When Does Decision Making Become More Complex?

When Does Decision Making Become More Complex

There are those rare instances when decision-making becomes more complex. We make thousands of tiny daily decisions, from what to eat to what to wear or which route to take home from work. Yet some decisions carry more complexity and have many other factors involved in the process that can interfere with our ability to decide.

The complex issues include considerations such as whether to buy a home or continue renting, whether to take a new job, or whether to connect with a person you admire. With many of these decisions, the risk of making the wrong decision or the inability to take the first step can keep people stagnant. This article will identify some common issues that arise when you make difficult decisions and suggest ways to identify a path forward through the challenge.

Issues within the Decision-Making Process

First, we will look at the issues that may arise in the decision-making process.

Too Many Possible Solutions

The first obstacle to decision-making is a large number of outcomes that make it difficult to effectively sort through and determine the best one. The sheer number of possible options can overwhelm a person and cause them to focus on the wrong issues. When there are too many options, evaluate your values and find the solution that matches those.

Too Many or Difficult Stakeholders

Another issue that can be a problem is the number of people involved in the decision-making. Often, we think more people will add more value, but the truth is that each person will bring a bias and can affect the deal at hand. A general rule is that additional people should only be added to the group if they understand the context and can contribute more information or have a responsibility that needs to be included.

Insufficient Information

Another factor that can make decision-making complicated is a lack of sufficient information or the quality of the information. You should make sure that you have the information necessary to determine a reasonable outcome. For example, if you need to decide how much to charge customers for a new product, you will need to have information on the alternative products, whether the product is superior, and how much the differences matter.

Person Factors that Influence Decision-Making

Decision-making also involves the personality of the decision-maker, which can make the process complicated or impossible.

Decision Fatigue

A common issue that causes an inability to act on a decision is decision fatigue. When you are forced to make multiple decisions in a short amount of time, it can often feel impossible to make another. This is not necessarily damning to the process, but it can cause significant delays or rash decisions. When this happens, taking a break if possible, or enlisting others can help.

Cognitive Biases

Your values, stress, and other personal and psychological factors can influence your ability to reach the right solution. Ensuring that you are not relying too heavily on your instinct if it is not necessary can help eliminate these biases.

Status Quo Bias

Finally, it is common for people to want to keep things a certain way, especially if a decision requires change. We will often resist change and stick to the status quo, which can cause us to refuse to make decisions that will cause change. Remember that embracing new challenges can lead to greater rewards.

Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that uncertainty can be a good thing. Life is unpredictable and understanding that there may be multiple outcomes that you can accept will help you adapt and overcome, which is a critical skill.

To learn more about handling situations when decision-making becomes more complex, decision-making models, and more, contact ADR Times today!

Emily Holland
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