Decision Making Process

Career choices based on the unknown
Making career choices based on what is unknown is always a source of uncertainty for most. We fear that which we do not know. Imagine looking down a very dark tunnel running straight down into the earth. You are expected to jump into this hole, you expect this of yourself or others expect this of you. To you this hole looks like it just goes down forever, a never ending drop into a very deep abyss…
Actually the hole is only two meters deep, but you don’t know that because you only see the black opening! We are too afraid to jump into this hole simply because we know nothing of it.
Many a time it is the same with ones career choices. We are expected to make a career choice, be it a big change or a small task in our current career; it feels like we are jumping into that ‘very deep’ unknown hole. Especially with the small everyday career choices at the office, imagine having to jump into unknown holes ten times a day!
How do we usually react to such situations? We just don’t do it, we ignore it or we take forever to take action; it is just too fearful and unknown. Many a time one will miss a great opportunity, other times it was the right career choice, one will never be a hundred percent certain before making a jump.
Read the coaching session on career choices based on the unknown…
How does one overcome this fear of the unknown?
Freely use our Career Development Guide and make the information on the following pages your own, these skills and knowledge will make big and small career choices much simpler:
Emotional awareness
Signal to transform into a positive mindset
Turn all emotional experiences into selected actions
The glad game
Productive listening
Effective questioning
The decision making process
The issue resolution model
The process of transformation
The need for continuous goal clarification
Closing the feedback gap
Before we go any further, the most important fact to remember is to jump slowly! A sudden jump will almost always hurt. For example if one realizes it is time to change jobs, careers, cars, anything, do it slowly over a period of time and with the right information.
Gather the most information concerning the specific career choice one possibly can, make an informed jump .
Talk to the people around you; family, friends, colleagues, people you trust. Frame the situation you find yourself in for them and listen to what they think, but really listen and take their advice seriously; even if you think it might be senseless information at the time. One is usually very surprised at the wisdom that exists in others we share with.
Another time tested method is to write about this career choice you are facing. Write down all the questions that come to mind. Answer the ones you are able to answer, leave the others for later. Check with others, what they think would be the best answers to the questions, the ones already answered as well. Just keep on writing, anything and everything that comes to mind. It is amazing how things clear when they are out of ones head and somewhere else, there is now space for new truths to take shape. This method is equally effective for any challenging choice one might face.
Frame your mind
Continuously frame your mind for the time when one will go from information to choice to action. In more direct terms, bull%&*# your mind into taking positive action. Motivate your mind into believing that taking the action will come to success; believe it and your voice and attitude will reflect it. Think positive!
If you jump and fall a bit hard, don’t stay there too long, your muscles will start cramping! While recovering from a hard fall, take time and reflect on which choices could have been made differently and which information one did not have. Reflection is good, but not to be overused. We were built to jump and grow and run and build, ones system will recover. Get up and move.
Please share your experience at our value exchange forums and ask questions!
How does one “safely” make this jump?
Slowly. Taking action based on a choice would sometimes be faster, other times slower, never instant. At the very least apply the twenty four hour rule; especially when another person angered or frustrated you, an instant answer, remark or response is never the desired reaction. If you are angry or frustrated, allow twenty four hours to pass before you react or jump in.
A career choice with longer terms effects, for example changing careers, should be made even slower. Weeks, months could and probably should pass before making the jump. Phase into action bit by bit. Remember delegation. When changing careers, jobs, departments or positions, don’t leave gaps behind. Ensure others will be able to successfully do the job you did and you will always be welcome again!
Coaching session on Fear of the unknown career choices
Dawie
I have an opportunity to go and work with Aleph. I currently work for a company called New-World and do not know if I should change jobs. What do you think?
Nicholas
Do you enjoy your current job?
Dawie
No, I want to do graphic communication and am currently a salesman. Doing what I love doing, graphic communications, part time.
Nicholas
Why do you not want to change jobs / careers if you will do full time what you are doing part time now?
Dawie
I am not 100% certain what it is I will be doing. There is the probability that I will do some of the things I want to do, but I might have other responsibilities.
Nicholas
Would these other responsibilities be a problem to you? If some of the work would be in graphic communication? As you grow in the skill of delegation, you could always delegate more of the work you do not enjoy doing.
Dawie
No it would probably not.
Nicholas
How would you get more information on what would be expected of you in this position working with Aleph?
Dawie
I would set up a meeting with a more senior person in the company and talk to them about what it is I would be doing. Maybe talk to some other employees of the company and get a feel for how the company operates.
Nicholas
If you like what you hear and see would you then be more comfortable making a decision?
Dawie
I would get all the information I can, share this with the people around me, for example friends and family, and hear what they have to say. Once I feel comfortable that I have sufficient information and feedback to base a decisive choice on, I will take action.

