General, Problem solving

Components of Effective Decision Making

Anthonia Nnabuko Written by Anthonia Nnabuko · 2 min read >
Decision Making

Effective Decision Making

Decision making is a process that helps you realize your thought process but decision taken is an event. The purpose of this is so that you can put the process to work effectively. Making decision or choices are fundamental tools used when faced with opportunities, challenges, and life’s uncertainty. It is a core action we take daily, hourly and even by the minutes. Over the years, it’s established that the ability to making smart decisions is a fundamental life skill. Some decisions are very straight forward and does not require lots of brain work because they are simple decisions. But others are high staked with serious consequences. As a result, making wrong choice comes with consequences. Trust me, wrong decisions can be very expensive. Hence the reason for this write up (blog).

Wrong decisions usually have a high level of negativity on the business, person, group of people or thing. In using previous experience in choice making, emphasis should be on the ‘how’ of the decision rather than ‘what’ the decision was. The different context in deciding are simple, complicated, complex, and chaotic, so you are to make your decisions in context. The more you lack information, the more uncertain you become and the more making decisions becomes difficult.

Work in the Right Decision Problem

Decision problem has to do with the way you frame your question. What you want to decide on helps with the focus on specifics. Tough decisions with high stake requires more in-depth and ability to work in the right decision problem. In determining your decision problem, make sure to question your question. This will help you be more disciplined and tilted into right decision making. Learn to work in the right decision problem.

Specify Your Objectives

Objectives are means to an end; it is the goal to be achieved. These goal or goals are usually specific, clear, and concise. When your goals are not specified, you run aimlessly and effective decision making becomes impossible. You cannot make effective decision without an intended goal in mind. Ask questions like: What do I want to achieve? Objectives takes you to your destination and not the driver of the decision. It is the actual and not necessarily a means to an end, it is the end.

Create Imaginative Alternatives

 Alternatives are regarded as the possible different courses of action to choose from. There are options in making decision, these options should be itemized for clarity. Alternatives should be relevant to the problem statement. Creating alternatives requires imaginative abilities and better utilized when you brainstorm. Please note, in making decisions, correlation does not always mean causation. It may give an indication though. Hence the need to brainstorm on alternatives. Your alternatives should satisfy your objectives. To do this, you need to frankly answer the consequences of your alternatives.


Objectives most times conflict with one another and you need to strike a balance. For example, a balance between career and family in such a way that it won’t affect your decision. Learn to separate self from business for effective decision making. Even though there are no perfect alternatives, but one must choose intelligently from less than perfect possibilities without sentiments. For tradeoffs, kindly set your priorities and don’t hesitate to openly address need for trade off amongst competing objectives. You may want to notify all parties involved for clarity.

Clarify Uncertainties & Risk Tolerance

All doubts should be clarified. So ask yourself: What will happen in the future and how likely is it to happen? Check the risk involved. Identify short term and long term uncertainties. Judge the likelihood of different outcomes and assess their possible impacts.  Clear all direct and indirect doubts so as to make clear decision. Willingness to accept risk makes decision making process smoother and more effective. It also brings efficiency in the long span. You cannot be too safe even though you should consider all alternatives. So, choosing amongst options is dependent on considering the right level of risk.

Consider Linked Decision

Decision making are usually linked. Your choice today may or will affect your tomorrow directly or indirectly. In the journey of making decisions, consider the issues identified along the line. Isolate and resolve these issues while gathering needed information to resolve the main or future issues. So that, by the time you’re making a main decision, you’ve handled smaller decisions. Decisions does not just solve identified problem at hand. It also opens one’s eyes to other problem and gives immediate solution.

Generally, we are responsible for our decisions in all aspects of life. Effectiveness is possible and achievable if we follow due process. The above components will help you make better detailed (rich) decisions and also make you better manager, C.E.O, employer and person. I wish you all the best, you deserve it!

Written by Anthonia Nnabuko
Jesus' Princess (takes God personal), addicted foodie, loves to make people happy, adventurous, HR Professional, lover of pictures Profile

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