The TDODAR Decision Making Model

Video Transcript

Keeping a level head is vital to making important decisions under pressure.

Welcome to Mind Tools' video learning series.

If you've ever been forced to make a big decision quickly, you'll know how stressful it can be. Perhaps you ended up rushing and making a bad move, or you felt paralyzed by the pressure.

TDODAR is a simple, intuitive tool that helps you to make considered and timely decisions whenever you have to make a judgment call fast.

  1. Time. The first step is to work out how much time you have to make your decision. 

    This will affect how you carry out the rest of the process. Your time to decide may be short, but you should have enough time to avoid a panic decision that you later regret.

    Record the available time clearly, so that everyone involved can see it.

  2. Diagnose. Next, diagnose the issue or problem you're dealing with. 

    The source of the problem might be obvious, or you might have to dig deeper. You'll need to call in your resources: get together the people who can help you, and gather any data you might need.

  3. Options. Once you've diagnosed the problem, start thinking about how to resolve it in a structured way. 

    Make a list of the options you have, and consider as many of them as possible.

  4. Decide. The next step is to make a decision. Choose the best option you've found, and decide whether or not you're going to proceed with it.

    In the most pressured situations, it's often a good idea to consult with other people at this point. It can help you to avoid being overconfident and acting too hastily.

  5. Act or Assign. Next, you implement your decision. 

    Break it down into separate tasks and allocate each one to the person most qualified to do it. 

  6. Review. Finally, review what you've done.

    Assess whether everything is going as you planned, and whether or not you're seeing the results you need. If so, congratulations!

    If not, or if the problem's getting worse, you'll need to run through another cycle of the process. Challenge every assumption you made, and reconsider any options you discarded.

To learn more about TDODAR and decision-making under pressure, see the article that accompanies this video.

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