Decisions, decisions, decisions. Each and every day thousands, millions even billions of decisions are made, some good, some bad, some great. Decisions are made that could shape the future for you and your family, or society at large. With huge consequences relying on these decisions, how does one go about making sure that each decision is the best possible decision for the circumstances? How good are your decision making skills?
Here are 7 Must Have decision making skills that if you master, you will ensure you are always in the driving seat!
Make sure you haven’t decided already!
If you have a pre-determined idea of what you want the outcome to be, then you are not giving yourself a level playing field. Amongst my group of friends there is one person who when faced with a decision makes it sound like this, “We can do something rubbish or we can do what I want to do!”He has already decided what he wants to do -but he pretends that he is going through a decision making process that includes everyone else. This is only to render legitimate a choice that has already been made. As far as decision making skills go, this is pretty poor!
So before you start making your choices, be honest with yourself. Have you already made your choice? If so then you should go back and reconsider all the options more carefully.
Do your research
People often rush into a decision because they think they know what to do. In fact, gathering as much information as you can and doing your research is often very helpful because in the absence of information, you may jump to unwarranted conclusions about your situation. For example, you see what looks to be a great bargain on a house but what are average property prices in that area? How many of the same type of property is on the market? What could be the expected rental value of the property? How much would the mortgage be? What would be the rental yield? When a new opportunity or predicament occurs, don’t panic and make decisions before you know all the facts. Double check what you have been told as others may be reporting hearsay!
Information is the most valuable commodity when making a decision. So invest a lot in gathering as much information as you can. Investing in the right information always pays dividends and can greatly enhance your decision making skills.
Imagine the consequences of your decisions.
Many decisions that we make can shape our future so it is vitally important to imagine how those decisions could affect you further down the line. The outcome might seem great in the short term but don’t neglect to see the bigger picture and also take into consideration how your decisions may affect others.
You see an awesome sports car, 0-100 in 5 seconds, soft top, leather seats and the noise it makes when you turn the key and squeeze the accelerator is electrifying. You must have it! You make the decision there and then; you do the paper work and sign on the dotted line. You drive home, the long way and pull up on the drive grinning from ear to ear. Out steps the wife, no smile, arms crossed with a look of dismay. You can’t quite work out why she isn’t as happy as you, why she doesn’t want to be taken out for a drive right now. And then she says, “Junior is going to college next month, how can we afford that car and tuition fees!”How would you feel if you couldn’t afford those tuition fees?
Think ahead and don’t make snap decisions without considering all possible ramifications.
Consider all the alternatives
It is very rare when making a decision that there are only two options. For example you are looking to get yourself on the property ladder and you only have a small deposit and the house prices in your desired area are expensive. You could look at a different area a little further from your desired location. You could buy a property that would need renovating and live in it while doing it up. You could look at shared ownership options with Government backed schemes. You could invest in a house and rent a room out to help pay the mortgage. Heaven forbid, you could even move back in with your parents for a short time to allow you to build up a greater deposit!
There are always alternatives you just need to have an open mind and explore each and every one, marking down the advantages and disadvantages of each before going ahead and making your final decision.
Sure there are some matters that are private and you wouldn’t want to discuss with other people, however if you can share then do so. Quite often your family or trusted friends will shed light on things that you may never have considered. Also, through discussion it may help unlock areas that you have personal prejudices about that are causing you to have pre-conceived ideas. Getting help will hone your decision making skills.
What decision making skills do good decision makers have?
Good decision makers are not always obvious. For example, if you’re having problems running your own home business, and know someone who is in the same business environment as you who appears to have a better standard of living, although they don’t seem to be business savvy, it might be that they’re making better decisions than you. Perhaps you could learn something from them. Part of the reason that successful people in any sphere are achieving at a good level is because of their good decision making. What do they take into account before making decisions that you are neglecting?
Don’t get obsessed
There are some people that get so obsessed with making wrong decisions that they postpone making decisions for an extremely long time, or even forever, particularly big decisions about their lives. They often prefer to delegate decision-making to others rather than shouldering the responsibility for any errors.
Errors are inevitable in life as no one has perfect foresight; there is no crystal ball or time machine that allows us to see the future. Instead, realize that once you have taken the precautions outlined in the previous steps, you have done all you can to safeguard your decisions, so go ahead and make them!
You can only learn how to make better decisions in the future by taking the bull by the horns and actually make choices in life. Remember, if you make a couple of decisions that back fire then don’t be negative about it and don’t put off decision making in the future. Use the experience as fuel to improve your decision making skills and your choices moving forward.
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