Do you struggle to make decisions? Do you need to consult others to finalize an idea? Here is an easy to use decision making kit that works well in small groups or at the lunch table. The kit consists of four printable sheets created in Microsoft Word. One sheet is printed on business card stock and the others on heavyweight paper.
This kit works easily to collect ideas and put them on paper right in front of you. The cards add flexibility and allow you to have other people fill them out. You can do it right at a table or have them take the cards with them and return at a later date.
Here is how it works…
Step One-Idea Collection: Print out the pro-con decision cards on Avery business card stock, break them apart, and pass them around the table to each person in your group. Give each person a pro card along with a con card. Hand everyone a fine point Sharpie and have them get ready to start writing.
Lay out your idea that you need a decision on in simple terms so everyone can understand it. Write it in a simple sentence on one of the idea cards and make sure everyone understands what is being presented.
Once everyone is clear on the concept, have each person come up with the pros and cons of the idea. There are four lines on each card for multiple items. Have everyone write the ideas on the respective cards and pass them to the moderator when everyone is done.
Step Two-Layout: When you are done, collect up the cards and lay them out on the decision layout sheet. This sheet is best printed on heavyweight paper. Put the decision idea card at the top and layout the pro and con cards on their respective sides.
Now it is easy to see at a glance everyone’s ideas in one place. You can quickly determine if an idea is popular or not by the amount of items on each side and the overlap and repetition of ideas.
Step Three-Discussion: This tool is a great conversation starter and really will help to brainstorm an idea. Look at the cards for the following…
- An Overlap of Ideas
- Any show stoppers. Items that must be overcome to move forward
- Costs or Expenses
- Offensive or Unpleasant Items
Use different color highlighters to mark different items… For example
- Use a Yellow highlighter for Good Ideas
- Use a Red highlighter for Expenses
- Use a Blue highlighter for Show Stoppers
Be sure to discuss each item. Once you are done you’ll have a collection of great ideas and maybe some items that need attention.
Step Four-Decision: If everyone is in agreement you can come to a final decision right in your meeting. If further things need to be worked out use the separate further discussion worksheet to write down further action items and compile a to-do action list.
This sheet offers a place to compile costs and also offers a point based grading system for those more complicated decisions. Best of all it has a Bottom Line that you can check YES or NO.
Optional-Comparison Decision Maker:
For comparing two items side by side, use the comparison decision maker sheet. Write the two items to compare on the item cards and put them on the decision A and B spots. Pass around pro and con cards and have people write down one item each on each card for each item to be decided on. When you are done, put the pro and con cards under each decision card.
You can quickly highlight different items and this sheet will give you a quick visual representation of the pro and con ideas being presented. There are two boxes at the bottom for notes or scores and best of all a place to put your decision.
Download and Printing Instructions:
Download the Pro-Con-Cards zip file
Unzip the file and open in Microsoft Word
Print the Pro-Con cards on Avery Business Card Stock
Print the other sheets on heavyweight paper
Break the cards apart
Take a Sharpie, highlighters, decision sheets, and your cards to your next meeting. Have Fun!