Decision skills for teens

Most of the attempts to teach decision-making skills to teenagers (that I’m aware of) have focused on basic decision analysis techniques (criteria, alternatives, evaluation/scoring, risk/uncertainty).  This is great, but I think it’s much more valuable to teach them the “big picture” skills of proactive decision management rather than the details of good decision-making.  Teenagers don’t lack the brainpower to make a decent decision if it’s presented to them as a well-framed choice.  They do lack (as do most adults) the ability to see their whole lives as a Decision Network and to use those decisions as knobs/dials to proactively take control of their future.  They don’t have the experience to frame their lives in decision terms; they need a decision pattern and they need to know that no decision that they will ever face has to be a surprise.  They can extend the planning horizon of their life roadmap and get the jump on every important choice that they will face.

This was my impetus for creating the Decision Driven® Life web service.  In this tool I provide individuals with a Decision Network pattern that frames out 200+ decisions that we all face in life.  Teenagers can use this as a resource to quickly frame out a life roadmap and identify the really critical decisions that they should attack proactively.  When they dive into these choices they will find that I’ve also provided a criteria pattern, the top ~10 factors that they should consider when they address each decision.  This is a big jump start that simplifies the decision-making process and improves the likelihood of a successful decision.

I’ve presented these concepts to teenagers in a church youth setting (before I had the web tools) and have found that teens can “get it” if they have a trusted mentor or life coach to help them take a proactive stance toward their life decisions.  In the absence of such mentors, most teens will take the path of least resistance and be surprised and unprepared when decisions pop up in their faces.  And that would be shame …

About decisiondriven

Innovator in Decision Management, Systems Thinking and System Engineering methods and tools
This entry was posted in Decision Concepts, Decision Driven Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s