How To Make Better Decisions Faster

Part 3 of 13 in the Series: Become a Leader
Are You Good At Solving Problems?

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry; Robert Burns, “To A Mouse”

No plans survive first contact with the enemy … Helmuth von Moltke the Elder (the German field marshal at the start of the First World War).

Do you struggle with making decisions like “should you move to another state or another country” or “should you change jobs or careers” because of the fear of making the wrong choice?

For most real-life decisions, tossing a coin in a wishing won’t cut it! To make better decisions keep in mind the techniques introduced in this article.

Please, keep in mind that the more you apply these techniques, the better your decision making skills will be.

Begin With A Positive Mental Attitude

Without a positive mental attitude, your chances of success are slim or next to zero.

You can overcome any opposition, hindrances or negative feedback with a positive attitude.

However, you also don’t want to think so positively that you run forward with half-baked solutions that are not going to bring cut-it!

Get The Facts Right

Get the rights facts but do not try and obtain only data that backs your decision.

In other words, consider all the available data even if it’s contrary to your preferred course of action.

For example, if you’re trying to decide on a college to attend, first obtain data from your choice of colleges.

Data like the annual enrollment numbers, the curriculum outline for your major, and the cost can help you to decide on the best college to meet your educational goals.

Listen To Your Intuition

Consider your “gut feelings” because it can protect you from the hurt and harm of bad decisions.

You may not always be able to put your gut feelings into words, but if “something just doesn’t feel right“, then it probably isn’t!

It’s best to trust your intuition especially if it is making you persistently or inexplicably uneasy about a course of action.

Always Have A Backup Plan

No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it!

Why? Because no-plan survives contact with reality (the enemy) … Helmuth von Moltke, German field marshal.

Prepare a Plan A (your main course of action) and a Plan B (your backup or contingency plan) because “if your Plan A doesn’t work, your Plan B probably will!”

You may never need to use your contingency / backup plan, but since even the best made plans go awry, be ready to execute Plan if Plan A fails.

Brainstorm. Consider All Your Options

Brainstorm and consider as many alternative ideas as possible because the most outrageous idea that comes out of brainstorming may be the best solution.

I once had a college assignment where we had to help come up with a name for our small group that I was a part of.

Having one male and four females in the group, I jokingly said, “Let’s call ourselves ‘Four Ladies and a Man!’” After the laughter died down, even with other suggestions, we went with my idea.

You may now start making better decisions quickly by applying the five techniques outlined in this article.




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