Making Decisions

From the moment we get up of a morning to when we turn the light off and go to sleep at night all of us have to make decisions. Many of these will be trivial and made subconsciously but they will be decisions we have taken nevertheless.

For example, decision making process when we get up in the morning. Should I have a shower or wash in the bath? What shall I wear; my blue shirt or the red one that’s got mud all down it after playing football with my brother yesterday. How many socks should I wear to keep warm?

You get the idea! All of these are decision and most of them will have been made subconsciously without you really thinking too much about what decision to take.

However, there will be times when we have to make decisions that require a bit more thought.

Difficult Decisions

It becomes more serious when we are faced with a difficult decision over which we might have to ponder and think about for a while. We’ll all be able to recall many key decisions which we have made and which have had a huge impact upon our lives. Equally, many of the decisions you’ll have taken will be more vivid as they’ll have been the wrong decision in hindsight. However, that said, it’s important that we don’t beat ourselves up over a wrong decision but simply view it as a mistake we can learn from. The decision we take might not always be the correct decision and if we don’t learn from our mistakes then it’s very difficult to become a more knowledgeable decision maker.

The Decision Making Process

When we are faced with a major decision, there is no guarantee that we are going to make the right one all the time. Some decisions will be much quicker to reach than others and these will tend to be those which are usually right but when faced with a tricky decision in which you’re not sure how your actions will affect the ultimate outcome, there is a process you can follow to help you try to make sense of things and to, hopefully, enable you to reach a decision you can be satisfied with at the time of making it.

Firstly, consider any long-term consequences that may arise from your decision. Quite often when we make wrong choices, these have come about as we have let our emotions take over and our focus has been narrowed to only consider the short-term benefits. It’s not a co-incidence that salespeople know this too and target their sales pitch aimed at appealing to our sense of instant gratification. So, writing down on paper a list of both the benefits and consequences, both short and long term is often very useful in the decision making process.

Take as much time as you can before reaching a decision if you need to. Sometimes, we’re not afforded the luxury of having all the time in the world to make a decision. Often, there are deadlines imposed upon us by which time we have to make up our mind one way or another. If you’re in doubt and the time is up, then it’s best to take the less risky option whatever that may be but if you do have time to think about things in order to reach a decision, use the time wisely. Don’t procrastinate about it just because you have more time as that will lessen your control and will prevent you from steering yourself towards the desired outcome.

Let your conscience have its say. Often we let our hearts rule our heads and end up making bad decisions. Try to impose your own set of values upon the decision you have to take and see whether or not your beliefs and values have an impact upon the choices you have to make.

Taking Others into Consideration

Consider your decision in terms of how it might affect others. Ultimately, you may, at some point, have to take a decision that’s in your best interests but one which is not necessarily going to be welcomed by people closest to you who could include a family member, a partner, friends or work colleagues or staff. There may be unfortunate repercussions but, ultimately, you should have reached your decision based upon it being the best course of action available to you and you should be able to justify why you’ve taken it. However, you should avoid deliberately making decisions when you know they are going to hurt others close to you, if there are other alternative suitable choices you could have made instead.

On this point, you should never be afraid to upset a loved one, a friend or business associate by making a decision you know they won’t approve of if you feel that the path or decision they would like you to take goes against any or all of your principles or values. Simply put, you must be true to yourself.


Seek out the opinions of others. It’s useful to gain a sense of what others might do when faced with a similar decision but it’s also true that people’s perceptions may be very different to your own so you need to temper any enthusiasm with a clear view of how you see the bigger picture. Look upon it as a useful way of simply gaining more information and quite often, it’s not the decision they’ve reached which will have any bearing on you but their thought processes as to how they reached that conclusion that could have an influence on your own decision. Remember, it’s OK to seek advice and opinion but the final decision lies with you and you have the responsibility of making it.

Its ok to Change Your Mind

Remember too that it’s OK to change your mind later if the circumstances allow. If new information comes to light, it may be that you now accept that your original decision was not the best option and it’s OK to alter your viewpoint. This is a sign of strength not weakness. Weakness is when you stick to a decision knowing that it’s intrinsically the wrong one.

Finally, be gentle on yourself and accept that nobody will make the right decision all of the time. If you do make a decision which you later to come to regret and that decision is irreversible, you’ve just made a mistake. Learn from that mistake then move on.

Put Simply, decision making is something we’ll all do frequently and when you are presented with more than one choice, the decision you take should be the one that best fits in with your own set of values.

What is a good decision making?

Strong decision makers analyze the best possible outcome for themselves as well as others.  A strong decision maker balances their own desires with what is best for the greater good.  A decision maker is aware of their own strengths and weaknesses in making decisions.  If a decision maker has weaknesses, they seek advice from others whose assessments might help them make the decision that is best for everyone affected by it.

What can affect good decision making?

Decision making can be affected by the decision maker’s relationships with friends, family members, co-workers.  Decisions can also be affected by what we want to do and what others expect of us.  Our decision making skills can be stronger or weaker throughout our life depending on a number of circumstances.

A decision maker should try to avoid decision making when they are angry, sick or tired.  We should also avoid decision making when we are afraid of the decision we might make.  Each decision maker has values that they think are important in decision making.  While decision makers may not always follow their own values in decision making, it is important to have them as a guide in decision making.


Decision Making is a process that decision makers go through to make choices.  We gather information, weigh the results of our decision in comparison to our values and interests, then take action.  A decision maker uses decision making to accomplish their goals and live a full life.  Values are what drive decision makers, but obstacles that decision makers face can affect them in decision making.

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