Some will say, “I’ve made a decision – right or wrong. The important thing is that I made a decision.”

Some will say, “Someone else should make the decision. I don’t want the responsibility.”

Some will say, “There must be more to know before I have to make a decision.”

Some will say, “Occam was right – keep it simple.”

Some will say, “I make a decision based on how I feel. If it wasn’t the right decision, I’ll make it again.”

Some will say, “A decision is all about the vision – even if we have to move to Cuba.”

Some will say, “What is the decision I need to consider?”

Some will say, “What’s in it for me?”

Some will say, “I avoid making decisions.”

Some will say, “Just tell me what to do.”

– – – –

All of us are in this list somewhere. Decision making is like shifting gears; it changes our focus, our energy, even our scruples, even our sanity. Add the perspective of those who are obsessive and those who are attention deficient and the world becomes a conflicted decision-making environment. Further, add those who are bright and those who are dull and it is amazing that useful decisions are made at all.

Then add in those with ulterior motives: any middleman, any corporation, and God forbid any politician. Given their contribution to decision making, we may not know what decision was made!

There are different classes of decision making. Should I marry this person? Should I quit my job? Do we want children? Do I want to have a dog? There are procedural decisions: Should I go to the bathroom before I go? Do I need gas? Where are my keys? What color should we paint the living room?

Do I really want to argue with this ass? What is on TV? Life cannot move through one day without decision making skills. The downside is if we don’t know our own decision making style. So many arguments have been provoked by style rather than substance. To some extent we are constrained by our personality and often by dire circumstances. But resolution may require more than one style to be resolved. This is the main reason group discussions often are the only way to arrive at a rational decision. In business, team management is important. Virtually every organization has a group-based decision making group.

The advice here is to know thyself and accommodate other’s styles and conclusions – something the nation has in short supply these days.

Ancient Mariner

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