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Understanding Decisiveness

Decision making can sometimes be very challenging. It can be hard to make decisions when you’re dealing with uncertainty, complexity, and risk. Unfamiliarity and fear of consequences, known and unknown, can also make decision making difficult.

The way individuals handle decisions can mean the difference between decisiveness and procrastination. Typically, decisive individuals tend to possess three key character traits: realism, self-confidence, and an orientation to action. 

The ability to balance optimism and pessimism helps them be realistic. Self-confidence allows decisive people to make decisions with conviction. Being action oriented helps them avoid procrastinating.

Individuals who are decisive enjoy some significant advantages over their less decisive counterparts. They’re able to save time, are less stressed, and are regarded positively by others.

Defining Objectives

One additional characteristic decisive people tend to share is that they’re quite systematic. They typically have some kind of process they follow to make decisions easier. You, too, can use an effective four-step process to help you be decisive. The steps are to define the objective, create options, assess options, and choose the best option.

The first step to take when making a decision is to define the objective of the decision. Ask yourself what it is you want to achieve. This will help you focus your efforts.

At this point, you need to be clear about the issue you’re making the decision about. The more you know and understand the issue, the more likely you’ll be to make an appropriate decision.

You can ask questions to determine if you’re focusing on the right issue. An effective way to do this is to ask “Why?” until you reach the point where asking “Why?” doesn’t break the issue or problem down any further.

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