Thirteen Strategies for Making Great Decisions

making great decisionsMaking great decisions can feel like a hit or miss proposition. Sometime we do it well and reap the rewards of making great decisions. Other times we make a mistake and wonder where we went wrong in our decision-making process. Often we are not very aware of the decision-making strategies we use, or of what other strategiesfor making great decisions that are available to us.

Making great decisions doesn’t have to be burdensome. Below are 13 common decision-making styles or methods to help the decision-making process. Use this list to help coachees identify the strategies that are most comfortable and familiar, and what new strategies they might want to explore. Running a major decision through several strategies can be very revealing! And, the process of making great decisions may actually become something that we look forward to!

1. Rational “What are the pros and cons for each option? Which is most advantageous?”

2. Intuitive “What is your gut saying? What feels right to you?”

3. Relational “How will this course of action affect the people around you? Who will benefit, who will be hurt?”

4. Principled “How do the key principles and priorities you live by apply to this decision?”

5. Alignment “How well does this decision align with your passions, values and calling?”

6. Decisive “What approach would most quickly lead you to a decision?”

7. Adaptive “What things could be left open to allow for new information or options that don’t appear today? What things must be decided now, that you cannot put off for later?”

8. Counsel “What does your spouse think? How about some key friends or advisors?”

9. Team “What do your team members think? What would happen if you decided as a team?”

10. Spiritual “What decision would best align with your faith? What is God saying to you on this?”

11. Negative Drives “What fears or inner drives are influencing your response? How could you remove those things from the equation so you can make a better decision?”

12. Cost “What would it cost in terms of time and resources to do this? What would it cost you if you don’t do this? What’s the cost if you don’t decide or let circumstances overtake you?”

13. Risk/Reward “What is the payoff for each option? The risk? Can you live with the worst-case outcome? What steps will minimize risk and maximize the chance of success?”

Tony Stoltzfus is a best-selling author, leadership coach, master coach trainer and director of the Leadership Metaformation Institute. For more information on Tony’s best-selling coaching books go to