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25 Questions To Ask Before Making Major Decisions

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Not every question in this list will help you in every situation. This is simply a check list to help you keep from overlooking important considerations before confirming and carrying out major decisions.

  1. At it’s essence – in one sentence – what is the decision I’m really facing? What is the bottom, bottom line?
  2. Am I dealing with a cause or a symptom? A means or an end?
  3. Am I thinking about this situation with a clear head or am I fatigued to the point that I shouldn’t be making any major decisions.
  4. What would the ideal solution be in this situation?
  5. Should I seek outside counsel in making this decision?
  6. What are the hidden agendas that are pushing for a decision in this situation? Why do we or they want a change? What is the source of the emotional fuel that is driving this decision?
  7. If I had to decide in the next two minutes – what decision would I make and why?
  8. What decision would I expect each of my three most respected advisors to favor in this situation?
  9. Can an overall decision in this situation be divided into parts, with sub-decision.
  10. What are the key assumptions in my thinking that underline the decision I’m leaning toward? What do I assume it will cost? What do I assume will be it’s real benefits?
  11. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? How much?
  12. Have I given myself 24 hours to let this decision settle in my mind?
  13. Is this decision consistent with our values in the past, or does it mark a change in direction or standards?
  14. How will this decision affect our overall master plan? Will it side track us?
  15. Will this decision help to maximize my key strengths?
  16. Have I verified what the results have been for others who have made a similar decision in similar circumstances? Have I verified this thoroughly?
  17. How do I really feel about this decision?
  18. Is this the decision I would make if our budget was twice as large as it is? Half as large? One-tenth as large? Is it the same decision I would make if we had twice as many staff members? Half as many?
  19. What would happen if we did not carry out this decision?
  20. If we didn’t carry it out, what would be the best three alternative decisions?
  21. Is this the best timing for carrying out this decision? If now now, why and when?
  22. Is this truly appropriate in scope and size to the situation we face? Am I possibly hunting an elephant with a BB gun, or a rabbit with a cannon?
  23. How does my family feel about this decision? How will it affect them?
  24. What aspects of the problem will not be resolved or solved by this decision?
  25. Should we write a policy about this decision to guide us in similar situations in the future?
     
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