Saturday, March 13, 2010

5 Perspectives in Decision Making

5 Eyeglasses.001

We make hundreds of decisions everyday, often based solely on habit or personal preference.  That’s fine for the little things in life, like what soup to have or which dressing to pour over our salad.  When facing complex issues, you need an approach that is worthy of more attention.

When making a decision, it is best to make it fast and change it slowly. Fast decision making does not mean rushing.  It involves thoughtful debate, running through your options and then proceeding with self assuredness.

Decision making is not merely picking yes or no, left or right.  Thoughtful decisions take into account the implications of your actions.  Once you know you’re comfortable with the possible ramifications, you act.

How can you determine all the possible outcomes of your decision?  You can’t, though you can increase your likelihood of being prepared by quickly looking at it from five different perspectives.

1. A Factual Point of View: Spread out all the facts you know before you.  Opinions and beliefs aren’t allowed here.  Be ruthlessly fact based.

2. An Intuitive Point of View: What's your gut telling you?  What are your feelings?  Being rational does not serve this perspective.

3. A Pessimistic Point of View: Be a Negative Nelly.  What’s the worst thing that could actually happen?

4. An Optimistic Point of View: Okay Pollyanna, your turn.  What’s the best possible result of your decision?

5. A Creative Point of View: Now for something completely different.  What’s an entirely new outcome you could create with a creative perspective?

Actively running possible scenarios through these different points of view gives your mind the opportunity to weigh your options so you can be best prepared for the implications of your decision.  First decide.  Then act.

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