We all have decisions we make on a daily basis.
Do I go to Starbucks or Peete’s?
Should I wear the blue shirt or the green shirt?
What about big decisions?
Decisions that have some weight to them.
Should I choose this school or that one?
Should I choose this job or that one?
We often have multiple good options to choose from.
Which is the best one?
I’m teaching a class on critical thinking next week and I want to share with you one of the tools I cover.
This tool can help us make better decisions with those bigger dilemmas we face.
You can use this tool for a variety of decisions from choosing vacation spots, to vacuum brands, to choosing the type of work you might enjoy.
The tool is called a Grid Analysis Worksheet.
Here’s how it works:
1. List all your options as row labels on the table. For example, if you are trying to choose between laptop brands you may list Apple, Dell, Toshiba, etc.
3. Next, give each of your factors a weight on the row labeled “Weights”. Give them a weight from 0 (no importance) to 5 (extremely important) depending on how important each factor is to you. For example, cost may be a 5, speed may be a 3, and hard disk size may be a 0. Note multiple factors can have the same weight.
4. Next, work you way across the table rows, scoring each option on each factor. Score each factor from 0 (poor) to 3 (very good). Note you don’t need to have a different score for each factor. You can score all of your options as 0 if none of them are good for a particular factor. For example, Apple may be a 0 for cost, a 3 for speed, and a 3 for hard disk size.
5. Now multiply each of the scores for your options by the weights you gave each of your factors. For example, if you gave Apple a 3 for speed you will multiple 3 by the weight you gave the factor of speed. In this case you gave speed a weight of 3. So you would multiple 3 by 3 to get a score of 9.
6. Lastly, add up the scores for each of your factors for each option. The option that scores the highest is the option you may want to consider.
If I haven’t completely lost you at this point, I hope you try using the Grid Analysis Worksheet with your next big decision. You’ll be surprised how much more confident you’ll feel about your decision when you’ve run your options through this exercise. Let me know if you try it and how it works out. I’d love to hear from you.
Question: How might you use this tool for a decision you have to make?
(Add your comment below.)