HOW TO MAKE A DECISION: Effective Guidance to Avoid Mistakes & Disappointment

How to Make a Decision
Photo Credit : CFO Perspective

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to learn how to make a decision about a job or under pressure. Life presents us with decision-making opportunities every single day. These decisions can range from being simple in some cases to being challenging in others. It takes practice to develop good decision-making skills. It is not something we possess naturally; rather, it is merely a process that can be learned through experience.

In this article, we will show you how to make an effective decision, so you can avoid making mistakes. 

How to Make a Decision

Don’t panic. Deciding while feeling overly emotional, whether it’s positive or negative, can be difficult. The first thing you should generally do when faced with different options is to maintain your composure. Don’t decide if you can’t maintain composure; wait until you can.

#1. Establish Your Goal

Keeping an eye on your goal when making decisions is one of the best approaches. By asking yourself what specific issue needs to be resolved, you can easily determine the motivation behind your choice. Making wise decisions will be made easier for you if you identify your top priorities. It will be easier for you to stick with and defend a choice if you are aware of the rationale behind it.

#2. Compile Data to Help You Decide Between Your Options.

It is ideal to compile pertinent data that is directly relevant to the issue before making decisions. By doing this, you’ll be better able to understand what must be done to address the issue. Making a list of every potential solution is best when gathering information. To make the best choice, you should gather as much information as you can. 

#3. Consult With Someone Else

This does not imply that you should ask for everyone’s viewpoint. To assist the responsible decision-maker (i.e., you) in broadening their perspective and making the best decision, the appropriate people with the pertinent expertise need to clearly express their points of view. It will assist you in developing a deeper comprehension of the issue you are attempting to resolve and in developing clever, practical solutions.

List each of your options. At first glance, it might seem as though there is only one option, but this is typically untrue. Even if your situation seems limited, try to make a list of alternatives. Make a complete list before attempting to evaluate them. Be exhaustive. Discuss potential solutions with some family or friends if you’re having trouble coming up with any.

#4. Consider the Pros and Cons

Because it will enable you to assess how your final choice will affect you and/or the other parties involved, this step may be just as crucial as step one. This is a crucial step because it enables you to assess the benefits and drawbacks of the various options that you listed in the preceding stage. Additionally, it’s crucial because you want to be at ease with all of your options and the potential results of whatever decision you make.

Understanding the difference between an impulse decision and a thoughtful one is equally important. In most cases, an impulse fades away over time. While an intelligent choice, however, takes some time to sink in. 

#5. Trust Your Instincts.

 Going with your gut is the best course of action because you probably already know which choice is the right one. According to research, people tend to be happier with their decisions than those who carefully consider them. This is because they tend to act on their feelings rather than their reasoning.

#6. Have a Fallback Strategy.

By planning, you might find that potential negative outcomes don’t bother you as much. Create a backup strategy to handle the worst-case scenario. Even though you probably won’t need this plan, just knowing that you have one will make you feel more prepared to handle the worst-case scenario.

#7. Make Your Decision

It is now time to choose and carry out your final decision after you have determined your objective, gathered all necessary data and considered the repercussions. Whatever choice you make, be ready to take accountability for every result. If something doesn’t work out, it’s always preferable to have chosen carefully rather than carelessly. You can at least claim to have done your best. Decide what you want and be prepared to stick with it.

#8. Evaluate Your Decision

It is important to assess your choice and the actions you took to make sure they are effective after you have made your final decision and put them into practice. This final step will assist you in honing your decision-making skills for upcoming problems, making it at least as crucial as the first. 

How to Make a Decision Tree

In essence, a decision tree is just a colorful flowchart. For more complex decisions, decision trees are the most effective. A decision tree analysis can aid in removing doubt and bringing clarity. A decision tree consists of three parts:

  • Root node
  • Leaf node
  • Branches

You’re trying to decide on the root node as the final choice. Every leaf node is a clarifying query. Branches connect everything to demonstrate the progression from questions to solutions.

Advantages of Using Decision Tree Analysis

#1. Comprehensive

Decision trees compel you to consider all potential results of a choice. You have a better understanding of the dangers and effects of your choices.

#2. Visual

Decision trees don’t use formulas to make decisions. Using models in decision-making has the advantage of being simple to understand and sharing with others for feedback. This may facilitate gaining support from key stakeholders.

#3. Adaptable

A decision tree can be used to solve almost any problem, and the answers can be as straightforward or complex as you like. 

#4. Reduce Bias

Decision trees aid in removing emotion from the process, allowing you to fairly compare the outcomes of various options.

#5. Simple and Saves Time

It doesn’t take much data to build decision trees. You can determine where more information will be necessary if the data has any gaps. In addition, a decision tree might be the quickest way to find a solution, depending on how complex the decision is.  

How to Make a Decision Tree

#1. Begin With the Decision

Enter the choice you want to make in the root node box. How, for example, should we implement customer service?

#2. List Your Options

After that, list out your options and connect them to the root node with branches using connectors. Our connectors here indicate “In-house” or “Outsourced.”

#3. Put It to the Test

Use the same evaluations for each choice. Use a leaf node connected to the connectors in this example, and then enquire: “Is it less expensive?” Then answer the question.

