How to Make Decisions
To be comfortable with the choices you make, you have to be
confident in your decision making. There is no right way to
go about this and people have different approaches that work for
them. Think of an important personal decision that you’ve
made in your life that was a good decision. How did you go
about it? Which approach(es) did you use?
Consider the descriptions below and see if any of them
resonate with you. You may adopt a different style depending
on the type of decision you have to make:
- Logical – A systematic approach weighing up
pros and cons against each other. This can help you become
clearer about what your priorities are.
- Talking – You may need to vocalise your
thoughts to someone else before you begin to see things
clearly. Talking things through with someone impartial or
someone who knows you well can help you clarify the issues.
You might also want to talk to someone who has made the decision
- Intuitive – You may go with your ‘gut
reaction’. Has this been reliable in the past? Have you
ever been wrong? This may not matter so much if you’re
comfortable with making mistakes sometimes.
- Hesitant – Are you someone who mulls things
over for some time before reaching a decision? Perhaps
collecting evidence until you can see the way ahead? Whilst
it can be helpful to take your time with decisions and to do your
research, make sure you don’t procrastinate!
- Testing ideas – Perhaps you need to try
something out before you commit to it completely. Getting
some relevant experience such as a rotation or taster, and talking
to people in the job are ways of achieving this. If this is
your approach, you may be comfortable changing your mind and
experience could sharpen your focus and provide you with some
Other less effective decision-making styles
- Impulsive – Decide now, think later.
Leaping before you look.
- Fatalistic – ‘What will be will be’.
Leaving it to the environment or fate.
- Compliant – Going along with everyone else
rather than deciding for yourself.
- Delaying – ‘I’ll think about it later’.
- Paralytic – ‘I can’t face up to this