Making Smart Decisions on the Fly During Holiday Stress


We make decisions every day, from very simple to very complex. Some of the simpler decisions, like how many sugars to put in your coffee, are often made without hesitation or without much thought. On the other hand, the more complex decisions, like deciding to let an employee go from the company or deciding whether or not to launch a new product or service, may require a longer thought process to ensure that a knowledgeable decision is made.

Decisions that involve uncertainty, complexity, high-risk consequences, or interpersonal issues require problem-solving skills, as well as decision making skills.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when faced with challenging situations that require a decision to be made:

Taking a Systematic Approach to Complex Decision Making in Business

To prevent your business decisions from causing “failure” it is imperative to combine your problem-solving and decision-making skills to elucidate the situation. Along with combining those skills, an ordered process can also help you make well-thought-out decisions that will result in a successful outcome.

Following a process can also eliminate the chance of overlooking important pieces of information that could help you make the smartest decision or decisions.

A logical process may look something like this:


  1. Create a constructive environment

A perfect plan should start with the perfect environment for decision making. A constructive environment can help you explore the situation and weigh your options.


  1. Analyze the situation, paying close attention to detail

Before you start the analytics of the situation, it is important to go in with an unbiased mindset. You also want to investigate all aspects of the situation so that you can fully understand what you are dealing with. Gather all of the information that is accessible to you and draw conclusions from the facts. It may help to consider the problem from multiple perspectives to predict how your decision might affect other factors.


  1. Come up with respectable alternatives

Having a variety of options to choose from pushes your mind to dig deeper into the situation to choose the best possible outcome based on the information you have been given. Brainstorming is one of the most basic and promising ways to generate new ideas. It is also important to consider how your decision might influence or affect other people.


  1. Explore and compare your options

Once you’ve generated a good variety of realistic alternatives, you can now move forward to considering the risks and implications of each alternative option. Most decisions will involve some sort of risk, which is why it is critical to compare and contrast different options. You can also prioritize risk factors.  There may be something you’d be willing to sacrifice in order to have something else that is higher on the priority list.


  1. Decide what the best solution is for you and your business

If one option is clearly better than the rest, then your decision will be easy. If that is not the case, you can slim down the options to the best three or so. Once you’ve come up with the best few solutions, weigh your options and risks to decide which alternative will work best for the company, as well as anyone else who may be affected.


  1. Communicate your decision and plan

Once a decision has been made, you will need to communicate it to everyone that is affected by the decision, bringing forth key points that influenced your decision. Explain the how(s) and why(s) of your decision too. The more information that is provided to the people affected, the more likely it is they’ll support your decision.


  1. Take action!