Making a decision is a challenge, especially when the stakes are high. In fact, a recent study found that as many as half of all managerial decisions fail to achieve their intended results. This is why it is essential to understand how to make better decisions. Luckily, there are several useful techniques to help you get on the right track.
The best decision making technique involves getting to know yourself. Knowing what you like and what you don’t can lead to better results. However, knowing who you are and what you do best is not always the easiest task. Having a partner or colleague to help you along the way can be helpful, but only if your interests are on the same page. It is also worthwhile to consider the other side of the ledger when it comes to your decision-making process.
The biggest challening in making good decisions is getting the information you need. There are many approaches to gathering data, but the best method is to start with a clear definition of what you are trying to accomplish. To do this, you might want to consider a step-by-step plan that breaks the problem down into smaller pieces and then assigns one alternative to each of them. For example, if you are in charge of planning your wedding, you might want to break the task into four parts: what you are expecting to say, what you are expecting to do, what you are actually doing, and what you are aiming for.
Another method is to use the bounded rationality model of decision making. In this technique, you first decide on a set of criteria for your decision, then pick the ‘best’ alternative. By doing this, you will be able to make the decision with a greater degree of certainty. As a result, you will avoid any potential pitfalls.
You might also consider the bounded rationality model of decision-making in combination with an intuitive model. For instance, in the context of making a decision, you might be tempted to just make a gut feel decision. But this strategy can be counterproductive, as you might not have all of the necessary data to make the decision. A structured approach such as the bounded rationality model of decision-making will allow you to focus on the right elements of your decision while allowing you to pick a winner from among your options.
If you haven’t heard of the bounded rationality model of decision-making, you might be surprised to learn that it has been around for decades. Originally developed as a strategy for military leaders, it has since been applied to a range of decision-making tasks, including negotiating and managing conflict. One of its more notable uses is in determining which courses of action should be implemented in a given scenario.
Lastly, you might consider the HBR Guide to Critical Thinking, which will be published in January 2023. The guide will cover a wide range of critical thinking strategies, from identifying the best option to analyzing alternative solutions.