Being able to decide in different situations is one of the most critical skills in any profession, especially leadership role. Any leader who can’t decide is probably not fit to be in such a position. Those who make better leaders look at the past objectively, project forward in an idealistic way, and then take corrective measures when needed. Self-doubt only serves as a barrier for making decisions. Mastering decision-making skills has many benefits and is something everyone who wants to become a leader should strive to achieve.
What is decision-making?
Decision-making is the process of deciding on something or choosing between two or more alternatives. Making decisions is not always easy but usually not difficult either — if you have the right information and knowledge about the issue or topic at hand.
Decision-making is not just about making decisions but also about how you decide. What factors do you consider? Do you consider all your available options or just one choice?
It can be challenging to decide on something when there are many factors involved, such as time constraints and conflicting priorities for example.
What is decision-making skills mean?
It means having the ability to work through multiple options, weighing the costs and benefits, and then making a decision that helps you achieve your goals.
It’s less about “solving problems” in the negative sense of sorting out what doesn’t work, but more about thinking ahead so you can anticipate potential situations with good outcomes in mind.
Decision-making not only requires knowledge about the subject matter, but it also relies on effective critical thinking, including good analytical and problem-solving skills, well creativity, and sound reasoning.
So, here are some everyday examples of decision-making skills to help you learn how to make better decisions more quickly:
1. Be open to ideas and suggestions
Openness in an individual is helpful when making choices because you consider all options available, especially if it is more than one.
Being too set on just your one option can be a huge mistake and could even result in losing what you wanted. This is because others may have already considered that option or think it’s the best, which you should consider as well.
2. Being objective
Being objective can be extremely beneficial when making decisions because you don’t let emotion cloud your judgment. Sometimes, this isn’t an easy task and can require a lot of effort to pull off successfully.
If you are stuck on the idea that it should go a specific way, then viewing both options out in the open will open your eyes to the possibilities laid out before you.
3. Weigh up the probabilities of errors
If you find yourself paralyzed in doubt because you can’t predict the results, one way to get around this is to estimate the probabilities of possible outcomes.
If possible, balance negative effects with positive ones so that they cancel each other out when multiplied by their respective probabilities. It can leave you with the best option.
Also read: Examples of Accountability
4. Know the consequences of your decision
Before you make a final choice, it is critical that you determine the consequences of this action and what they will be. For example, if you choose to go with option A, it’s important to think about the pros and cons before making a final decision.
That way, you will know the consequences and can judge them accordingly.
5. Don’t just focus on the present
When you are deciding something, your primary focus should not always be limited to the present circumstances.
Instead, consider the future consequences of your decisions, including long-term benefits and negative effects.
6. Remember personal biases
Remember your personal biases because some of the things that matter the most to us are usually some of our biggest biases.
It is not right to let your prejudice get it the of thinking and make a decision that affects other people.
7. Think about the future
Another good decision-making skill to remember is to consider how the decision will affect the future because even if it does not seem like it now, it can cause problems down the line.
This is important because when you are in the heat of the moment, it is easy to get caught up in being right and forget about the future.
8. Staying positive
Stay positive when deciding because negative energy can influence decision-making skills and lead you down the wrong path.
It is important because when people are in a bad mood or stressed out, they are more likely to make rash decisions that will cause problems later.
9. Think of all possible scenarios and outcomes
Good leaders usually explore every possible scenario and outcome before making their decisions.
It helps them see how their decisions may impact future situations and prevents them from making hasty decisions that may cause problems down the road.
Read also: 11 Examples of Weaknesses in a Person
10. Seek advice from others
Seeking advice from others before deciding is a sensible thing to do because it allows you to utilize other people’s experiences, knowledge, and perspectives before deciding.
You gain insight into the issue and make a decision that is likely to succeed. It is better to use input from those familiar with the problem.
11. Identify the problem first
To begin a decision-making process, first identify the main problem to be solved. This practice is important because all decisions have consequences that happen as a result of making them.
A leader who considers the consequences before making decisions is usually more successful at solving problems and avoiding negative outcomes.
