When we are faced with sudden changes and demands, it is hard to think clearly and easy to be overcome by anxiety, especially if the situation continually changes dramatically without warning.   The ORID process can help keep calm while you make difficult decisions.  Here is a sample conversation you can have with yourself, or with your family or work colleagues to think through a situation.

Recording the answers as you go can help keep things straight.  You can always go back to a previous question or level if you miss something – for the wisest results, don’t skip a whole level moving forward. Feel free to adapt the questions within each level, and also to substitute “I” or “we” where appropriate.


Objective level:

What information is there?

What verifiable facts do you know about this situation?

What have you actually observed?


Reflective level: 

What worries or frightens you the most?

What part of this bothers you the least?

What associations do you have with this situation?  What memories of previous experiences are triggered? What are you reminded of?

What are some of the underlying challenges of the situation?


Interpretive level:

What are the possible implications of this situation – positive and negative?

What might be some options for responding?

Weigh up these options — what are the strengths and drawbacks of each of these options?


Decisional level:

Having weighed up the options, what is your choice?

What can you do?

How will you make this happen?