How to Make Great Decisions…Most of the Time

People, especially business owners, make thousands of small decisions each day but can struggle when the big ones come along. It’s been suggested by the scientific community that people make around 35,000 decisions every day.  Most people manage these mundane daily decisions without even thinking about it.  But big decisions can consume people’s lives for extensive periods of time.  How can we all make better decisions that can really have a meaningful impact on our business and personal lives?  From an INC. article titled How to Make Great Decisions, perhaps the following tips will help you in your decision making process as well:

1. Assess the Impact of What to Whom

It may seem obvious to determine who is affected by your decision, but often people only examine how a decision will impact their own life and satisfaction without further consideration for others. Make a list of all the stakeholders involved and delve deeply into the pros and cons for each of them based upon the decision you make. You may want to ask them personally before you act. They’ll appreciate your inquiry and may even offer useful advice and perspective.

2. Go Live the Dark Side

While greed may drive action on many decisions, fear will stop a person in their tracks. It’s easy to daydream about winning, but the best way to overcome the fear of making a bad decision is to embrace the negative repercussions. Take some time away from your work and live the worst possible outcome in your mind.  Feel the emotion and the impact. If you can handle the worst of circumstances from the wrong choice then you have successfully mitigated the risk and you are ready to freely accept the results of your decision, good or bad.

3. Wait Until Just Before the Point of No Return

Often people rush to make a big decision before all the data is in. The bigger the decision, the more forces are at work that may change the circumstances. Manage your impatience when big decisions are at play.  Some of the biggest failures have come from acting before all of the information was available. Learn to defer big decisions until the last possible moment. This often provides two benefits: first, in most cases the circumstances have a way of resolving many of the issues and the decision becomes obvious; second, you can look smarter for waiting and correctly making what actually becomes an easy decision.

No one makes perfect decisions every time. But with proper communication, consideration, and planning, you can reduce your odds of bad decisions and at the very least reduce the negative impact.