Every decision – regardless of whether it seems large or small – has its own set of challenges and subtleties. Sometimes, what appears to be the most clear cut decision becomes complicated, and sometimes decisions that seem overly complex can be made simpler with relative ease. A decision is a choice between two or more alternatives. The goal will always be to make conscious decisions and to be proactive instead of passive when making decisions.

6 Steps to Good Decision-Making

When making decisions, it’s important to consider six consistent steps:

  • Grip it – what is the decision
  • Observe and collect information
  • Link in the right people
  • Finalize the Decision
  • Educate those involved
  • Ready golf – time to act
Risk Taking
  • Risk-taking can impact decision-making in both positive and negative ways. Reflecting on past decisions in which you took a risk is a valuable step in learning to make better decisions.
  • Some risks are acceptable and learning what constitutes an acceptable risk is easier to do when using the decision-making process.
  • Consider the kinds of risks you can take on the golf course and the kinds of risks you can take in other parts of your life. It is important to think through all potential outcomes of the risks to determine which risks are acceptable.
  • Personal values, social conventions, and risk-taking are related to the consequences of decision-making.
  • A consequence is described as ‘the effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier.’ Consequences can be positive or negative. Some decisions result in one or the other and some result in both.
  • Consider decisions you’ve made in the past and the consequences that ensued. Sometimes consequences are unexpected and other times, if you use the decision-making process, you and those you involve in your decision, can predict some consequences.
  • Taking into account the people who will be affected by the consequences of your decision (either just you, or you and others) may change the decisions you make.
Social Conventions
  • A “convention” is a set of agreed upon or generally accepted standards, norms or criteria, also called “customs.”
  • Therefore, “social conventions” are those things that are agreed upon norms within a specific social group.  
  • There are social conventions for almost every situation you might find yourself in. Social conventions affect the way we make decisions because they represent some guidelines that probably need to be followed.
  • For example, social conventions in golf include being quiet while a player is preparing for a shot and following the dress code. 
Personal Values
  • Personal values influence the decisions we make because we make decisions based on things that are important to us. Being clear on your personal values will help you make your own decisions and for others to understand the rationale behind the decisions you do make.
  • Some examples of values include: Accountability, determination, integrity, adventurousness, discipline, and intuition. Personal values are important in the “Observe and collect information” step of the decision making process.
  • In this step, considering your own personal values and those of others involved in the decision you are trying to make will help you come to the best conclusion. A good exercise to understanding your own values is to consider decisions you made in the past and what influenced those decisions.
Personal Experience
  • Personal experiences inform the decisions we make.
  • Personal experiences can both help in the decision making process by shedding light on potential consequences and relevant social conventions, but they can also inhibit decision-making if they prevent you from taking acceptable risks or considering the experiences of others.
  • Using your personal experiences to effectively inform your decisions is an important quality in good leaders. Good leaders also remember to link in the right people when making decisions so that they don’t rely too heavily on their personal experiences but consider those of others as well.
  • Reflect on a decision you made in which you compromised between yours and others’ personal experiences.