Making a decision is not a one way action. It is a process. It comprises of series of steps or actions taken in order to achieve a particular goal or end. It is a method of identifying and recognizing an issue and selecting from alternatives. The selection or choice one makes may depend on the preferences, values and viewpoints of the person making the decision.
4 steps/ stages of the decision-making process;
- Recognizing there is a problem
- searching for solution
- assessing the alternatives and
- choice making.
Before I go on with the 4 steps/stages of Decision making, I will narrate a personal experience.
When I newly arrived in Europe to reunite with my husband, I encountered a problem that needed an urgent solution. I joined him when the country was undergoing an economic crises. Many people lost their jobs, my husband was among them and I was expecting a baby. Some one advised my husband that we go and meet the social workers, they give advice, guidance on how to get a job and support to help people in need. We adhered to the advice but on getting there to my greatest disappointment, the lady we met asked me, ‘why did you become pregnant when you know that your husband does not have a job?. I was stunned. When we left that office, I decided never to go back to that office again until I have my baby and fit to work.
I went back when I was ready because I needed some assistance in my job search and asked for a change of a social worker which they did. Before long there was an opportunity some where to work in a sector that has nothing to do with my profession. I had to take a decision
- or go for an interview, get the job to help solve the financial problem we were having at that time or
- reject the opportunity for not relating to my profession and go on searching for another job or
- stay at home, not doing anything after all we were not the only people that had no job at the time and keep on depending on the social workers.
I chose to go for the interview. On the day of the first interview (for there were three stages of the interview before selecting 45 persons needed) we were about three hundred persons to be interviewed. I scaled through the three stages and was among the 45 selected.
Recognizing the problem
Almost every decision making begins with a problem. You have to recognize that there is a problem. You feel there is a need or want that must be satisfied. If you don’t recognize that there is a problem, you will never go in search of a solution in order to solve the problem. In the case study above, I recognized that we had a problem that needed to be solved urgently. We needed a job for we can’t depend on the social help for long, in fact I hated that situation.
Searching for a solution
When you recognize that there is a problem, you go on in search of a solution, you may need a help of another person, recommendations from families, friends or social workers as I did. Your own past experience can also be of help in your job search.
Assessing the alternatives
Once you are determined to search in order to solve a problem you will begin to get many options and you will have to seek out the best which may depend on some factors such as quality, price, salary, working conditions etc
After Assessing all the alternatives, you will decide on what to choose, purchase etc. Risks must be taken into consideration before any choice is made.