Decision Making Steps

Knowing decision making steps and decision making solution helps us make more deliberate, thoughtful and rational decisions.

By following careful stages we can organize relevant information and define alternatives for our actions. Decision making solutions are found in knowing how decisions are made.

Also check out Definition of Decision Making.


Seven Decision Making Steps

1.  Identify the decision to be made. Let's say that you realize a decision has to be made. You start by going through an internal process of defining clearly the nature of the decision you must make. This first step is a very important one.

2.  Gather relevant information. Most decisions require you to collect the information needed. The real trick in this step is to know what information is needed, the best sources of this information, and how to go about getting it. 

You might find that you already possess some of information. You need to do some clear thinking to figure this out. Ask yourself the question, 'What information do I already have?'

You can find more information from the internet, books, friends, family colleagues and other sources. This step, therefore, involves both internal and external research.

3.  Identify alternatives. Through the process of collecting information you will probably identify several possible paths of action, or alternatives. You can also use your imagination and creative thinking skills to discover new alternatives. In this step of the decision-making process, make a list all the possible alternatives.

                                  Even making purchases involves decision making.

4.  Weigh evidence. In this step, draw on your own information and emotions to imagine what it would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives to their conclusion. 

Decide whether the need identified in Step 1 would be helped or solved through the use of each alternative. In going through this internal process, you'll begin to value some alternatives more than others for reaching your goal. Eventually you are able to place the alternatives in priority order, based upon your own value system.

5.  Choose among alternatives. Once you have weighed all the evidence, you are ready to select the one which seems best suited for you. You can choose a combination of alternatives. Your choice in Step 5 could be similar to the alternative you placed at the top of your list at the end of Step 4.

6.  Take action. Now you are ready to take positive action. This begins with implementing the alternative you chose in Step 5.

7.  Review decision and consequences. In the last step you experience the results of your decision and evaluate whether or not it has solved the need you identified in Step 1. 

If it has, you may stay with this decision for a period of time. If the decision did not result in a positive outcome, you can repeat some of the process in order to make a new decision. 

For example, you could gather different information or find more alternatives for making a better decision.

Have a look at decision making skills for more information.

Have a look at for more help with decision making steps.

By knowing decision making steps you'll arrive at more thoughtful conclusions and be more confident of the end result. If the decision for one reason or another doesn't give you the best outcome, you'll be able to revisit the process easily because you have learned the decision making steps already.

These steps will help raise your self esteem and confidence because you will have followed a process and thought about alternatives.

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