Each of us makes many decisions in our daily lives. Whether it is personal or business matters, making rational business decisions is time consuming and energy consuming. If you do not want to get bored of making decisions after a while and make the wrong choices, you need to use efficient and effective methods to make decisions. One of the simplest ways to make a decision is to look at the pros and cons with a simple approach. In this article, you will learn one of the simplest ways to help you make sensible decisions.
It has happened to many of us that when faced with difficult decisions, we are so engrossed in analyzing possible solutions that we fail to make any decisions. We are often afraid of making the wrong decision, so we spend a lot of time analyzing all the possibilities and as a result we can not find the right solution.
However, there are other times when we think we know what the best solution is and decide quickly without considering all the possible solutions.
You can avoid both of the above situations by weighing the pros and cons. This is a simple but effective strategy that allows you to look at the situation from different angles, consider the right solutions and choose with confidence.
In this article, we will look at how we can quantify the pros and cons of a decision to make a rational all-encompassing decision.
Lightening the pros and cons can speed up the decision-making process, improve your understanding of the situation, and help you avoid decision paralysis. Using a simple list of advantages and disadvantages encourages you to impartially consider the decision you want to make and not allow feelings and emotions to interfere with the decision.
This method is especially effective in group decisions and when group members prefer one of the ideas or points of view. This method helps the group members to consider other angles and reach a balanced and informed decision.
How to use this tool
First, write the decision you want to make at the top of the sheet of paper. Then, split the paper into two vertical columns, assign one column to the pros and the other to the cons. Then, write down all the positive consequences that you think are likely to come from your decision in the benefits column and all the possible negative effects in the disadvantages column.
It is usually at this point that you can decide whether or not to implement the decision. If you are unable to do so, assign positive or negative points to each of the advantages or disadvantages. For example, a score like 5+ can mean very good and 1- means somewhat weak. Try to score as impartially as you can.
When you have completed this step, add up the points for each column and compare the total points of the advantages with the total points of the disadvantages. If the final score is positive, you can implement the decision.
Remember to always consider logic. If you are unsure about the appropriateness of this decision, take more time to think and see what you have missed.
Imagine you are the manager of your organization’s marketing department. Some members of your team like to work remotely a few days a week so they don’t have to come to work every day. Therefore, you have to decide whether you can accept the option of working from home or not.
Although there are many benefits to working with a virtual team, there are some risks that can not be ignored. So, you have to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of this.
|Implement telecommuting policy|
|Teleworking reduces the stress of commuting to work and increases productivity. (5+)||Telecommuting makes it difficult to build deep, productive and creative relationships between team members. (4-)|
|Teleworking increases flexibility, especially for working parents or employees who have to care for a parent or other person. (4+)||The organization has to pay for equipment that employees can take home. (4-)|
|This can hire creative people who live in remote areas and can not come to the office every day. (4+)||The organization cannot track how people spend their time. (3-)|
|People who are distracted by noise and other distractions can perform better at home. (5+)||The organization may lose control over the data because documents and equipment are not in the office. (5–)|
|Team members’ communication skills will improve as they learn how to use email or similar items more effectively. (3+)||It becomes difficult to schedule face-to-face meetings and provide constructive feedback. (1-)|
Your final score is +4 (21 minus 17), so it makes sense to implement this decision, and you can let your employees work from home a few days a week.
The method we have introduced is one of the easiest ways to make a decision, which is especially useful in situations where you have to decide whether to do something or not. How do you decide in such situations? What tools and approaches do you use to make decisions? How useful and responsive do you think this method is?