Choosing a decision making process from the variety available can be a time consuming task!
Where do you begin? Some people use their intuition, others prefer a rational model, and of course, they will have lots of reasons as to why this is better!
There are decision trees, decision maps, a variety of decision matrix and decision matrix tables and so on. There are so many, in fact, it would be easy to be indecisive about which one to choose!
And then of course there is the search for the best decision. This quest is often a major factor for people being indecisive and not making any decision at all.
Let's take a simple example.
You are sitting at your desk and you drop your pen. You need it to continue working so you have to pick it up and so you have to decide how specifically you are going to do it.
Generally, you look to see exactly where it is first.
Let's say that you consider that you would not be able to reach it simply by staying in your chair and bending down. So you discard that idea and think of something that would work.
You just know that you are going to have to stand up, move the chair to one side pull the desk out from the wall and reach behind the desk. You are sure this will work so you go ahead and go through these steps. And it works.
So what happens here. You gather enough information to be able to make a decision. You consider a particular plan. But your past experiences tell you that it probably won't work. So you go no further with that idea.
You formulate a new plan, again based on your past experiences, and this time you have a strong sense that it will work. You put this plan into action and… it works!
If during the second plan, something else became obvious, for example, you couldn't move the desk easily because there are so many files and papers in it that now it is too heavy to move, you would automatically change the plan. Possibly by using a long object to reach your pen, or by asking someone to help you lift the desk, and so on.
There are a few things to note about this particular process. There are no comparisons between different options. Nor is there any weighing of the pros and cons of each option.
The idea is to come up with something that you think will get the job done. This is based on your previous experiences, which is why experts in a field make such good decisions in that field, they have lots of experience!
This is a simple example but it is also possible to apply this process to more complex decisions. In fact, Gary Klein, who has studied firefighters, doctors, nurses and military personnel, writes that even in emergency situations, this is how these experts make decisions!
In fact, Klein thinks that we use this decision making process to make 90 to 95% of all our decisions!!
Read more about his Recognition Primed decision making model...