7 Ways to Sharpen Your Decision Making Skills


Effective decision making begins with knowing what you value and what is important to you. What you value, want, and need motivates you to take action. When you make choices that are not in line with your values, you will feel uneasy and incongruent with your choices – off track. When you make choices that are aligned with your values, you are at ease, satisfied, and fulfilled with the direction you are going.

According to the Free Dictionary online, value means “relating to or consisting of principles or standards”. Take a look around you; you will notice that everyone has different values. They have different standards. Everyone does not place value on the same things; therefore, the world is full of abundance because not everyone wants or desires the same things. Making decisions based on what you value is referred to as value-based decision making.

Do you find it hard to make decisions? Do you narrow down your choices and still find it hard to make a decision? Are you often influenced by other people’s opinions and later regret you did not listen to your gut instinct? Decision making can be made easy when you know yourself and what you value. Self-awareness is the cornerstone of decision making. Our values influence our thoughts and feeling and impact the decisions we make. Every decision we make takes us closer to or farther away from creating our desired future or outcomes.

What a person values is different than what they believe to be true. Beliefs are formed from out interactions and experiences of what we believe to be true. Many assumptions and judgments may be made that have no truth to them. Values are part of your core; the person who you are.

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” – Albert Einstein

To become a Value-Based decision maker or leader, follow these steps:

  1. Identify what is important to you. Values include generosity, respect, truth, honesty, gratitude, freedom, integrity, wisdom, responsibility, and accountability. There are much What is most important to you?
  2. Prioritize your values. You may value many things. Determine your top 5 values that you base your decisions on. These are non-negotiables,
  3. Recognize your emotions and the emotions of others. How you feel or how others are feeling can impact the decisions you make. Challenge any assumptions or judgments you may be making. Don’t be afraid to question or clarify what you are thinking.
  4. Gather the facts. You want to gather enough information that you feel good about the decision you are making. Do you need to speak to someone or research more information?
  5. Compare to similar situations and reflect on what worked, what did not, and what you needed to do differently. What are your options? What alternative exist? What are the consequences of the options or alternatives?
  6. Focus on the facts versus your emotions. When you have all the information you need, decision-making should be much quicker and easier.
  7. Make your decision. Adjust your course of action if required. You may need to make new decisions. Repeat this process as necessary to guide you to achieve the results you want.

The most effective decisions are based on values versus one person’s belief. Values define a standard or a code of honor to abide by. Beliefs are based on experiences. If a person’s decision making is solely based on their beliefs, the decisions that are made will only be as good as the situations and experiences that they have been exposed to. Values are who you are – know yourself and what is important to you!

DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com

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