• Tara Humphrey

Making Your Mind Up | 4 Step Process to Aid Your Decision-Making

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

Given the time pressures, we are all under, we often find ourselves having to make decisions quickly, but do not always ask the right questions to enable a successful outcome.

Through working with a business psychologist, I have used the following 4 step process which can also help you to; identify the benefits, consider what information is needed to aid your thought process, highlight some potential objections and call on your gut instincts to thoughtfully, yet quickly identify which path you should pursue.

Use, post-it notes and flip chart paper to capture your ideas and if you are in a large group, you may want to divide yourselves into smaller working groups. Also, the group will need a scribe.

Step 1: Throw everything in

I’m often called to meetings where we have to prioritise workstreams for the year; we often start by throwing all ideas on the table. 

For example, this may include:

  • Improving the frailty pathway

  • Investing in mental health and suicide prevention education

  • Investing in recruitment

  • Creating opportunities to develop existing staff, using the apprenticeship

Do not spend too long here, 3 mins max.

(Use, post-it notes and flip chart paper to capture your ideas and if you are in a large group, you may want to divide yourselves into smaller working groups).

Step 2 - Prioritise

Using the ideas on the table, give yourself no more than a minute to choose your top priority that you feel would make a significant difference to your team/ organisation.

Step 3 -  Identify the BICG

Now you have 3 mins to identify the benefits, what information you need, what the possible objections may be and what your gut instinct says. 

We often ignore our gut instinct, but using a mix of emotion and data provides a pragmatic to decision making. This is what the process looks like in practice:

The chosen idea: Improving the frailty pathway

Step 4

Based on the questions you have just answered, you now need to decide if this is a path you want to pursue, allocating some roles and responsibilities.

This process will not necessarily mean that you should dive gung-ho into a new project, it just means that now you can start to collate some information to validate if this is worth your while.

Depending on the size of your group and capacity to pursue more ideas, you can repeat this process 2 or 3 times, with each round taking no more than 10 minutes.

If you like this post,  you may like our blog post on how  Following the path of the worst-case scenario’s can aid decision making.

A word from the author

These blogs aim to inspire, provide you with some practical advice and tools and share ideas to support your working life. Test the advice and see what works for you. Visit us at https://www.thcprimarycare.co.uk/blog and our catalogue of over 90 blogs.