Career choices based on the unknown

Making career choices based on what is unknown is always a source of uncertainty for most, especially for those considering a midlife career change. We fear that which we do not know. Imagine looking down a very dark tunnel running straight down into the earth. You are expected to jump into this hole, you expect this of yourself or others expect this of you. To you this hole looks like it just goes down forever, a never ending drop into a very deep abyss…

Actually the hole is only two meters deep, but you don’t know that because you only see the black opening! We are too afraid to jump into this hole simply because we know nothing of it.

w&t_binoculars

I Explain

Many a time it is the same with one’s career choices. We are expected to make a career choice, be it a big change or a small task in our current career; it feels like we are jumping into that ‘very deep’ unknown hole. Especially with the small everyday career choices at the office, imagine having to jump into unknown holes ten times a day!

How do we usually react to such situations? We just don’t do it, we ignore it or we take forever to take action; it is just too fearful and unknown. Many a time one will miss a great opportunity, other times it was the right career choice, one will never be a hundred percent certain before making a jump.

Read the coaching session on career choices based on the unknown…

w&t_question

I Ask

How does one overcome this fear of the unknown?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

Use our Walk and Talk guide and make the information on the following pages your own, these skills and knowledge will make big and small career choices much simpler:

Before we go any further, the most important fact to remember is to jump slowly! A sudden jump will almost always hurt. For example if one realizes it is time to change jobs, careers, cars, anything, do it slowly over a period of time and with the right information.

Gather the most information concerning the specific career choice one possibly can, make an informed jump .

Talk to the people around you; family, friends, colleagues, people you trust. Frame the situation you find yourself in for them and listen to what they think, but really listen and take their advice seriously; even if you think it might be senseless information at the time. One is usually very surprised at the wisdom that exists in others we share with.

w&t_elephant

I Advise

Another time tested method is to write about this career choice you are facing. Write down all the questions that come to mind. Answer the ones you are able to answer, leave the others for later. Check with others, what they think would be the best answers to the questions, the ones already answered as well. Just keep on writing, anything and everything that comes to mind. It is amazing how things clear when they are out of your head and somewhere else, there is now space for new truths to take shape. This method is equally effective for any challenging choice one might face.

Frame your mind

w&t_binoculars

I Answer

Continuously frame your mind for the time when you will go from information to choice to action. In more direct terms, bulldoze your mind into taking positive action. Motivate your mind into believing that taking the action will come to success; believe it and your voice and attitude will reflect it. Think positive!

If you jump and fall a bit hard, don’t stay there too long, your muscles will start cramping! While recovering from a hard fall, take time and reflect on which choices could have been made differently and which information one did not have. Reflection is good, but not to be overused. We were built to jump and grow and run and build, your system will recover. Get up and move.

w&t_question

I Ask

How does I safely make this jump?

w&t_exclamation

I Answer

Slowly. Taking action based on a choice would sometimes be faster, other times slower, never instant. At the very least apply the twenty four hour rule; especially when another person angered or frustrated you, an instant answer, remark or response is never the desired reaction. If you are angry or frustrated, allow twenty four hours to pass before you react or jump in.

A career choice with longer terms effects, for example changing careers, should be made even slower. Weeks, months could and probably should pass before making the jump. Phase into action bit by bit. Remember delegation. When changing careers, jobs, departments or positions, don’t leave gaps behind. Ensure others will be able to successfully do the job you did and you will always be welcome again!

Coaching session on Fear of the Unknown Career Choices

Dawie

I have an opportunity to go and work with Aleph. I currently work for a company called New-World and do not know if I should change jobs. What do you think?

Nicholas

Do you enjoy your current job?

Dawie

No, I want to do graphic communication and am currently a salesman. Doing what I love doing, graphic communications, part time.

Nicholas

Why do you not want to change jobs / careers if you will do full time what you are doing part time now?

Dawie

I am not 100% certain what it is I will be doing. There is the probability that I will do some of the things I want to do, but I might have other responsibilities.

Nicholas

Would these other responsibilities be a problem to you? If some of the work would be in graphic communication? As you grow in the skill of delegation, you could always delegate more of the work you do not enjoy doing.

Dawie

No it would probably not.

Nicholas

How would you get more information on what would be expected of you in this position working with Aleph?

Dawie

I would set up a meeting with a more senior person in the company and talk to them about what it is I would be doing. Maybe talk to some other employees of the company and get a feel for how the company operates.

Nicholas

If you like what you hear and see would you then be more comfortable making a decision?

Dawie

I would get all the information I can, share this with the people around me, for example friends and family, and hear what they have to say. Once I feel comfortable that I have sufficient information and feedback to base a decisive choice on, I will take action.

Common problems with a team & business meeting

Chapter 5 p.8

w&t_question

Also see: How to manage a meeting

OK, I admit my last team meeting was chaotic. But what could I do? Some people kept on asking what’s the point of the meeting, others engaged in side conversations… Can you tell me what went wrong?

w&t_exclamation

Common problems in work-related meetings usually centre around either poor preparation for the meeting or lack of control during meetings.

w&t_question

But how will I know what to focus on?

