Here’s an outline of the approach I use, and help clients to learn and master.
- Define the decision clearly
- Write out exactly what question you are considering. Put a very fine point on it. Refine and hone it.
- Surprisingly, when done well this step alone often brings much clarity and guidance
- Some times there are actually two or more separate decisions being considered. Distinguish them and consider them separately.
- Define the criteria you will evaluate the options by
- List out the elements that will factor in a good decision (i.e. cost, timing, fit)
- Commit to using these criteria consistently as you consider each option
- List out possible options you can think of to the decision
- We often fall into the trap of thinking it’s a binary yes or no decision
- Think creatively about the range of options that could be selected
- Make a list of the merits and drawbacks of each option
- Rate the options across each of the criteria
- Assign a value of 1 to 10 for each element, based on how well the option satisfies the criteria
- Get input from trusted advisors on how they would rate each option
- Analyze and conclude
- Add up the aggregate ratings of each option
- This will tell you overall which option or options are the best to choose
- Finally, make a decision, knowing it may not be perfect. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis!
You ideally will have this process in your tool box, so that when the next big decision comes, you can instinctively grab it and use it without missing a beat.
Like learning to fly a plane or building a new health habit, this will require consistent effort, discipline, and practice. Having a trusted guide to help you practice and master this process will make a notable difference in how quickly and well you master this approach.
Contact me via email (or just reply) if you’re interested in talking about what that would look like for you.
To your decision-making success,
p.s. Making decisions using a consistent, rational process can make a leaders job much more enjoyable!