Learn how to decide: problem solving in 5 steps


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Text comes from: Ab jetzt Führungskraft: So meistern Sie die ersten 100 Tage (2014) from Nadja Raslan, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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You can make good decisions if you proceed in a targeted and comprehensible manner. Even if it turns out later that there would have been a better decision, you can understand and justify the decision-making process.

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Nadja Raslan nadjaraslanNadja Raslan is Managing Director of RaslanTraining - Systemic Personnel Development.

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1. What should be decided?

Often we start without knowing where we are going. Take the time to realize what needs to be decided - even if the question is already clear.

Example: Purchase or lease

While Frauke Niebl sighted the offers, she had an idea: It would be more convenient for the company to lease the machine. Their task was to obtain replacement for the obsolete machine. She automatically assumed that it would be the acquisition of a new machine. Now there were new questions: Should the machine be bought or leased? Does it have to be new or is it also a used one? Which manufacturers are eligible?

Upcoming questions

The intensive examination of the decision-making problem raises completely different questions, which lead to different results. Always check first the level at which the problem has to be decided. Where:

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  • The more generally the problem is addressed, the more alternatives exist (for example, maintaining production).
  • The more specific the problem is addressed, the faster and easier the decision will be (for example, finding the cheapest deal for the machine X).

2. What are your goals?

Each decision serves to achieve certain objectives. Individually these goals can be very different. Will multiple targets be pursued at the same time? Then the goals may be mutually exclusive.

Example: Software solution

Tobias Reiter has chosen the cheapest logistics software. After all, it contains all the required functions and is mature. What he has overlooked is that his employees refuse to work with the new software: “Too complicated to use. We will stick to the old software, even if it can do less! ”

Do not hide facts

In our consulting practice, we often experience the fact that decisions are made under the exclusion of existing facts. Tobias Reiter has simply overlooked the fact that the best and most favorable software is of no avail when the employees reject it.

Instead of> Which software offers the best cost-benefit ratio? <The question should have been:> Which software supports us best in our work? <Keep in writing what goals you are pursuing with your decision. Identify secondary and main objectives and focus on the latter!

Checklist: The following questions will help you to find your goals:

  • What is the state you want to reach? What are the most important criteria?
  • What are the basic conditions to be observed? For example, external targets or the goals of other people.
  • Do the objectives fit into the strategic objectives of the company?

3. Which decision-making options do you have?

The more options you have, the better the decision will be. Avoid committing yourself to a decision too early or thinking in the black and white category. Collect everything that you can find in the alternative solutions Sense comes. Avoid evaluating individual aspects at this stage.

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4. Decide yourself!

When all options are available, check which of them is closest to your goals and requirements. Usually the decision is easy because an option proves to be the best. Does the review have no unique favorites? Then you have nothing left but to question facts and intuition again and decide.

As a leader, you are the decision maker.

Accept that each of your decisions involves risks. A careful analysis of the background and goals can reduce the risk, but never eliminate it. Zero risk would mean not deciding. Just as you reduce the risk of a traffic accident to zero by staying at home.

5. Check the target

Analyze your decisions in hindsight. With an honest reflection, you have the opportunity to improve your decision-making ability.

Checklist

  • To what extent have I reached my main goal?
  • What are the deviations up or down?
  • How far have my forecasts been?
  • Which aspects have I overlooked?
  • What are the reasons for the deviations?
  • Am I correct with my intuition?
  • Would I make the same decision again?
  • If not, how would my decision be today?

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German edition: ISBN 9783965960664

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English version: ISBN 9783965960671 (Translation notice)

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