Conscious Decision-Making Skills

By Sean Stevenson – Latest Revision April 12th, 2021

What Are Conscious Decision-Making Skills?

A conscious decision is deliberate and carefully acted out.  It requires a deep focus and effort in its determination.  This in turn, yields excellence in its execution.  The results become self-perpetuating and inevitably rewarding. 

Conscious decision-making is a crucial skill for any modern leader.  Creating a conscious decision-making psychology and personal process, is a path to better understanding our “knee-jerk” reactions.  With practice, we can begin to steadily improve our leadership and decision-making capabilities.

Anyone can obtain this level of discipline through diligent and studious practice.  This grants us deep insight into how we can better handle ourselves as leaders during a time of crisis.

When faced with difficult decisions, leaders are often forced to make conclusions based on the best data at hand.  This is where a meticulous thought process and careful deliberation are essential. 

Willing yourself to face the hard-facts and see things as they truly are, is a necessity in conscious decision-making of any kind.

It is during such pivotal moments, that the traits of a true -or failing- leader will inevitably be revealed.  The results created from a conscious -or unconscious- decision-making process will become readily apparent to everyone involved.  It will be analyzed and thoroughly discussed by peers.

Colleagues will not only see how the leader behaved during the moment of crisis, but also how effective they were in creating solutions for the organization.

These critical events expose a leader’s ability to handle both unforeseen and complex issues.  It can literally make or break a career, all in the span of mere moments. 

Conscious and Unconscious - Decision Definitions

True leaders will make a conscious decision based upon facts alone. 

By developing a carefully structured solution that it is both reasonable and effective, they will best serve the needs of the company.  After the plan is enacted, a true leader will also follow-up.  They ensure that the outcome was as desirable as they had presupposed.  Moreover, they are willing to be flexible to ensure success.

Conversely, a weak or failing leader will make an unconscious decision.  This is often a decision based upon emotions and innuendo rather than fact.  It is not uncommon for weak leaders to project their own insecurities into the decisions they make (and in how they treat others).  They tend to cling to vague notions of what they perceive rather than what they know

By their very nature, ineffective leaders are a liability.  They cannot sustain their efforts for long.  Often, they need to lean on others for basic necessities and duties.  Rather than take accountability, their decision-making is based on short-term gain.

A conscious decision can be a simple or complex affair.  It is all based upon how you react to it.

Understanding the difference between a conscious and an unconscious decision-making process is the first step to unlocking a higher developmental path for yourself.  Learning to void yourself of any emotion and to follow-through on a thought process is key.  This in effect, allows you to develop conscious decision-making habits. 

Once you’ve started on this path, it only takes a steady practice to perpetuate success.

Below are some tips that will help you develop your own conscious decision-making skills:

Developing Personal Conscious Decision-Making Psychology

Conscious Decision

As depicted above, our feelings, morality, and sensibilities, are all a part of our process.  We must consider each individually, and best assign the characteristics involved toward leveraging our skillset.

Feelings, morality, and sensibility are each definitive parts of what make us tick.  Our goal should never be to suppress the parts of ourselves that make us who we are (read: human).  Rather, we should try to leverage that energy towards productivity wherever possible.

Feelings

When we make a decision based on our feelings, we tend to be overly decisive.  We just “go with” whatever seems to make the most sense in the moment. 

This instinct overrides our brains before we’ve even had a chance to fully react.  It can take years of practice (or failure!) to tame this inherent instinct we each have within us.

These conscious competencies are important.  That instinct to “just do it” (Nike!) can be a powerful motivator.

Bearing in mind its uses, feelings can be very important for all of us.  It is most important to understand that they shouldn’t govern us, however.  Our feelings need to be kept in check, and their energies focused in a productive way.

Example

Tom suppressed his urge to watch Football.  Instead, he used that same energy to work on his small business.  Night after night, he toiled away.  Within a few years, he had built a passive income that exceeded what he received from his day-job.

Morality

Our sense of “heart” and “soul” is where much of our wisdom comes from.  This drives our core values.  Our sense of experiences both past and present become deeply ingrained in our morality.

This portion of our conscious decision-making process is invaluable.  We can always draw upon our learned wisdom as a reference. 

However, we also must not let this wisdom deter us from new ideas. 

Think of your morality as a guide.  It can temper your fervour and feelings.  Yet it should never stop you from pursuing a higher goal that is within reason.

