We make decisions all the time, every day. Most of those decisions are conscious, like deciding which apartment to buy, what to eat for dinner, or how to complete a task.
But some decisions are made deep in your subconscious, like when you instantly jerk your hand away after touching something hot, or when you turn your head towards someone calling your name even though you weren’t actively paying attention. But exactly is decision making?
Trewartha & Newport define the decision-making process as follows: “Decision-making involves the selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem”.
While there’s nothing particularly wrong with this definition, a businessman cannot abide by this alone, for making decisions in a business scenario requires many more factors and steps. So here are five tips to make great business decisions.
Get a Better Understanding
Before you make a decision, you need to understand the factors that affect that decision and the conditions that get affected by that decision. You’ll not want to miss critical information or facts that might change the way you make your decision, or the decision itself.
An added advantage of gathering all the information is that you can eliminate others’ biases or opinions in the information-gathering process.
There are several venues you can approach while gathering information like your competition, customer feedback, employee opinions, and business reports.
Orient Decisions Using Goals
Think about the outcome you want to achieve while taking a decision; not just short-term results but long-term goals as well. Your decisions should be in line with the visions and mission of your business.
After all, that’s what they’re for — the vision describes your business’s ultimate goal and the mission describes how you want to reach that goal.
Additionally, stay up to date with the company’s financial statements. Keep an eye on your employees’ morale and the media coverage of your business as well to make goal-oriented goals.
For example, if you’re a casino owner, this step will guide you in difficult decisions like whether to allow players to pay using mobile in a casino.
Look for Other Perspectives
If the authority to take a decision lies under you, then you should be the one who takes the final decision. But there can always be factors that get blindsided during your process. This is why it’s important to look for other perspectives while making decisions.
You can look for a new perspective either within your business or head outside. You can talk to your business colleagues and managers to get their opinion.
Don’t make the mistake of discounting your employees’ perspectives either. Finally, you can get expert opinions from other professionals in your connections.
Take a Breath
Do not try to do everything at once; deal with only one critical decision at once. If you take too much upon your head, you may end up confusing one decision’s factors for another. Or worse yet, you may just overlook some crucial facts and figures in a hurry.
So when things get too busy, relax. Take some deep breaths and do an activity that helps you relax. You can take a 10-minute walk, do some stretching exercises, or meditate for a while.
Learn from Your Mistakes
You’re not perfect, nobody is. So eventually, things will go off-track. The factors which affect decision-making are not constant. While the existing factors change in their impact, new factors can come into play at any time.
So when things don’t go as planned, use this opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
Learn what went wrong and use this knowledge to make better, more bulletproof decisions in the future. And don’t forget to look at everything you did right at the same time; even that will give you valuable lessons.