What Are My Options: A Guide to Decision Making

Decision making is not always an easy task, especially when we have several options to choose from. Making the right decision requires a thorough understanding of the available alternatives and their possible outcomes.

In this article, we will explore various decision-making options that can help you make the best choices in different situations.

The Importance of Decision Making

Decision making is a critical component of our daily lives. Every decision we make can have an impact on our lives, both positively and negatively.

Some decisions, such as whether to accept a job offer, can have long-lasting effects on our personal and professional lives. Others, such as deciding what movie to watch, may seem insignificant but can still affect our mood and level of enjoyment.

Whether we like it or not, we cannot avoid making decisions. Understanding how to make the right decisions is therefore a crucial skill to have.

Types of Decision Making

There are various types of decision making, each with its unique characteristics and approach. They include:

Routine Decision Making

Routine decisions are those that we make without much effort. They are often decisions that we have made before, and we know the outcomes. Examples of such decisions include what to wear, eat or drink.

Consensus Decision Making

Consensus decision making involves reaching a decision through agreement or compromise. This approach is often used in group settings, where everyone’s input is considered, and agreement is sought.

Intuitive Decision Making

Intuitive decision making entails using our instincts to make decisions. We make intuitive decisions when we rely on our feelings, experience, or the information available to us to arrive at a conclusion.

Authoritative Decision Making

Authoritative decision making involves accepting a decision made by an expert or someone in authority. This approach is often used when dealing with matters that require expertise or technical knowledge.

Strategic Decision Making

Strategic decision making involves decisions that have long-term impacts on an individual or organization. Strategic decisions require careful consideration of all the available options and their potential outcomes.

Factors to Consider When Making Decisions

Regardless of the type of decision-making approach you choose, certain factors should be considered. These factors include:


Understanding your goals is crucial when making decisions. Your goals will help you to determine what options are available and which will be most useful in achieving your objectives.


Consider the resources that you have available when making decisions. Resources can include time, money, staff, and expertise. Understanding the resources at your disposal will enable you to make the best decisions based on your resources’ limitations.


Constraints are limitations that can affect your decision-making process. Examples of constraints include time limitations, financial constraints, and legal or ethical considerations. Considering constraints will help you to narrow down your options.


Every decision has some level of risk involved. It is important to understand the potential risks and rewards associated with each decision. This will enable you to identify the options that offer the most significant potential rewards while minimizing risks.

Decision Making Tools and Techniques

Various tools and techniques are available to help you make better decisions. These include:

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis involves identifying the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with each option. The analysis helps to evaluate each option’s potential outcomes and identify potential risks and rewards.

Mind Maps

Mind maps are graphical representations of ideas and concepts. Mind maps can help you to organize your thoughts and identify the relationships between different ideas.

Decision Trees

Decision trees are diagrams that illustrate the potential outcomes of different decision paths. Decision trees help to identify the possible outcomes of each decision option and choose the option with the best potential outcome.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost-benefit analysis involves weighing the cost of each option against the potential benefits. The analysis helps to identify the most financially viable decision option.


Decision making requires a thorough understanding of the available options, their potential outcomes, and the factors to consider when making decisions. There are various decision-making tools and techniques that one can use to arrive at the best decision in different situations.

Common Questions and Answers

  • What is the best approach to decision making?

    There is no one-size-fits-all approach to decision making, as each decision requires a unique approach. However, understanding your goals, resources, constraints, and risks associated with each decision is vital.

  • What happens when we make bad decisions?

    Bad decisions can have negative consequences, such as financial loss or missed opportunities. However, it is essential to understand that we can learn from our mistakes and use them to make better decisions in the future.

  • Do I need to make a decision all by myself?

    No, you can involve others in your decision-making process, especially if it affects them. Reaching a consensus or working with someone with expertise in the matter can help you make better decisions.


  • Hinkel, S. J., & Weaner, L. S. (2016). A Practical Guide to Needs Assessment. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Keown, M. F., Martin, J. D., Petty, J. W., & Scott, D. F. (2014). Foundations of finance. Pearson Education Canada.
  • Sharma, S. (2018). Research methods in management. Cambridge University Press.

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