Basic Decision Making Tools

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Basic Decision Making Tools
Part of ethics involves forming an opinion, and that often leads to making decisions. Once you know something do you take action, or stand back and see what happens? Sometimes it depends on the problem, while other times it depends on your personal ethics.
In this session, you’ll learn to use a three-phase model to help identify problems, make decisions, and implement a response.
 
The Three-Phase Model
Whenever you read a book on problem solving, this model, in some form or other, is sure to be there. It may have six steps rather than seven, or it may have five steps. However, the model doesn’t really change…just the authors’ ways of breaking it down.
As you work your way from problem to solution, you are actually shifting your focus.
When you define a problem, you ask yourself: What is my problem?
As you try to analyze the root causes you ask: Why is it a problem?
When you are generating options, you ask yourself: What are some ways I can solve my problem?
 
The Problem Solving Model
This model doesn’t just work on paper: it applies across a range of problem solving activities. It is the very basis for informed and consistent problem solving. If you are someone who loves tools, this is your basic tool.
We often don’t spend enough time in defining a problem, and that in itself is a problem. Don’t be in too big a rush to get the solution worked out: make sure you know what you need to know. Then, make a commitment to continually check back with the first stage to make sure the problem is the same.
 
Another Perspective
Here is another way of breaking down the three phases:
We recommend that you spend most of your time on the first block: perception, definition, and analysis. As we’ve mentioned already in this course, we often don’t spend enough time in defining a problem, and that in itself is a problem. Don’t be in too big a rush to get the solution worked out: make sure you know what you need to know first. Then, make a commitment to continually check back with the first stage to make sure the problem is the same