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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Decision-making simplified into 7-step process

By George Mizelle/reporter

Decision-making and goal-setting are important to each other, a South Campus counselor said Oct. 6.Carl Scherrieb’s Decision-Making seminar, the second half of a two-part ABCs to Success series, covered the seven steps necessary to make informed and acceptable decisions.

“When I make a decision, what do I need?” he asked.

The seven steps in making a decision, Scherrieb said, are to define the problem, gather information, identify options, examine pros and cons, make a choice, develop a plan and then evaluate the results.

“Making a decision is choosing to take an action or not to take an action,” he said. “Deciding to do nothing is still a decision.”

Defining the problem, Scherrieb said, is conceiving an idea, believing it can be done and achieving it.

“Achieving something is a process,” he said.

When gathering information, someone has to determine who has it, whether it is reliable and if it can be applied, Scherrieb said.

“You search for information,” he said. “Ask an expert, go on a website or use your contacts.”

After getting information, one should weigh the pros and cons, Scherrieb said.

“Typically on a pro/con list, there is some overwhelming advantage,” he said. “As you get going, your ideas tend to go to one side.”

Scherrieb told how he had to consider the pros and cons when faced with the possibility of mentoring a couple of young men in his church some years back.

“I could have said, ‘I don’t feel comfortable doing that,’” he said. “But I made the decision to do it.”

Making a choice requires someone to weigh the options, Scherrieb said.

“Look at the impact on me, others and the future,” he said.

Determine what the desired outcome is, Scherrieb said.

“We do things so quickly,” he said. “Sometimes we get [somewhere], and we go, ‘What was I really thinking?’”

The most important part of decision-making is taking action, Scherrieb said.

“Action plans are the steps to how you’ll actually implement [your choice],” he said.

Evaluation not only determines the success of the outcome, but also what could have been done differently, Scherrieb said.

“Your evaluation could go, ‘What were your pitfalls? What took longer than you thought it might have? What information did you need to know at the beginning?’” he said.

South student Stacy Edwards said the session helped her to understand the importance of an action plan.

“I’ve never had an action plan,” she said. “Coming to these seminars is teaching me how to get that action plan in order.”

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