Critical decisions are important because they determine the destiny of our actions. In defining critical decisions, they are decisions one makes in certain situations, such that the decisions affect the individual, family, friends, or society. This means that decisions play a prominent role in our lives and the relations we have with others. As such, we have to strive to make the best decisions to realize an improvement in our lives, that of our friends, and the society we live in. The fundamental aspect in making the best decisions involves critical and creative thinking. This is the art of thinking with the view of comprehending reality geared towards achieving a certain goal. This paper explores the concepts that are involved in critical and creative thinking and the way these concepts can help in the making of the best decision, in a personal situation such as choosing to stay or leave the American Army.
In my situation, I want to get out of the military, but I am not sure if that is the best decision for me. The fact that I am not satisfied and that I have envisioned myself in another career shows that leaving will be the best decision. The hindrances that are visible to my leaving are financial stability and the lack of job security as a civilian. The biasness in making the decision includes the lack of jobs outside the military, which could be due to existing beliefs concerning job security. Another bias is the lack of total happiness and fulfillment in the military, which could incline my decision towards leaving the military. This analysis will help me get the best out of the decision by avoiding the various biases to come to a better decision. The following concepts shed light on the situation to assist in making the best decision.
Making high stakes decisions
At an individual level, the decision one makes involves the person, the environment, prevailing conditions, and the circumstances they find themselves. Previous circumstances also come into play and may influence the decisions one makes. Intuition can be extremely useful in the making of the best decisions, though can mislead at times. In the personal situation stated above, think of the future effects that leaving the military will have on your family and your personal development. Think of the happiness you will put into your life and the fact that you will get the best, given that you do not like the military. The better the attitude on your place of work, the happier you will be, leading to the aspect of personal fulfillment, a happier family, and life for yourself.
Groups can help in the making of lives decisions because of the aspect of brainstorming during decision-making. An equal platform ought to be developed in the case of group decision-making to ensure that the best decisions are made. In this case, the groups that may be involved in your case are the family, friends, and management in the military. The best way is to take the different views, their reasoning, and their opinions regarding the job, and any opportunities to be available for you outside the military. This mass of knowledge will help you to make the best decision. Since you feel that you are not giving the military your all because of the single parenthood burden, then sharing this information with the seniors in the military will significantly help establish grounds to make the best decision.
Organization rules, regulations, and cultures may also determine how one makes the best decision. The structure and leadership of the organization determine how the employees in the organization make the decision. In your situation, the military wants you to stay, but due to the deployment criteria and situation of your family, you do not want to stay. This implies that the structure of the organization on deployment is a factor that will affect the decision-making process. This is because deployment affects your family life and your relationship with your children, proving the fact that the organizational structure and culture also affect decisions made by employees.
These are beliefs, perceptions, and the culture of a person that play an essential role in the decision-making process. This may include biases, which can cause wrong judgment of the situation. The best way to overcome this is by a critical assessment of the situation and the facts, possibilities, and available opportunities in the making of the decision (Ranyard, p. 109). In your situation, the best way is to avoid generalizations and assumptions that people have about the military. Research on the availability of other jobs apart from the unguaranteed ones can help you avoid the assumption that there are no jobs after leaving the military. Do not assume that you may not be able to provide for your children outside the military due to the stable salary because savings and jobs outside the military can be well paying and satisfying than the military. Analyzing your situation from such a perspective may considerably help you in making the best decision.
The wisdom of crowds
This aspect of decision-making involves the use of groups as the main tool in the decision-making process. The group should take into consideration the contribution of an individual in the overall decision-making. In your situation, it is essential to gather different views and perspectives from different stakeholders in the military and employers before deciding on whether to leave or stay. Get the facts and views from the civilians with your qualifications and their opinions on your leaving the military. This will help you make the best decision on leaving the military or staying.
Deciding how to decide
This decision-making method was developed by J. F. Kennedy’s administration. It involves the decision of people in groups who work on the problem, swap conclusions among each other for criticism then forward the outcome to “devil’s advocate” (Moody, p. 45) to make the final decision. In your situation, get the views of others on the chances available in job areas, effects on family, and the view on the advantages of leaving the military or staying, meaning that you must be open and receptive to the ideas forwarded by others.
This is the continued acceptance of lower standards by an individual or an organization in the decision-making process. This continued acceptance makes the person accept lower standards continually, leading to lower overall performance and poor decisions. In your situation, you have set goals and objectives you wish to achieve, do not make a decision that will lead to the compromising of these goals and objectives in your quest for personal development. The best way in the case of personal improvement is to leave the military, face the challenges as a civilian, and aim to achieve your goals and strategies. Accepting the status quo in the military will hinder personal development and success, implying that you shall have succumbed to, or accepted lower standards of thinking.
Creativity and brainstorming
This is the creation of new patterns of thinking and perspectives before making a decision. It involves the analysis of the various ideas that cross your mind as you go through the prospect of leaving the military. The best way is to write down the advantages and disadvantages that cross the mind, and then based on this you can confront the challenge and make the best decision. The ideas in your situation may include the availability of civilian jobs, financial stability, family happiness, personal fulfillment, happiness, and attainment of career objectives. However, you must put in mind that the decision you make directly affects the military despite the fact you are not giving your best. The optimum that you can give may not be realized now because of a lack of fulfillment and wish to pursue other disciplines. The decision of leaving the military will affect the military in the sense that they will be losing a staff member, but the overall effect will be positive because they will get a replacement who will give the best in the position.
Paul E. Moody. Decision Making: Proven Methods for Better Decisions. New York, NY: Routledge, 2006. Print
Rob Ranyard. Decision-Making: Cognitive Models and Explanations. New York, NY: Routledge, 2007. Print