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Making a tough decision

This simple guide gives you a step-by-step process to work things through to a clear conclusion

Just follow each step and carefully answer all the “ask yourself” questions.


When you recognise an issue or dilemma…

Be vigilant and recognise ethical issues - situations where our Values are challenged or are at risk of compromise, where there is not a clear 'right' or 'wrong' answer or where you find a decision difficult or you are hesitant to act.


Get the facts, ask yourself:

  • Are you clear on what precisely needs to be decided?

  • What are the relevant facts?

  • Do you have all the information you need?

  • Do you understand the risks involved?

Talk to others, ask yourself:

  • Who is involved? What is their perspective? What are their interests?

  • Have you consulted those with a stake in the outcome?

  • How and why should interests, needs and wants be prioritised?

  • Who needs to support your decision?

Consider your options, ask yourself:

  • Map out your options. What are the options available to you?

  • Are there areas for negotiations?

  • Are any factors influencing your decision?

Select a solution and test it

Rules, ask yourself:

  • Legal test - is it legal?

  • Compliance test - does it comply with Company policy?

Values, ask yourself:

  • Values test - does the decision live our Values?

  • Trust - Are we acting ethically/responsibly/consistently?

  • Care - Have we listened? Have we considered everyone? Will it make a positive difference?

  • Innovation - Have we done our best? Have we tried new ideas?

  • Pride - Will we stand by this decision? Are we clear about the risks? Can we be proud that we did the right thing?

Personal, ask yourself:

  • Family test - would you be proud to tell your family?

  • Public test - will it positively improve our reputation if it was public knowledge or tomorrow's headlines?

  • Gut feel test - does it feel the right thing to do?

  • What is your decision and do you fully understand why?

  • If you are comfortable with your decision, will you stand by it?


With confidence and transparency:

Communicate your decision and rationale for it.

Record your actions:

  • Who was involved?

  • Why was the decision taken selected?

  • What were the consequences envisaged at the time the decision was made?


Its delivery and monitor its impact:

Seek feedback on the impact of your decision.

Ask youself:

  • Has it addressed the issue?

  • Has it had the expected results?

Discover more...

Asking a question or raising a concern

You may feel uneasy, worried or ignored. When this happens, there is help at hand.

Speaking up

Think mycode is being broken? Speak up – it’s the right thing to do and you’re protecting us all.

Understanding when to say no

Sometimes you can find yourself in an awkward situation and you are not sure if you should say no.

Managing others

If you’re a manager, you’ll find information about the responsibilities you have for particular issues.