#4. List Out Conclusions

The conclusion should be written at the end of each stream of questions. Additionally, you have the option to illustrate risk in your conclusions by using the probability gradations high, medium, and low.

How to Make a Decision About a Job

The following actions can be helpful when making a decision about a job:

#1. Research the Choice

It’s crucial to make sure you comprehend every aspect of the decision before you start the decision-making process. Consider who or what it might affect before making your decision.

#2. Pause and Contemplate.

You might want to think about your decision before you make it. To feel confident and rested, pick a time to further consider your options when there are few distractions. This can assist you in lowering your stress levels and avoiding making a snap judgment that you might later regret. 

#3. Remember your Values

Values are the core convictions you hold to be significant. Your values are probably the yardstick you use to determine whether or not your career is the right one for you. You can make better decisions and get a better understanding of what you want from your career and life by keeping in mind the things that are most important to you. When you want to make a decision about your job or are under pressure, always remember your core values.

#4. Ask for a Different Perspective

When you are under pressure, and about to make a decision about a job, you must have thoroughly eliminated all of the options you don’t want to think about, it is helpful to gain some additional insight into the situation. If you’re unsure whether you’re making the best choice for you, think about consulting a reliable friend, coworker, or family member.

#5. Evaluate your Plan

Once you’ve gotten another viewpoint, decide whether the choice you’ve made is feasible. This can make it easier for you to see where your decision might have gone wrong and enable you to assess whether it is in line with your objectives. Try going over the information you gathered during your decision-making process and evaluating it all objectively.

How to Make Quick Decisions Under Pressure

#1. Clear Your Mind

When you are under pressure to make a decision, clear your mind to get more insight. Leaders are constantly under pressure to make important decisions that affect their teams, customers, and organizations. You’ll be able to make the best choices and reduce any unneeded risk if you do it while having a clear head. 

#2. Determine The Desired Outcome

Acknowledge the circumstances and reach a consensus on the intended result. After that, make use of the free time to consider risks, steps, and success factors. You can decide on the first step while still adjusting your overall strategy when a decision can be divided into steps.

#3. Prioritize Key Factors

When making a decision, it’s important to consider a variety of factors, such as the quality of the data you have access to, the decision’s potential effects on your organization, your experience making similar choices, your options, and the potential costs of delaying a decision.

#4. Understand The Problem

Rethink your choices. Different choices call for different amounts of thought and preparation. Learn as much as you can about the problem you’re trying to solve, the benefits and drawbacks of your solution, and so on. Additionally, you should consider the data you currently have and the actions you must take to come to a decision.

#5. Brainstorm Pros And Cons

Assemble as much data as you can, consciously looking for both positive and negative aspects. We frequently seek out options or data that support our existing beliefs, sometimes unconsciously. 

#6. Prepare For Potential Consequences

Leaders should, however, carefully consider all of their options and the possible outcomes of each when a decision must be made hastily. The leader should choose if it appears to be the best option at the time and plan for any potential consequences.

#7. Make Decisions Intuitively

Trusting your intuition is the best strategy for making decisions when you have little to no time. 

Why Am I Struggling With a Decision?

Making decisions can be challenging for a variety of reasons, including a fear of failure, a lack of confidence, or a lack of knowledge. Additionally, mental health issues can show symptoms of indecision. Many people hesitate when given a choice because they are afraid of choosing incorrectly. You might be terrified of failing or even the results of succeeding.

What Are the 7 Elements of Decision-Making?

  • Clarify the issue.
  • Recognize the constraints. 
  • Create potential solutions.
  • Consider the options.
  • Choose the most suitable option.
  • Put the choice into action.
  • Create a system for monitoring and evaluating.

What Makes the Best Decision?

We need to strike a balance between the forces of emotion and reason when making decisions. We need to be adept at making predictions, discerning the details of the present, understanding the thoughts of others, and coping with uncertainty.


You can learn how to make a decision by using a variety of methods, including journaling, meditation, and talking to a trusted loved one. Just remember that there isn’t one single right way to make a decision, just as there isn’t one single right decision, and that not all of these strategies will be effective for everyone. 

How to Make A Decision FAQs

What are the Causes of Indecision?

Many people hesitate when given a choice because they are afraid of choosing incorrectly. You might be terrified of failing or even the results of succeeding

What are the Components a Decision Tree

  • Root node
  • Leaf node
  • Branches

What Are the 7 Elements of Decision-Making?

  • Clarify the issue.
  • Recognize the constraints. 
  • Create potential solutions.
  • Consider the options.
  • Choose the most suitable option.
  • Put the choice into action.
  • Create a system for monitoring and evaluating.
  1. DECISION MATRIX: Meaning, Use, and Guide.
  2. DATA-DRIVEN DECISION-MAKING: Detailed Guide For Businesses
  3. DECISION-MAKING FRAMEWORK: Best Framework For Effective Decision making
  5. DECISION-MAKING STYLES: Understanding the 4 Decision-Making Styles for Leaders
  6. LEADERSHIP ATTRIBUTES: The Top Key Strong Attributes that Make a Good Leader


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