Poor preparation is often reflected in one or more of the following:

  • No agenda.
  • No/unclear objectives stated for the meeting.
  • Purpose not defined.
  • Too many items on the agenda.
  • Agenda items not prioritized.
  • One agenda item monopolizes the meeting.
  • Invitations that are vague or misleading.
  • Chairperson unprepared.
  • No prior research about issues.
  • Too many participants invited.
  • Participants not interested in being there.
  • Participants unprepared and not able to contribute.
  • Key players not present.
  • Decision makers not present.
  • Equipment not working.

Lack of control often results in:

  • No leader/facilitator – meeting dominated by “an expert” or whoever speaks the most and/or loudest.
  • Meeting lacks focus – irrelevant points are introduced.
  • People not showing up, coming late or leaving early.
  • Uninvited attendees.
  • Inattentive participants.
  • Hidden agendas.
  • Lack of questions.
  • Side conversations.
  • Interruptions.
  • Repetition.
  • Lack of value-adding comments.
  • No growth on issues.

w&t_elephant

While you’re at it, why not brush up on your facilitating skills…the Issue Resolution Model and the Decision Making Process would be a good start.

Use this process for issue resolution and management

Master Career Coach, Unre Visagie explaines in the following video how to apply the “Issue Resolution Model” in your career. This model can be applied to any challenging scenarion that you experience as an issue. Handel the issue in such a way that you always grow your career.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tJmBdjFTwg

issue resolution process

Question

When I think back to some situations that I have had to deal with recently, I’m not so sure that I go about resolving issues in the best way possible.

What process can I follow that will ensure optimum results?

problem resolution

Answer

By applying the steps, guidelines and questions in the Issue Management and Resolution process when dealing with a situation, you will enhance your ability to resolve issues involving customers, suppliers and colleagues, as well as issues within your family and social context.

issue resolution

conflict resolution strategies

Advice

The key concept is identifying alternative solutions; having options is the wealth of life.

problem resolution process

Question

But can a company use a Win-Win decision making process that maximizes the value to all parties?

w&t_exclamation

Answer

Companies can subscribe to an inclusive transparent decision making process. As illustrated below, this process is self-correcting and is an effective mechanism to check the use of personal and positional power in decision making.

Seeking objective criteria.

Getting input from others

Initiating.

Seeking/giving information and opinions.

Encouraging others to action.

Facilitating

Focusing discussions.

Clarifying and elaborating.

Summarizing.

Integrating.

EvaluatingAssessing relevance.

Identifying personal preferences and agendas.

Set a SMARTM action plan.

Making a decision

Use appropriate tools, for instance:

  • Decision matrix
  • Force Field
  • T-chart
Communicate to people who must know.
Communicate to people for whom it would be nice to know.
conflict resolution techniques

Advise

This process encourages true Elephant behavior from all concerned if you ask me.

conflict resolution skills

Explain

Know who you need to consult when making a decision.

Know who your decision will affect and how.

Seek information internally and externally.

Decisions are not to be made alone.

conflict resolution in the workplace

Advise

Decision making is not about independence.

It is about interdependence.

Refer also to Steven Coveys Interdependence, the 7 habits of highly effective people.

issue resolution

Question

Sometimes when I need to make a decision, I find it difficult to choose between the different available options.

Can you show me some techniques that will make it easier for me to decide on the optimum alternative?

issue management process

Answer

Let me introduce you to three practical techniques that can help you evaluate alternative options:

The T-chart

Force Field Analysis

The Decision Matrix

The T Chart
Force Field Analysis

Focus on each option in turn and identify both Pro’s and Con’s.

Write input on a flip-chart for the whole group to see and for it to serve as visual stimulus.

Encourage conscious thought about the implications, benefits, losses, etc. of the decision.

Specify the options/possible solutions/alternatives.

List all the forces working against the attainment of the goal (the impeding forces).

List all the forces working for or promoting the goal (the impelling forces).

For each impeding force list all the possible factors that could possibly reduce or eliminate
that force.

For each impelling force list all the factors that could possibly increase that force.

Evaluate the effort and “cost” involved in implementing each option.

The Decision Matrix

  1. Identify the different options available.
  2. Identify criteria for decision making or evaluation.
  3. Quantify importance of criteria on a scale (e.g. 1 to 10).
  4. Evaluate each option in terms of each criterion and quantify on a scale (e.g. 1 to 10).
  5. Write score in lower part of block in each column.
  6. Multiply each score with the value of the corresponding criterion and write it in top part of the block.
  7. Add the scores written in the top part of the blocks in each row to get a score for each option.

Issue Resolution

Issue Resolution

Advice

Note that these techniques also apply to the Issue Management and Resolution process when it comes to choosing between alternative solutions.