DECISION MAKING PROCESS
SEVEN STEPS IN DECISION-MAKING:
STEP 1: Identify the decision to be made. You realize that a decision must be made. Your
Awareness may be triggered by a variety of things: the need to declare a major,
Pressure from friends and family to make a vocational choice, or a general sense
Of dissatisfaction or unease. You then go through an internal process of trying to
Define clearly the nature of the decision you must make.
STEP 2: Gather relevant information. Most decisions require collecting pertinent
Information. The real trick in this step is to know what information is needed, the
Best sources of information, and how to get it. Some information must be sough
From within yourself through a process of self-analysis; other information must be
Sought from outside yourself-books, people, and other sources.
STEP 3: Identify alternatives. Through the process of collecting information you will
Probably identify two or more possible paths of action. You may also use your
Imagination and information to construct new alternatives.
STEP 4: Weigh evidence. Draw on your information and emotions to imagine what it
Would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives to the end. You must
Evaluate whether the problem or need identified in Step 1 would be helped or
Solved through the use of each alternative. Eventually you are able to place the
Available alternatives in priority order, based upon your own value system.
STEP 5: Choose among alternatives. Once you have weighed all the evidence, you are
Ready to select the alternative which seems to be best suited to you. You may even
Choose a combination of alternatives.
STEP 6: Take action. You now take some positive action which begins to implement the
Alternative you choose in Step 5.
STEP 7: Review decision and consequences. In this step you experience the results of
Your decision and evaluate whether or not it has “solved” or helped to solve the
Problem in Step 1. If yes, you may stay with the decision. If no, you may repeat
Certain steps of the process in order to make a new decision.
DECISION MAKING POINTS TO REMEMBER
1. Decisions are tentative; you can change your mind.
2. There is probably no one right choice; and few decisions are totally wrong.
3. Deciding is a process, not a static, one-time event. We are constantly re-evaluating in
Light of new information.
4. When it comes to a career decision, remember you are not choosing for a lifetime; in
All probability, you will have several careers during your working life. Choose for
Now and don’t worry whether you’ll still enjoy it 20 years from now.
5. There’s a big difference between decision and outcome. You can make a good
Decisions based on the information at hand and still have a bad outcome. The decision
is within your control, but the outcome is not. All decisions have that element of
6. Think of the worst outcome. Could you live with that? If you could live with the
worst, then anything else does not seem that bad.
7. Indecision is a decision not to decide. There are probably risks involved in not
deciding, in not taking action.
8. Try to avoid either/or thinking; usually there are more than two options. Be
imaginative and creative.
9. You may want to consult others for information but eventually you must make up
your own mind. Sometimes it may be a good idea to consult more than one source so
that your information is not biased.
10. Listen to your inner voice; trust your intuition. What feels right?
From: University of Missouri Career Specialist Selection & Training Manual by Robert
McDaniels (editor), 1995.
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