Decisions, decisions, decisions. We all need decision-making skills because we make decisions almost every second of the day. They range from small, quick decisions like what you would like to have for breakfast to difficult decisions like where you want to attend college.
Some people who do not like making big decisions will be sure to research thoroughly or ask others for recommendations before making a major commitment. Others might make decisions more casually by taking a vote among their friends and family or even tossing a coin. There are many ways to go about the decision-making process.
Whatever your methods, there is no way to completely avoid making choices and that includes in the workplace. Below are some decision-making skills that every professional will want to master to thrive at work and also in their personal lives.
What Is Decision Making?
Decision making is the act of selecting between two or more different courses of action, usually in an attempt to solve a problem.
Examples of Decision-Making Skills
There are many necessary skills when it comes to reaching a decision, especially an important one. Avoid making bad decisions in the workplace by improving the decision-making skills listed below.
Intuition can be best described as a gut feeling experienced when you take a certain course of action. Intuition is not a magical sensation that only some people get. Rather, it is a combination of past experiences and your values in life.
You should take your intuition seriously, but remember that it is not always based on the reality of a situation. If you have a strong gut feeling while attempting to make a decision, consider where that feeling is coming from and if it is worth basing your decision on that emotion.
Problem-solving will be incorporated into all decision making but it is especially common in the workplace. If you have strong problem-solving skills, then you will be able to make decisions quickly. This can be especially beneficial if you are answering questions from co-workers or bosses as you can use your research to efficiently reach a conclusion.
Reasoning is considering facts to make a decision. There are pros and cons to any decision, and it’s up to you to explore all of the possible outcomes. You should be able to see the solutions from all possible points of view.
In the workplace, teams of colleagues will often work collaboratively to make difficult decisions. This involves each individual in the group sharing their analysis to contribute to a solution. There are no set rules as to how a decision should be reached in a group format, and both informal and formal approaches should be welcomed.
Decision making is dependent upon excellent organization. You must keep track of all of your information and research to ensure you are making the right decision. Being organized means you will also be able to monitor the results to see if your desired outcome was achieved.
Time management is essential throughout the workplace, and decision making is no exception. It’s important to give yourself a timeframe in which you must make your choice. Time is money, so giving yourself a deadline will not only allow you to structure your decision-making process, but it will also save the company money in the long run as you make the best choice possible.
Conclusion: Follow These Effective Decision-Making Steps
There are several steps to complete to get you through the decision-making process. These will deter you from making poor decisions that will have consequences down the road.
Step 1: Identify the Decision
First, you need to identify the decision to be made. Realize that you have a decision to make and define the nature of that decision.
Step 2: Gather Information
You will then need to gather information before you make any decision. Decide what you will need to know to make an informed decision, then locate the best resources to find that information. Collecting information will cause you to search for the information both internally through self-assessment, and externally through the Internet, books, or by talking with others.
Step 3: Recognize the Alternatives
As you collect information during step two, you will identify multiple paths of action. List all of your possible alternatives and figure out the possible outcomes based on them.
Step 4: Examine the Evidence
Look into the information you have gathered and imagine what it would be like if you carried out each of the alternatives. Determine if the decision can be solved in just one step using any of these processes.
As you go through this process, you will notice that you will start to prefer one choice over another. You will then be able to rate your alternatives based on the most and least desired outcomes.
Step 5: Choose Your Alternative
Now that you have weighed all the information and evidence, you should be able to select the alternative that fits best. You may even choose a combination of the alternatives if it seems like they all work.
Step 6: Take Action
You are now finally ready to take action. You will begin to enact the alternative you chose in step five.
Step 7: Review your Decision
In the last step, you should evaluate your decision. You should be able to tell if the original problem has been resolved. If your decision has not solved the problem, you may have to repeat some steps.
If you find that you need to make a new decision, you may want to gather more detailed information before you explore the other alternatives that you did not choose previously.