Career and Life Coaching
Tips For Effective Decision-Making
By Marielys Camacho-Reyes
Nov 13, 2011 - 4:07:40 PM

LOS ANGELES—Many situations in life will require people to make decisions that will change the course of their lives. Most of the time, we are challenged to make decisions about situations we are familiar with, but other times, we will face a situation we cannot control or are not familiar with, and we will be expected to make a good decision. Stressful, huh!

We make decisions all the time. The question is whether we are making quality decisions or decisions based on emotions or judgments. Decisions are the key to our personal and career success, and people need to understand the importance of learning how to make quality decisions in life.
Photo by Gigi Castro

Decision-making is an important life skill that allows people to face challenges, opportunities and uncertainties while helping them to find quality solutions without losing time or energy. It also increases dramatically the chances of success by helping people to feel more in control of their lives and providing opportunities that move them toward accomplishing their career or personal goals.

For military personnel, one of the most important decisions they have to make is what they are going to do after leaving the military. That is a decision that could create a great deal of stress and uncertainty, and at the same time, it can drive a sane individual straight to an insane mode.

Joe Scott (name has been changed for security purposes) from Camp Pendleton feels that he is facing one of the biggest challenges now that he is getting ready to leave the Marines. He doesn’t know what is waiting for him outside of his comfort zone, and this uncertainty is creating a lot of stress in his life.

Joe says, "After 8 years in the Marines, I have decided to get out to complete my degree and to start a family. I have to say that I am very nervous about this decision, and I really hope [it] is a good one."

If you are facing a similar situation, or life is presenting you with a situation in which you have to make an important decision, I invite you to put in practice the following steps to make sure you make the best decision.

1) Identify the problem: By identifying the problem, you will have a clear understanding of the problem you have at hand or the decision you need to make.

2) Identify your alternatives: In this step, you have to identify your alternatives and select the ones you think are the best for you.

3) Evaluate the alternatives: In this step, you have to analyze and evaluate all the alternatives you selected. Try to think outside of the box. Take the alternatives you have selected and analyze them carefully to see the pros and cons of each one of them.

4) Make a decision: This step is the most important, yet difficult one. Once you have analyzed all your alternatives, and have selected the one you think is the best for you, it is time for you to make a decision.

5) Implement your decision: After making a decision, you need to take action and implement that decision. According to Dee Reavis from, a decision has no value unless it is implemented.

Putting into practice a good decision-making process can contribute enormously to the decisions you have to make. By taking the time to apply a good decision-making process, you will feel more confident and can rest assured that you are making a planned and well-analyzed decision; a decision not based on emotions or judgments, but on facts, evidence, reason and options.

Remember: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is”¦ nothing.” - Theodore Roosevelt

About the Author:

Marielys Camacho-Reyes has more 10 years of experience in the human resources field.

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