Example

Jennifer has a brilliant software idea.  Being employed as a software developer full-time, she has studiously gathered what she feels are the inherent “flaws” of the industry.  The product she wishes to design, would have no competition.  It would be utterly unique.

Despite her exuberance, Jennifer feels that she may be kidding herself.  While she feels her idea is truly sound, a voice in her head tells her it’s still out of reach.

Sensibility

Our minds are where our deepest sensibility is derived from. 

The most difficult decisions tend to pass through a reflective process.  We try to carefully see all the ends and possibilities involved before acting.  This is where the most important aspect of conscious decision-making happens.  It is also where unconscious decision-making falters and fails.

Example

Jennifer the software developer ponders her own desire to create a better product.

After carefully reflecting, she decides she will go ahead with her plan all the same.  She can work on her project in her spare time, at little cost.

In short, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Feelings, Morality, Sensibility (The FMS Model)

The FMS model can help you better understand your own conscious decision-making characteristics.  Everything from your values, your experiences, and even your own thought process, all factor in to how well you can make your own conscious decisions.

Avoiding incompetence and unconscious blunders, demands careful reflection.

Each aspect above in the FMS model has its place in helping you better your process.  The key is leveraging each in unison, so that you gain the best contrast of your abilities.

It may sound difficult – but it’s not.  Take the time to write out your own characteristics.  Then, decide how these can best help you going forward! 

You can even make note of any detracting qualities you may have.  This allows you to find out how to best eliminate them over time, by sustaining newer and more powerful habits in their place.

Towards The Conscious-Decision

Conscious Decision

As depicted above, our decisions stem from a steady stream of conscious thought.  Mapping out your own decisions using this method will help you to better understand them.  You can even weigh the stages of your life based on the impact of your conscious decision-making skills.

Understanding our conscious decision-making processes using the model above:

Unconscious State of Inadequacy – You simply are not aware of the factors at play.  Conscious decision-making in this state is impossible.  Without any knowledge or understanding, you cannot move forward.  This phase is often related to early stages of life, fresh experiences, or relative inexperience in a new job-related role.

Semi-Conscious Learning Period – In this stage, you are experiencing a great deal of growth through learning.  New skills and ideas are beginning to make more sense to you.  As you further develop your skills and understanding, you will start to see a much larger picture than what you had originally thought possible.  This phase is often related to adolescence or early careerism.

Conscious Decision-Making Process – You’re gaining competence in whatever capacity you find yourself in.  For many people, this creates a new sense of yearning for an even higher purpose.  Those with ambitious drive will find themselves wanting “more,” even as they find success in their new role.  This phase is often associated with steady to rapid development of existing skills, along with the acquiring of entirely new ones.  Many entrepreneurs begin their journey toward building their first business during this cognitive process.  Others find entirely new careers that are more “their speed.”

Transcendent Conscious and Unconscious Decision-Making – At this point you have you truly mastered what you are doing.  It all comes with such ease, that you can accomplish your daily tasks with minimal effort involved.  Any mistakes you make are minimal, or nonexistent.  You find yourself disillusioned and often wish to face new challenges.  Things may become all too predictable.  Despite having gained this impressive acumen, and gathered such vast knowledge, you will still feel as if there is something missing.  If it hasn’t happened already, the idea of starting your own business will now almost certainly take hold.

Conclusion - Harnessing the Conscious Decision

Cultivating our understanding and capabilities is the key to creating our own success.  Take a moment to visualize your own productivity.  Ask yourself:

  1. What areas can I improve in?
  2. What am I passionate about?
  3. Have I seriously contemplated my future?
  4. Am I achieving my fullest potential?
  5. Why do I do things the way I do?
  6. Have I asked other -successful- people for their insights?
  7. Do I review the choices of others and try to understand their outcomes?

Try to relate each of these questions to your feelings, morality, and sensibility (FMS model above).  This will give you context and insight into your own behavioral psychology.

Conscious Decision

For best results, keep a journal or audio recording.  Use this to track your cognitive decision-making habits.  Include as much detail as possible so that you can analyze thoroughly.

Recalling that we cannot change the past is key to determining our future.  The next time you are faced with a difficult choice, take the time to reflect.  Use the best facts at hand and come up with your ideal solution.

Going forward, you will soon find that you now view problems from many different angles.  This gives you the intuition to understand what resources are at your disposal, and how you can best approach a given scenario. 

Conscious decision-making is a skill like any other.  It takes sustained practice to master. 

By learning today, you can master your choices tomorrow!

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