The Role of Values in Decision Making: 3 Elements in Understanding What is Important to You

Are you faced with a major decision? Is it taking long for you to decide?

Roy Disney said, “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” I believe that this true and fundamental.

Values are the basis of good decisions. What is important to you may not be as important to others. Since we are all created as unique individuals with varying purposes, your idea of a good decision will definitely be different from that of others. When deciding, you can consult as many people, but in the end it is YOUR decision. You have to own it, and not be easily influenced through a heightened emotion, but through a rational judgement of your options.

Values is defined as “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.” (Google dictionary) Let us dissect this, to guide us in the process of decision making. Here are 3 Elements of Values to help in you in finally making that important decision.

  1. Decide by using Principles

Principles appeal to many and resound deeply because they are “fundamental truths or propositions that serve as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.” For example if your principle in life is to be a good citizen, then it would follow that your decisions would be based upon what a good citizen is — pays taxes, follows rules of the land, loyal to country, and etc. If the principle you follow is to be a good Christian, then you would base your decisions on the teachings of Jesus. If you do this, you will attain the peace, that you stood by your principles. What are you personal principles? What are the principles of your organization?

     2. Decide by using Standards

Which of the options that you’re faced with, do not agree with your standards?  Knowing this, then you’ll be able to easily do away with the other alternatives. I often hear companies having a “Standard of Excellence.” It is then good to define what excellence is in the context of the organization. This is especially helpful when you are forming a team. What’s your standard? Is willingness enough, or do you have a set of “non-negotiables” that you are looking for to be part of your team? Define you standards, and decisions will be easier.

    3. Decide by determining Degrees of Importance

Value is easily identified with importance. When sorting things (decluttering!), we choose which to throw or not. Some items have “sentimental value” that we wouldn’t dare throw or sell. They are too important to us. When making decisions, we can arrange the degree of importance of things. As for me, I put it this way: God, family, work and service/ministry. I arrange them according to my vocation or basic calling as a Christian, as husband and father. Needless to say, when things aren’t in the right order of priorities, things get messy and problematic. In my mind, I think, “If I make this decision, will it honor God?” “Will it bless my family?”

When faced with a difficult decision — especially a life changing one — check you values: principles, standards, and your order of important things. The more we are connected with our sense of values, the better and faster we can make decisions; and become more confident, sure, and fired up!

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Which of the 3 elements (principles, standards, and degrees of importance) relates with your current decision making situation? Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top