What Are the Steps in Decision Making?

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You may find yourself wondering about personal resolutions that you made five or 10 years ago or that are still pending You may be having difficulties drawing up a plan to start that company you've always dreamed of running. Knowing the steps in decision making can help you improve your chances of success in a business transaction or personal dealings.

State the Problem

Identifying the problem is the first and most important element in decision making. Defining the challenge you're facing or the goal to fulfill helps you understand the situation more clearly. For example, if you own a company that experiences negative sales performance, find out whether the problem lies in your products or relates to general market conditions. Accurately defining the problem prevents you from making wrong, unadapted decisions.

Identify Alternatives

Consider alternatives after defining a problem. Evaluating plan B, plan C or plan D helps you keep your options open, ensuring that you don't make a hasty decision. Take time to do additional, thorough research to cover all angles. For example, if you'd like to make a career shift because you believe your current occupation no longer suits your needs, think about your options. Could the problem be with your current employer or position? Maybe you could stay in the same occupation but perform other tasks. Or perhaps you might want to seek a degree in a related field. Before making the career switch, these are questions worth pondering.

Evaluate the Alternatives

Evaluating the options that you have come up with helps you inch closer to the right decision. Narrowing your choices is useful to weed out bad options. For example, you may decide to stay in your current job and boost your employment prospects by seeking an advanced college degree instead of embarking on a new career.

Make a Decision

After evaluating the alternatives, you'll probably come up with two or three options that meet your needs or that you find suitable. Rank these alternatives based on elements that you deem important in the decision-making process. For example, if making more money is the main reason why you'd like to make a career shift, then rank the alternatives accordingly. Make the decision on the option that you deem most likely to increase your earning power.

Implement Your Decision

After making a decision, implement it. A decision has no value unless you find a way to bring it into reality. If you're not good at implementing decisions, seek the guidance of a relative or a professional. The adviser might give you valuable feedback about your decisions.

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