Applying Better Manhood to Problem-solving and Decision-making

The last post in this series on creating a roadmap to better manhood described how the hard- and soft skills apply to a man’s domestic life: his home and his family. This next post explains how good problem-solving and decision-making apply to those skills described in earlier posts to help men reach the level of maturity that the world needs more of today.  Subsequent posts on planning and goal-setting, and developing an awareness of your legacy, are the final marks of maturity of better men that conclude this series. 

First, Have Personal Discipline 

Throughout this series, I have suggested that maturity in a young male comes by learning to First, Manage Yourself Well. This maturity comes from applying a set of personal disciplines through all aspects of his life, such as:  

  • Setting Goals
  • Developing Good Habits
  • Learning to Prioritize
  • Developing Self-Discipline
  • Seeking Feedback
  • Learning from Mistakes
  • Being Self-Aware

Each of these disciplines is shaped by one’s personal experiences, cultural influences, and societal expectations. But how a male applies them to the process of problem-solving and decision-making is really what helps him show up as a mature man in today’s world. But there is another aspect that also helps: enlisting the help of an older man or group of men who have traveled ahead of you on the journey of life. 

A Process for Problems and Decisions

While there are several elements to solving problems and making good decisions, let’s look at the basic process:  

  • Define the problem: Clearly identify the issue at hand, its causes, and its impact, in order to understand what needs to be solved or decided upon.
  • Gather information: Collect relevant data and information about the problem or decision by conducting research, seeking advice, or consulting reliable sources.
  • Generate alternatives: Brainstorm and develop possible solutions or courses of action. Consider different perspectives. Think creatively about a range of options.
  • Evaluate options: Assess the pros and cons of each option. Consider factors such as the feasibility, potential outcome, and risks and benefits to help narrow down the choices.
  • Make a decision: Based on this evaluation, choose the best option that aligns with the goals, values, and constraints. Trust your judgment, but be open to feedback and input from others if necessary.
  • Implement and adjust: Develop an action plan and execute the plan effectively. Monitor the early progress and make adjustments as needed.
  • Reflect and learn: After implementing the decision, evaluate its effectiveness and learn from the experience. 

Applying this process helps you avoid making quick, uninformed, and emotionally charged decisions that may be costly in either your personal or professional life. Instead, following the process helps keep the emotion out of the decision. This will lead to well-thought-out decisions based on the pros and cons of the alternatives, which ultimately results in better outcomes. 

Applying the Process to Life

Now that we understand the importance of applying a process to the problems you encounter, let’s look at some decisions for each of the hard skills described in my earlier posts:  

  • Money Management – Do you have a spending problem? Are you a responsible saver? Are you on track for retirement or drowning in debt? 
  • Good Personal Hygiene – How do people view you? What can you do to improve your appearance to earn respect from others?
  • Time Management – Do you waste time every day or are you driven to succeed and struggle to find time for relaxation, recreation, and friendships?
  • Navigation, Transportation, and Travel – How often do you get lost? Are you reliable? Do you arrive on time for meetings, appointments, and dates or are perpetually late for everything? 
  • Education and Employment – How can your education or vocational training help you achieve success in your career? 
  • Organizing Your Belongings – Are your personal and professional environments a disaster? Does this create chaos in your life? Would becoming better-organized help reduce stress and anxiety? 
  • Fun and Adventure – Do you make time to relax or go on adventurous retreats? Would you or your relationships benefit by adding more fun and less work to your life? 

OK, now think about how the decisions needed for these soft skills:  

  • Behavior Management – Do you manage your behavior well? Are you unpredictable or reliable?
  • Be a Good Communicator – Do you write well? Do you speak with clarity and conciseness or do you ramble on and lose people’s attention?
  • Controlling Your Emotions – Are you in control of your emotions during stressful situations? Or are you too stoic and emotionless? 
  • Self-care – Would solving a weight or addiction problem help you feel better about yourself? Do others view you as someone who strives to be their best self?

As you might expect, good problem-solving and decision-making skills apply to many areas of your life. Mastering these skills can lead to personal and professional growth, enhance your leadership capabilities, and contribute to a fulfilling and well-rounded life.

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GodBuddy Focus

Another of the keys to good problem-solving and decision-making is enlisting the perspectives of others who have traveled the road of life ahead of you. As I mentioned in the previous post about domestic life, I have not mastered all of the skills nor do I want to come across as an expert on manhood because I have my own “successful failures” that have taught me many lessons. 

However, I realized that learning from more experienced men and doing life together with other men who strive to be better husbands, fathers, and friends helps me make better decisions. I have also realized that I need godly men around me who encourage me and help me live to the higher standards of manhood we need today. Are you surrounding yourself with better men who help you solve life’s problems and the tough decisions to become a better man? 

For discussion:

  • Which areas mentioned above cause your biggest problem? 
  • How using can this process help you to make better decisions? 
  • Is there someone you know who can help you come up with alternatives to help you make a well-informed decision? 
  • Do you know a godly man who can help you grow as a mature man of faith?

[Feature Photo by Afif Ramdhasuma on Unsplash]

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