decision. In addition, it must consider the potential long-term impacts of the decision and if it produces the desired end result.
Good decisions are often rooted in a set of shared values and beliefs. These values and beliefs often guide decision-makers in their quest for the best possible outcome. In addition, the best decisions take into account the values of a wide variety of stakeholders. This allows the decision-maker to weigh all options and arrive at a more equitable solution.
In addition to values, facts are essential to making a good decision. The facts must be accurate, relevant and up-to-date in order to make the best decision. This means that decision-makers must take the time to research and analyze the data they are using to make their decisions. In addition, they must be mindful of potential bias that could lead to improper conclusions.
Finally, good decisions will always involve a certain degree of risk. While it is not always possible to make decisions without any level of risk, the risk should be minimized when possible. Risk can be managed in various ways, such as by assigning costs or establishing safeguards. By managing the risk involved, a decision-maker is more likely to make a good decision in the long run.
Making a good decision involves considering a variety of factors such as values, facts, and risk. By taking the time to research and analyze the options, decision-makers can arrive at a solution that produces a positive outcome and helps all parties involved.