There is no job at any level where decision making is not a critical factor. We are not paid for having brains, but for using them to generate results. When making decisions, you must be disciplined. It’s more than just correcting problems.
Whether you’re solving a problem or working to achieve a desired outcome there are five steps to making a good decision:
- Define the problem or desired outcome
- Gather the facts
- Determine a plan of action
- Implement your plan
- Follow up
Defining the problem or desired objective is the most difficult phase of effective decision making. Far too often, we are apt to dwell on the result of a problem or we want to achieve an objective too quickly. This inevitably leads to snap judgments and faulty decision-making.
After you have defined the problem or objective, write it out in the form of a simple statement—this is a good way to keep you and your team focused on your final goal as you execute your plan of action.
Following these steps, regardless of the amount of time you have to act, will lead to better decisions being made for you and your organization.
This article is excerpted from Jim McGraw’s book, “Skills for Success.”