12. Prioritizing options
Setting priorities before deciding makes the decision-making process smoother overall. Whether or not something is a priority can change from one situation to another.
So, it might be helpful to look at each option and write down the priorities before deciding.
13. Learn from past decisions
Look back at similar problems you solved—whether or not they were successful or not—and spot major trends that can help you make future decisions — this also includes things that didn’t work.
14. Remain calm under pressure
Being able to think quickly and stay calm under pressure means you can remain unbiased in stressful situations. It also means you are patient enough to think about the decision you’re about to make.
If you make a decision too fast without thinking about the consequences, you may end up regretting making it. Remaining calm while making decisions allows you to come up with better outcomes.
15. Have trust in your choices
If a leader doesn’t have the confidence to stand by their choices, it’s unlikely they will carry any weight with their team.
People need to know that a leader is sure of what they are doing, which will give them faith when making future decisions because they can rely on the leader to have a plan.
16. Apply past experiences to new situations
Think about ways that you have done similar things in the past. It is always helpful to keep experience in mind because it can act as a good understanding of what works and what does not work when it comes to making decisions.
17. Have confidence in your reasoning
Trust your reasoning in making a decision. You should refrain from questioning yourself with “What if I am wrong?” To ensure successful decision-making, it is crucial to stick with your own judgment and logic.
Confidence is vital when making tricky decisions. And even if something ends up going wrong, having the confidence helps to rebound from mistakes and make better decisions in the future.
18. Look at both short-term and long-term
Most people make decisions based on what they can see for themselves in a short time. However, it is also important to consider both the near future and its distant future.
Sometimes, the best decision you can make is something that you do not enjoy or benefit from.
Read more: 33 Good Examples of Leadership Skills
19. Never ignore common sense
In a work environment, your common sense should be based on your experience. What may seem like common sense to you might be completely the opposite of what the people around you would do.
Do not make decisions or act on something if it doesn’t feel right to you. Common sense is about making good decisions based on practicality and instinct.
20. Keep an open mind
When people fail to keep an open mind, they risk making decisions that are not the best for them or anyone around them. They also risk shutting down communication altogether.
An open mind means being receptive to new ideas and concepts that might be contrary to your own opinions or expectations.
21. Avoid anger fueled decisions
You may want to decide in haste simply because you feel motivated by anger. Don’t do it! Only make your decision when you are calm, collected, and able to think straight.
It’s almost impossible to make an intelligent or informed decision, no matter how simple the issue, if you are angry.
Anger can cloud your judgment and forces you to make decisions with emotions rather than intelligence.
22. Making decisions of fear
Decisions made out of fear usually lead to more problems than they solve. An example is when a manager decides to keep employees without taking time off because they are afraid of staff shortages during their vacation periods.
This decision can ultimately hurt employees’ morale because they feel overworked and under appreciated.
Read also: 12 Examples of resilience at Work
23. Never make decisions out of desperation
Decisions made out of desperation are usually quick decisions that are not thought through or thoroughly analyzed, and often leads to negative results. Decisions like that only deteriorate the situation you are trying to improve.
24. Do what you know is right
Doing what you know is right is the only decision-making rule that has nothing to do with logic. In other words, you should choose decisions that are ethical and feel good when you are making them.
You will know that you are making the right decision by how it feels, not necessarily what it looks like on paper.
25. Be decisive
Being decisive is one of the most crucial factors in good leadership. As a leader, be willing to decide all the time and when you do, stick with it. When you’re decisive, it shows those around you that you are a confident leader.
26. Base your decisions on real value
Don’t make decisions swayed by moods or short desires. It is essential to base your decision on what is true and valuable, not whims or emotions.
The best way to do this is by asking yourself what will happen if you don’t act or what will happen if you take the action? This can help you make a well-informed decision that has lasting benefits.
It is common for some people to become anxious and nervous, which often leads them to panic and lose all sense of reasoning when making an important decision.
If a problem is going to take you out or force you to quit your job, then it may be time for a career change.
Do not let fear control the decisions that you make in life, as it may cause you more pain and suffering than necessary.