5 steps in decision making.

Step 1: Identify Your Goal

One of the most effective decision making strategies is to keep an eye on your goal. This simply means identifying the purpose of your decision by asking yourself what exactly is the problem that needs to be solved? And why does this problem need to be solved?

Figuring out what’s most important to you will help you make good decisions. When you know the reason why you have making a particular decision; it will better serve you in staying with it, and defending it.

Step 2: Gather Information for Weighing Your Options

When making good decisions it is best to gather necessary information that is directly related to the problem. Doing this will help you to better understand what needs to be done in solving the problem, and will also help to generate ideas for a possible solution.

When gathering information it is best to make a list of every possible alternative; even ones that may initially sound silly or seem unrealistic. Always seek the opinions of people that you trust or speak to experts and professionals, because it will help you to come up with a variety of solutions when weighing all your options for a final decision. You will want to gather as many resources as possible in order to make the best decision.

Step 3: Consider the Consequences

This step can be just as important as step one because it will help you determine how your final decision will impact yourself, and/or others involved. In this step, you will be asking yourself what is likely to be the results of your decision. How will it affect you now? And how will it affect your future?

This is an essential step because it allows you to review the pros and cons of the different options that you listed in the previous step. It is also important because you want to feel comfortable with all your options and the possible outcome of whichever one you choose.

Step 4: Make Your Decision

Now that you have identified your goal, gathered all necessary information, and weighed the consequences, it is time to make a choice and actually execute your final decision. Understanding that this step can cause some people a lot of anxiety is important because this is where you have to trust your instincts. Although you may still be slightly indecisive about your final decision, you have to take into account how this makes you feel. Ask yourself, does it feel right? And does this decision work best for you now, and in the future? When you answer those questions back, you should feel good about the result.

Step 5: Evaluate Your Decision

Once you have made your final decision and put it into action, it is necessary to evaluate the decision and the steps you have taken to ensure that it works. This final step is probably just as important as step one, if not more important, because it will help you to further develop your decision making skills for future problems. This step is also fundamental because it may require you to seek out new information and make some changes along the way.

Remember, this step requires some patience and it can also encourage perseverance. Why? Because it may take some time to see the final outcome. Recognizing that if the first decision is not working, you may have to go back to step two and choose another option. Always looking for and anticipating unexpected problems will help alleviate undue stress, if and when a problem occurs.

Although these five steps can help assist in simplifying the decision-making process, there are some common drawbacks that you must also take into account. Consider these:

► Misidentifying The Problem

Many times the problem will be obvious; but there may come a time when identifying the main problem is not that easy. When this issue arises, figuring out exactly what it is, and where you need to focus your efforts will save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.

► Having a Single Source

When considering the consequences, you must be open to a broad choice of alternatives in order to find the best solution. This can become a problem if you rely solely on a single source of information because that one source may not b reliable, or may not be completely inline with the problem; thus altering your chances of making the best decision.

► Having Too Many Sources

Having a variety of sources is usually not a bad thing; but not in every situation. Collecting as much information as possible can be very helpful at arriving to a decision, but an overload of information can leave you confused and misguided, and prevents you from following your intuition. Remember, trusting your gut instincts is a major key to making good decisions.

► Overestimating the Outcome

When making a decision and putting your plan into action you should have taken care to weigh all your valid options. Making a decision based upon an outcome that may not be plausible will not help you solve the problem.

► Poor Timing

Time can be a futile friend. Sometimes it is good, and sometimes it is not. When making major decisions, it beneficial to take your time in order to make the best choice from your options. But understanding the timing process is crucial because sometimes it is best to delay a decision, and other times delaying a response can cause more problems. There are also times when making a quick decision is advantageous because it allows you more time to make necessary changes should problems arise

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Decision Making Styles

Decision making can be grouped into four main styles. The four styles are, Directive style, Analytic style, Conceptual style, and Behavioral style. Although no one fits completely into just one style category, you should have characteristics that fit, more or less, into one or two styles. Each style looks at decisions in a somewhat different way. Each style deals with processing the information on which the decision is based differently.
Directive Style

For the person that is a directive style decision maker, structure is very important. The directive decision maker is aggressive and expects immediate results. The typical directive style decision maker takes charge of a situation, makes quick decisions and expects those “under” him to carry out those decisions immediately, with no questions asked. They rely on their own information, knowledge, experience and judgment. The directive style decision maker tends to follow the rules and is an excellent verbal communicator. On the negative side of things, directive style decision makers act quickly and often don’t have all of the facts. They can be rash and fail to consider other options when addressing a problem. Directive decision makers focus on short-term results instead of long-term solutions.
Analytic Style

If your decision making style is analytic, you probably enjoy solving problems and puzzles. An analytic style decision maker is innovative and likes to analyze large amounts of data before making a decision. They are adaptable and can function well even under unique or challenging situations. Unfortunately, this style of decision making can be very slow and time consuming. An analytic decision maker wants to use direct observation, data, and facts when coming to a decision. They also tend to want to control every aspect of the process.
Conceptual Style

Conceptual style decision makers like to look at problems from an artistic angle. They are extremely creative and like to look for solutions that are outside the box. They are achievement oriented and like to think far into the future when making important decisions. A conceptual style decision maker will take risks and try to make decisions that take a broad vision in problem solving.
Behavioral Style

People who use a behavioral decision making style are very interested in making sure that everyone works well together and avoids conflict. They are very persuasive talkers and are good at getting people to see things their way. Behavioral decision makers like working with a group. Together they attempt to reconcile differences and negotiate a solution that is acceptable to all parties.
Group Decision Making Styles

Group decision making has its own set of models. Each decision making style affects the group in a unique way and has its own best uses. Knowing which style to use in a particular situation can be the difference between success and failure, especially in a business environment.
Autocratic Group Decision Making Style

An autocratic decision making style is one in which the leader takes complete control and ownership of the decision. The leader is completely responsible for the outcome that results from the decision, whether that outcome is positive or negative. The autocratic leader does not ask for suggestions or ideas from the team and decides based on their own internal information and perception of the situation.

