by Jacqueline Hall on 28 November 2018 2:38pm : 1188

Making decisions is something everyone does from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep.  Even then our subconscious is looking for patterns and putting the building blocks into some kind of order.  Some decisions are made at such speed they seem automatic. Others cause us to deliberate for hours, even months, and still not feel satisfied once we’ve selected the ‘best’ option at the time.  Why does this nano-moment activity sometimes seem so difficult? There are many factors involved and I shall highlight just a few of them.

1. Experience and Exposure
Each of us has a range of experiences that we use as our foundation for decision-making.  The things we are exposed to help us to form personal views of the world. Those views will influence our perception of how things are, our interpretation of what they mean, and what we believe should be. You make the decision you best know how.

2. Values and Motives
Once we have decided what is important to us in life and business, these things rarely change.  These might shift if we experience some sort of epiphany or gain knowledge that broadens understanding.  The intent of the decision and our innate motivations will influence the degree of swing in our decision-making.   

3. Time and Worth
The time we have at our disposal may be limited, and a decision be demanded by circumstances.  The worth of the outcome that may be derived from settling one way or another – instant as opposed to delayed gratification – could lead to a premature decision being made.  Makes me think of the saying “Marry in haste, repent at leisure”.

4. DNA and Shared History
In the family business shared DNA and its expectations can make decision-making a minefield. I remember several people in a family business being shocked at the approach a particular member chose in handling a very challenging set of circumstances. They found it hard to accept that the person, even though bought up in the same environment, could not approach the situation in the way they had.  Shared history and DNA does not necessarily equate to shared experience.

5. Counsel and Warning Signs
There is wisdom in many counsellors, but the question to consider before seeking this is ‘Does this individual possess the insight I need, or is there another who might be better?’.  Going to the wrong persons could see you having to back-track. Decisions are rarely set in isolation, the landscape will include warning signs alerting to potential booby-traps. Ignoring them – like the amber traffic signals – could bring disaster.

6. Options and Integrity
Whenever we make decisions, they are based on snapshot information, ie its impossible have all the relevant facts and figures to hand.  If options are limited these might not completely fit the need. We end up at best ‘guestimating’ and hoping the outcomes are favourable.  Your personal integrity and that of the decision comes under scrutiny once it’s made and implemented. The robustness of your decisions could close or open doors for you.

Wherever you are in the decision-making process, whatever its reason, it’s worth considering these factors.  They will contribute to you becoming reflective, and reaching a balanced outcome that truly satisfies need, or at least provides an interim solution.


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