The Art of making Decisions

The most interesting and intriguing moment in a human’s life is when he has to take / make decisions. Taking /Making decision is actually easier thing when said than done. Many of us can recall moments where we felt the wave of nervousness, fatigue and uncertainty when we are asked to be in charge of something. Many people who have extreme technical skills fail, when they are offered leadership position, because of this one vital point of decision making. Why is decision making is such a difficult thing. If it is, in this post we shall try and find out what are the difficulties involved in this. There is a saying that Decision hurried is decision buried; so that makes clear that one should not be haste in making decisions. But there goes another saying as Decision delayed is decision denied; so one should not be taking too much time sitting on the issue. Now that’s a tough thing indeed. I remember my master who always used to say after giving me an option “Think deep, but be fast”. I feel this line holds the answer for the problem we have seen above.

Decision making is termed as an art. Anything which is termed as an art can be learnt and be mastered by practicing it. So by that definition do we have enough learning and practice in the art of decision making. The answer is unfortunately a big no. In early 90s while I was in my school, we had sanjayka scheme going in full fledged. This scheme insisted students to save money in the bank that is with the school. The best part is the banker would be student of higher grade. There would be three to four saving schemes option and the student has to choose one out of that. The school bank also paid interest for those who have crossed over certain money limit. This I believe was implemented to kindle the learning of decision making. But I don’t remember taking those decisions; I was more than happy to leave that issue to my parents. In the same era, we had hobbies like collecting stamps and currencies of different countries. We used to exchange the stamps with other stamps, everybody focusing on giving up most frequent ones and collecting the rarest ones. I wonder that may not be just hobbies.

Decision making skill depends upon so many things; that you cannot generalize it. Some situations may occur where your intuition is the key and there may be occasion where a detailed analysis is required. Both situations vary enormously on the skill set required to react. But I dare say there are three things which are common to all circumstances. If we are sure we have reasonably good command over those three skills we are certainly learning the art in a rapid pace. Those three things which determine the building blocks of decision making are common sense, assertiveness and awareness. These three no matter what the situation is, no matter what kind of function the brain has to undergo is important for good decision making. The weird thing is we cannot decide a decision a good one or a bad one, till we see the consequences. That makes the process i.e. the above mentioned three qualities very vital factors.  We would see that by an example. Below is a chart which shows the amount of people have volunteered to donate their organs in different countries.

Thanks: Johnson & Goldstein Research centre

Donating organs is a huge decision. It is a kind of paying back to the society. So what drives people to make that decision? Is it the cultural value of their homeland? Is it the literacy rate? Is it the geography of the land mass? If so we can compare the countries in the chart, it is strange. Sweden and Denmark, has same geography, culture and literacy rate, but they differ hugely in their organ donation ration. Netherland and Poland are almost identical, but they also have great difference. Germany and Austria are located very closely, and they also have a huge difference.  If we deeply analyze these differences are because of the DMV license office question patterns. People while applying for their Driving License in countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, and Denmark are given a check box option, where it says “I am willing to donate my organs”. People who are less assertive would always leave the check box undisturbed. So the people who have checked in the box are 12%, 17.17% and 4.25% respectively. Whereas people living in countries like Sweden, Austria and Belgium while applying for license come across a check box option which says “I don’t want to donate my organs”. People as usual don’t disturb the check box because of their lack of awareness. So the people who have checked in the box are in these counties are of the percentage 14.1%, .02% and 2% respectively. Now we don’t see much difference, do we? So this clearly illustrates the awareness, common sense and assertiveness are the key to make decisions.

I am Suresh Balachandar, Mindfulness Coach and Enneagram Expert. I have specific courses on Decision making and the work shop would definitely put a dent in the brains and minds of the People who are attending it. They would be able to analyze, introspect and see the whole picture which will be a key process in any Decision making. Join me in my face book page for further discussions on Decision making. or call me on 9840591018

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