Anthony Robbins once said that “It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped”. And I completely concur with Tony as your decisions are ultimately going to make you… or break you. In all likelihood, you have not viewed your every day business or life decisions which such magnitude.
Your daily process of decision making and problem solving begins the moment that you open your eyes each morning. What blouse or shirt will you wear? What accessories or tie will you coordinate with it? Yet, it all begins with a decision. Many of your daily decisions, like these examples, are routinely made without much real thought. More often than not, they are made out of habit and equate to being on autopilot.
However, the process of decision making was not intended to be taken lightly – as a high percentage of your decisions are for a far more specific and important purpose... “problem” solving. The process of decision making and problem solving link responsibility and challenge into a unique new dynamic that you will face each day. Among the most important skills that you will ever develop are your decision making and problem solving abilities.
You would be hard pressed to solve any type of problem without first executing an appropriate decision. Just like some of your problems, many of your decisions are minor in nature and easily rendered. However as you already know, life and business are not always easy.
You are destined to be confronted with many complex and taxing problems that will require well thought out decisions. Your ability to render meaningful decisions and solve problems will shape the course of your success in both life and business.
The gravity of your decision making must be weighed in comparison to your long term ability to live with the results or consequences of your decisions. Once you park that shiny new car in your driveway, you are going to have to walk out your front door each morning and have the result of your purchasing decision staring back at you for the next sixty months. You must be prepared to live with your decisions whether good or bad.
There are two basic facts about decision making that you need to be clear about:
First, no one including you is ever going to get every decision right. It’s simply impossible. Therefore, it’s important to understand that one of keys to becoming an effective decision maker is to progressively improve your decision making ratio by making more right decisions, than wrong decisions over time. Think of this in terms of it being your decision making “batting average”.
The second factor is to be increasingly diligent in attempting to continually improve the “quality” of your decisions. Better quality… better decision… better batting average… better results.
Good decision making involves the careful weighing of many alternatives and the dissemination of all pertinent information. It also requires a systematic process. Following below are 7 systematic steps for making better decisions starting today:
1. Clearly “define” the problem, challenge or circumstance which you are facing.
2. Collect all relevant facts and information about your problem.
3. Brainstorm and identify all potential solutions and options that could rectify your problem.
4. Appropriately evaluate the likely results of your solutions and the ease of implementing same.
5. Execute your decision.
6. Take appropriate action and implement your decision without delay.
7. Assess the outcomes of your decisions.
And remember that you won’t get every decision right. So when the inevitable happens, first be kind to yourself and then learn all that you can from the given decision making experience.
Your primary objective is to increase your overall number of right decisions, while decreasing the number of unsuccessful decisions. When you do, your batting average will surely go up.
Perhaps Babe Ruth stated it best when he said… “Every strike out gets me closer to the next home run.” Don’t focus on what didn’t work out, instead keep your focus where it belongs… on what went right with your decision making process.
In the end, good decisions… are built on “good decisions”.
Copyright © 2011 Developing Forward | Thomas H. Swank, CBC | All Rights Reserved.
As a trusted business advisor, author and speaker... Tom assists entrepreneurs worldwide in dramatically growing their businesses and incomes! Get Tom’s FREE CD “Your Top 7 Success Strategies for 2012 and Beyond” at www.DevelopingForward.com