How to make decisions

Making decisions is something that is assumed to be just about business and leadership, it is something executives and managers talk about and something military commanders and political leaders have to understand. Those who have to make decisions are often those in a position of authority, they are perhaps more senior in years than those who they are making a decision for and they have more than likely made many decisions in the past that have shown them to be good decision makers or they have made bad decisions and recovered well. But where did the decision making of these people begin?
The answer is biblical and is yet again a biblical truth that was as applicable and real thousands of years ago as it is today.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in a way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (NIV)

Decision making starts at an early age, the learning between a bad decision and good decision are soon understood in the right environment and the understanding that a decision made will have consequences is something that should be taught from a young age.

There is a saying “Give him enough rope to hang himself” and to a small degree this is true when teaching children about decision making. In a non-harmful or injuring manner experiencing the consequences of a bad decision must be felt and likewise a reward or praise for a good decision must be offered. Having enough rope to hang oneself means giving just enough to get things wrong and in the teaching of decisions making this is perhaps the fastest way for a child to learn. It is well known that the easiest way to learn is to make mistakes and the definition of madness is making the same mistake over and over again in the hope of getting right.

The first thing that must be done is to create an environment for learning and the gaining of independence. In the Christian context seeking God’s guidance in making a decision or choice needs to be encouraged. God is the God of all understanding and by taking the time to pause and seek his Guidance or ask “What would Jesus do?” allows for the decision ahead to be laid out clearly and allow for all elements seen and even unseen to be made apparent. Teaching this simple act at a young age is what has made many of the leaders of today, granted not all are Christian, some are complete atheists but the act of just slowing down before making a decision is part of what makes them a good leader and those that are great stop, pause and pray.

All you have to do is look around at the great leaders of this world both past and present; one can even see the same signs in a great future leader. On the sports field, captains pause before the game and pray, actors pray before they go on stage, political leaders pray over situation and military leaders pray with their troops. All of these have done this decision making praying from a young age and have kept it up because they know it works. Not only just teaching your child to do this but actually doing so will do exactly as Proverbs 22:6 says.

In the process of teaching by example as the parent you will become a respected leader and decision maker and your child will copy you, your child will also know to slow down and pray before any decision and this will help them in school, their career, on the sports field and in their own families later in life.

Teaching decision making is about leading by example and decision making at all times must involve God.

Matt Newnham is a Christian, Writer and Speaker. He is a single father and lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Matt is passionate about life and success and his ability to touch the heart of readers has earned him the title “The Master of Emotional Appeal” Follow Matt on Twitter @MattNewnhamZA and on his Facebook Page