Using this method produces a very fast decision for which the leader is personally responsible. In an emergency situation, the autocratic style is often the best choice. The disadvantages can sometimes include less than desired effort from the people that must carry out the decision. If an employee or group member is affected by the decision, but was not included in the decision making process, morale may suffer. If the result of the decision is not positive, members of the group may begin to feel resentful and believe they could have done a better job themselves. This can cause the leader to lose credibility.
Democratic Group Decision Making Style

Democratic group decision making can be useful when a quick decision is needed utilizing a minimum amount of group participation. In this style of group decision making the leader gives up ownership and control of a decision and allows the group to vote. As the name implies, majority vote will decide what action is taken.

The disadvantage of this style can be a lack of individual responsibility. There is no one person that can claim responsibility for the decision reached by the group. Since there is not a requirement for a consensus it opens up the possibility that someone will deny responsibility because they voted against the group’s decision.
Collective Group Decision Making Style

In this style of group decision making, the leader will involve the members of the organization in all aspects of the decision making process, but makes the final decision alone. The leader deliberately asks and encourages group members to participate by giving their ideas, perceptions, knowledge, and information concerning the situation. This brings to light other perspectives on the situation although the leader maintains complete control of the final decision.

In this group decision making style, the leader is completely responsible for the decision and the results, positive or negative. There are advantages to this style, such as the involvement and participation of the group. This style of group decision making requires the leader to be an excellent communicator, as well as an excellent listener. This gives the leader an accurate understanding of the situation and allows for better overall decision making. The disadvantages collective group decision making are that this can be a very slow decision making process and it offers less security due to the number of people involved in the process.
Consensus Group Decision Making Style

In the consensus decision making style, the leader gives up complete control of the decision. The whole group is totally involved and invested the decision. There is no individual responsibility for the leader using this type of group decision making. This style differs from the democratic style because everyone must agree on the decision. If there is not total agreement by everyone the decision becomes democratic.

This type of group decision making fosters a strong group commitment because everyone involved has a stake in the decisions success. By involving everyone completely this decision making style has a high probability of success. It is, however, a very slow process and it can be difficult for a group to learn to work together in this manner. This is a useful decision making style for a group that will be together for a long period of time such that the members can develop a strong, long term, professional relationship.
How Can Understanding Decision Making Styles Help?

By understanding your personal decision making style, it is possible to make adjustments according to the situation and results you are working towards. Strong decision making requires the ability to assess the situation, determine the best style of decision making, and utilize that style to come to a positive solution. These are leadership skills that will benefit you both personally and professionally. By consistently using the correct style of decision making, you will prove yourself to be a valuable asset as a leader

Making life choices.

Yes we all have our aspirations and goals but truthfully, how may of those are always met and how many are omitted at the expense of others?
here is the explanation of how life will be and how it was:

In the past you used to say that i will do “this in the future” the question is how do you take today?? today is the future that you thought of the previous day/ week/month/year. To simplify it, today is the tomorrow that you were talking of yesterday. Meaning “Do all that you planned to do at its right time because if you don’t, you will live in a life of regret.

Presently, you assume that your future is already set and you fail to realize that you are here today partially by two things (those that you didn’t do and those that you did) but most of us are here because of what we didn’t do, otherwise if we did what we were supposed to do, we would now be better people.

Finally, you will either live a life of despair or happiness depending on the choices that you made in the past and also what you intend to do in the “present” today. We shall always find different people in this world and every time you take a step, there are always people behind you, there with you and others are ahead of you.
so never be short sighted not to grab the opportunities around you that will shape your future, and may be plus the future of your loved ones.

Since it is a Sunday, for now i rest my case but remember that the choice is yours to choose between death and life & happiness and sadness.

Apply for the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards ($5,000 in Prizes)

The Spectacles Magazine

DEADLINE: January 9, 2014

Are you an amateur photographer or a photography enthusiast? If so, then this is the competition for you! The Open Competition offers 10 diverse categories for you to enter, ranging from Action to Travel. As a Basic Member, you can enter up to 3 photographs for free , submitted into one category or spread across multiple categories Photographers of all ages backgrounds and experience levels are invited to enter this competition where great imagery is everything, and creativity is the key ingredient!

ELIGIBILITY:
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to all members of the public.

For more information kindly visit World photo competition website

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The moment of truth.

outsidethecomfortbox

The moment of truth.

The moment when suddenly everything you’ve dreamed of and worked for is within reach.

Until that moment, the idea of leaving seems so far away, surreal, impossible that the day itself will ever arrive.

It’s all just a dream, and dreaming is very comfortable and enjoyable, particularly when we aren’t obliged to follow through with our plans. There’s always someone else, something else, which gets in the way of us acting on them.

And that way, there are no risks, no frustrations, no difficulties, and certainly no thought that what we dream might actually become reality. Our dreams are dreams, and we don’t have to complicate our lives by having them come true. We can remain in our comfort box, looking out at what could be.

And so one day, when we’re old, looking back and telling the story, we can still look out, but this…

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