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An Approach to Decision Making

I’ve taken a lot of classes that included processes for decision making. Several things have stuck with me in spite of my unreliable memory.
Perhaps the most important one is that we each have natural tools/gifts, but they are only part of what is needed for an effective problem solving process. Effective problem solving not only needs a team approach, it requires recognition of the equal importance of diverse gifts.

First, it needs a vision of the long term goal, not just the quick fix.

Second, it needs brainstorming that includes all possibilities, even seemingly “pie in the sky” ones.

Third, each possibility will have a down side. So, list and evaluate the down sides. Eliminate the ones with downsides that you feel you cannot live with.

Fourth, look at the practical problems needing solving for each possibility and generate reasonable solutions.

Fifth, Now re-evaluate, in terms of (a) personal values, (b) downsides, (c) actual resources, those possibilities that ended up having reasonable solutions for problems. Then make your choice, or if a group decision is needed, come to consensus.

Note: For believers in Jesus Christ as the perfect human expression of God’s love for all, this process would involve both communal and personal prayer for guidance at the beginning, at any conflict points or questionable areas, and at the final decision making point, and would include evaluations throughout in the light of the values fleshed out in the life and death of Jesus.