Force Field Analysis

Video Transcript

Use Force Field Analysis when weighing up decisions.

When we have a tough decision to make, many of us write a list of the pros and cons. Then, if we have more pluses than minuses, we should surely just go ahead with it?

Well, not necessarily. If you've ever made one of these lists, you’ll already know the problem.

Most of the time, the pros and cons aren't equally important. For instance, you might have just three cons on your list, but one of them might be particularly significant. More so, even, than all of the pros you've listed. So, it's hard to make a balanced decision with a simple list.

One way around this is to use Force Field Analysis. This technique helps you weigh up the forces for and against change, and represents them in a visually clear way. Once you've done this, you'll have a more accurate assessment of your decision.

Conducting a Force Field Analysis is easy. Take a piece of paper, and think about the decision you're making. On the left-hand side, list the forces for change. That is, the pros of the decision. On the right-hand, list the forces against change, or the cons of the decision.

Next, go through and assign a score of between one and five for each of the pros and cons. A score of one means that this element isn't that important. A five means it is very important.

When you score the pros and cons on the diagram, you can represent the importance of each force by drawing arrows round them. Use bigger arrows for the forces that have a greater influence on the change, and smaller ones for those that have less.Once you've done this, add each column up.

You now know whether it's worth going ahead with the decision.

You can find out more about using Force Field Analysis in the article that accompanies this video.

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Comments (2)
  • Over a month ago Midgie wrote
    This is a great tool to evaluate a potential solution because not only do you look at the pros and cons, you then give each a point for the weight it carries. By assessing the impact the for and the against will have on the outcome and deciding on how much the impact is worth, you can then come to a more rational and logical decision whether to proceed.

    Although it is still a subjective rating, you have taken the time to assess the weight of each idea and decided how important the impact will be.

    How have people used this tool and how did it help you with your decision making process?

  • Over a month ago James wrote
    Hi Everyone

    We’ve given this popular article a review, and the updated version is now at:

    Discuss the article by replying to this post!