There is a tremendous need for good decision makers in today’s world. People are needed who have the ability to make decisions quickly and responsibly. This is why it is so important for you to teach good decision making skills to your students. In order to do this, your students must understand the importance of decision making.
While everyone has to make decisions, it is amazing how little is known about how to make a good decision. Most decisions are made without any idea of the decision-making principles covered in this unit. It is estimated that about one-half of the decisions made in business are incorrect. With better decision-making skills, the percentage of correct decisions would undoubtedly rise.
Here are the five topics we will cover in this section to teach the importance of good decisions:
- Problem solving vs. decision making
- Characteristics of good decision makers
- The three most important criteria for good decision making
- Brings value
- Move forward without worry
Problem solving vs. decision making
First, your students should understand that problem solving and decision making are two separate things. Problem solving means being forced to make a decision because of conditions beyond your control. Decision making means choosing to make a decision because you wish for something to occur that is not occurring at the present time. Decision making occurs because you want something to happen, while problem solving occurs when a problem arises.
Characteristics of good decision makers
The best decision makers are people who can combine logic, problem analysis, and intuition to come up with the correct decision. Teach your students these additional characteristics that most good decision makers have in common:
Being a good listener. Good decision makers must be able to hear and take into account other people’s opinions when making decisions.
Having a clear set of priorities. As we will discuss later on in this unit, decision makers must know their priorities or values in order to choose a good or “correct” path.
Having an open mind. Good decision makers are open to other people’s views and ways of thinking rather than being stuck in one way of doing things.
Being flexible and willing to change. A good decision maker is open to new or alternative ways of doing things that may work out better in the end.
Being realistic. Good decision makers understand the realistic outcomes to which different paths will lead.
The three most important criteria for good decision making
The three most important criteria for good decision making are values, experience and common sense:
- Values-What your students value determines their behavior. Their beliefs produce attitudes, attitudes produce feelings and feelings lead to behavior.
- Experience– We all learn to make decisions through experience. Time will tell if a decision is good or bad.
- Common sense- Common sense, or what you know, is a key component in choosing one path versus another. Use what you know to help you make the best decision.
Good decision making is an essential skill. There is a tremendous need for good decision makers in today’s world. When your students improve their decision-making skills, they will increase their value in their future jobs, families and communities.
Move forward without worry
Decision making involves making choices. Many people are afraid to make decisions because they may make a wrong one. Good decision making does not depend on educational background as much as common sense. Teach your students that common sense, general knowledge, an their value systems are the most important criteria for good decision making.