Decision making is the act of choosing when presented with two or more positions. Every day we are presented with situations where we have to make choices.
In most cases, the decisions involve small matters such as which route to use on our way to work or whether to put on a tie or not. However, in some instances, the decisions are complex and consequential in nature. In such cases, knowledge of decision making is key.
While some people view decision making as an art, others have chosen to categorize it as a proficiency. Unlike scientific skills which are only learned and understood by intellectuals, decision making can be mastered by anybody.
The quality of the decisions we make to, a large extent, is influenced by our ability to observe, make a professional judgment, and the skills we possess. We express our choices when we make decisions. With a clear course of thought, care, and knowledge we are bound to make smart choices in life.
It is, however, important to note that decisions are only made when there exist alternatives to choose from. In situations where there are no alternatives to choose from, no decision is required. These are the three facets of the definition of decision making.
In situations where the decision to be made is complex and has far-reaching consequences, clear logic, and an open mind are needed if a quality decision is to be arrived at. You need to approach the problem without any prejudice or jaundiced opinions. As an entrepreneur, you also need to remember that a clear and unbiased understanding of a situation helps in suggesting all the possible solutions that address the root cause of the problem.
Approaching a problem with an open mind is key as it allows you to come up with a wide range of alternatives to choose from in the final decision making.
Decisions can be likened to a two-way door. This means that once decisions have been made, they can be reversed. All decisions come with a cost and this justifies the need for prudence and careful consideration of the possible alternatives when making decisions.
In an organizational setup, it is advisable that the decision-making process involves all the business units affected by the problem. This guarantees their commitment to the final decision made. A considerable amount of time and effort should be dedicated to defining the decision as it assists in identifying the different courses of action for consideration.
In some cases, the decision will require a clear and narrow definition while in other circumstances a broader definition of the decision will be more helpful. The definition you chose should be guided by the objectives you seek to achieve with making the decision.
In conclusion, an effective decision relies on our ability to choose from the available alternatives. Limited choices usually have a negative effect on the quality of the decisions we make. Always make sure that you avail yourself with a variety of courses of action to choose from by maintaining an open mind whenever approaching a problem.
Effective decisions taken should always be followed by an action. A structured review and evaluation of the eventual result is the last step in the decision-making process. Effective decision-making has the dual advantage of ensuring optimal use of the available resources and being aware of the threats posed to our businesses by internal and external factors.
Written by Iyaya Kiveu