Harvey et al (2001) presented good, clear practical advice on dealing with problems and making decisions. Their six step approach is easy to relate to and do. The first four steps are crucial.
I enjoyed the words of Clement Stone (1987) who said in an interview, “Even if I have a misfortune, I thank God, then determine how I can turn the disadvantage into an advantage.” This reverse paranoia, as it was known by some of his friends, can be regarded as merely having a positive attitude! Medical research can prove that negative feelings or reactions cause chemicals to be generated that cause anxiety and anger. These chemicals can stop creativity as well as negatively affect the immune system.
A SITNA , a Situation that Needs Attention, shows a more positive outlook than defining a difficult situation as a ‘problem’. The authors describe four useful steps in defining a problem. A solution criteria separates needs from wants. The mind map is a valuable tool for working through the six step process of decision making.
Hough and Paine (1997) outline the reasons to use collaboration in the workplace. Their explanations of different techniques are helpful in evaluating what strategies work. The techniques they describe are: autocratic, bureaucratic, consultative and collegial. They claim that decisions that are made by committees are usually subject to review by an executive committee. Collaborative decision making is strongly associated with teams and teamwork.