I’m a big advocate of mindful decision making and recommend those not used to making mindful decisions use a rational decision making process to do so. The rational decision making process is when you use a systematic, step by step method to make a choice between two or more options. Many of us use this type of decision making when we have to make a “big” decisions. I recently had to decide between two different cars that I was considering purchasing. I looked at the pros and cons of each and went through an analytical process to come up with the decision. I would consider it a mindful decision for two reasons. One, I was aware I was making a decision and two; I gave the decision some level of conscious thought. We need to make mindful decisions in more aspects of our lives not just the “big” decisions.
Some people might argue that in the examples above there was an absence of a decision being made. That however is a decision, just a mindless or unconscious one. We need to teach youngsters to be mindful decision makers and we need to introduce them to the rational decision –making process. Rational decision making has received a lot of criticism because it is not the way experts make decisions. I agree but that does not prevent it from being an excellent tool to introduce learners to mindful decision making.
Here are steps to the typical rational decision making process:
1. Identify the problem
2. Clarify and analyze – gather facts, examine assumptions, recognize constraints, understand values, and consider group dynamics
3. Brainstorm Options – consider the positive and negative consequences and contingencies
4. Make the decision
5. Implement the decision
6. Evaluate the decision
This process can be used individually or by groups in the indoors or outdoors. I ask students to journal their decisions and reflect on them. How did the decision work? What did you like about the result? What would you do differently?
How do you teach decision making?
To See Tip #12 click here
To See Tip #14 click here
Adapted from The Camper’s Guide to Outdoor Pursuits by Jack Drury and Eric Holmlund published in 2006 by Sagamore Publishing