Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

Most people avoid decision making, responsibility, and won’t take ownership because…

  • They are unsure of themselves
  • They are unsure of their ability to handle the problem
  • They are afraid it will get them in trouble
  • They are afraid it will make them look bad
  • They are afraid it will look like it was their fault
  • They made a wrong decision before and were chastised
  • They are afraid the boss will yell at them
  • They are afraid it will go on their record
  • They are afraid it will make them lose their job
  • They don’t want the hassle
  • They don’t like, or are afraid of, conflict
  • They don’t think it’s their job
  • They lack the motivation
  • They could get sued
  • They know they can’t fix it

People reject or don’t want to deal with complaints or
problems for these very same reasons!

There are elements and factors that enter your mind as you make choices. Regardless of the decision at hand: yes, no, put off, act, buy, don’t buy, date, or reject, the questions below will help your conscious and sub-conscious mind understand the decision making process in yourself – AND help you understand the decision making process of others.

Here is what goes through your mind as you make a decision:

  • What’s the circumstance?
  • What’s the reason?
  • What’s the motive?
  • What’s the risk?
  • What are the potential consequences?
  • What are my fears?
  • What’s the reward?
  • What’s the real issue?
  • What’s the real barrier?
  • What’s the money?
  • What’s the perceived value?
  • What’s the measurable value?
  • What’s the social value?
  • What’s the objective?
  • What is my desired result?
  • What am I hoping for?
  • What is the outcome likely to be?
  • What if it isn’t?
  • Who gets hurt?
  • Who benefits?
  • What are the elements?
  • What has been my past experience?
  • What is my experience-based knowledge?
  • Should I counsel anyone?
  • Do I have to decide now?
  • Is this temporary or permanent?
  • Do I trust the other person?
  • What’s the deadline or the urgency?
  • What is my gut telling me?

Keep in mind all decisions involve some sort of risk. Risk involves and creates fear. The greater the risk, the more measured, deliberate, and collaborative the process. It’s always a judgment call, and fear often interferes with sound judgment.