THE CRITERIA FOR AN EFFECTIVE DECISION MAKING PROCESS
ON ANYTHING IMPORTANT, NOTHING LESS IS ACCEPTABLE
This is your life. And you don't dare fritter it away with ineffective decision-making. If you do, you will suffer, totally needlessly, for no benefit.
I do all of this, also, for myself, as I've noticed that I've deviated from some decisions, by default, and that some important decisions were just plain wrong. So I thought, well, then, there must be some values or misvaluations involved here - and if I could straighten those out then I would make a better decision that I was also able to stick with.
However. be clear that the best way to learn effective decision making is to have a good decisionmaker help you in the process (after you've written out all you can think of, then run it by him/her).
It may not be surprising that the criteria for an effective decision making process is essentially the same as it is for Critical Thinking (aka "effective thinking) and also some specific steps.
THE PROCESS IS:
Good facts + logical thinking + disciplined system = Good decisions = Good results!
Note that a system is always an ordered series of steps leading to a desired result.
Let's apply this to happiness as the ultimate value. Let's say that I am deciding how to live my life. (Most decisions will not be quite so global!)
1. Desired result.
What is to be achieved?: Greatest number of happiness units over my lifetime.
a. Further defined as:
I feel good about myself.
I believe that I will produce happiness for myelf no matter what.
I feel good about life, people, and the world - that there are an abundance of
opportunities and benefits.
Ask: Is this adequately answered for now?
2. Gather information: What will work to get me that desired result?
1. What are the reliable expert sources?
b. Consider all factors, especially emotions, feelings, resistances, beliefs, strengths weaknesses, interests, values
c, Who can help - with information and with application.
3. Decide alternatives, factors that contribute.
4. Analyze each alternative to determine a clear "value', in terms of results (i.e. consequences!).
5. Prioritize alternatives.
Decide which will be done and in which order
6. Plan how to get there
Include any subgoals or submeans
Review again before proceeding
Define the elements
1. How will you know when you are succeeding (speific measures).Make sure we have defined things precisely or we won't know enough to compare. How will I know when I am and have achieved it?
8. Review (feedback process)
1. When to review, milestones (set dates, with tickles!)
9. Improve, implement changes
The process must be completed, not abandoned part-way along!
WHAT TO DO WHEN "INDICATORS" APPEAR
You must specify well-defined rules for what to do when indicators show up. (Of course, you must specify the indicators and the level of the indicator required to take action. An example lies in the area of changing, where we must, if we are to be effective, anticipate setbacks and have strategies to deal with those set backs. The reason so many people fail at change is that they do not use this strategy nor do all the steps necessary in The Process For Effective Change.)
AN EFFECTIVE DECISION PRODUCES THE DESIRED EFFECT (DUH!)
Since the word "effective" means what is done produces a desired effect (a result), a decision is not complete until it will do this with high reliability.
Do not stop short, as that is what happens to most people in life. They wonder "what did I do wrong", and the answer I might most often give is that they stopped short, before they got the desired result, for whatever reason.
Gather information systematically.
Filter the information for relevance and accuracy.