We all have to make decisions, especially when at work. Decision making is a key skill in the workplace and one that is highly important for managers and leaders. Those in authoritative positions may find that their decisions have much at stake, as their choices have the power to affect and influence the lives of team members and other organisational stakeholders, as well as the organisation at large. Hence, it is imperative that leaders have good decision-making skills.
Decision making can be described as the process of selecting the best choice of all possible alternatives. Strategic decision making is a process, which can be explained in six main steps:
Although a simple process, good decision-making skills are required to make decisions best suited to your organisation. Some of the decision-making skills essential to leaders include:
Effective decision making is more than just choosing between two options. Decision making in management is about solving problems that can have an adverse impact on your organisation. Leaders will face many problems throughout their career, regardless of the industry they work in. Effective leaders have the ability to problem solve thoughtfully and logically and can incorporate different perspectives into their solutions.
Strategic decision making requires you to analyse all the facts presented to you in a situation. Leaders need to use logical reasoning to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of their potential course of action. In order to improve decision-making skills, leaders need to remove their emotions so as to make objective and rational decisions.
To develop strong decision-making skills, leaders need to be aware of, have control over and express their emotions in a healthy and measured manner. As mentioned, leaders cannot let their emotions take over when making informed decisions. Decision-makers must have high emotional intelligence to effectively convey their opinions to others during the decision making process.
Decision making will not always be an individual activity. There will be times where leaders will need the input of others to come to a decision and effective leaders can identify those times and foster team meetings to reach the best decision. To do this, decision makers must be able to collaborate with others, communicate their goals clearly and welcome the feedback of others.
When in a position of leadership, the answers to a problem are not just going to be handed to you. Strategic decision making requires creativity in order to identify a number of innovative solutions to any problem.
There are a number of ways that leaders can develop their decision-making skills. Some of these considerations include:
Procrastination is one of the biggest threats to good decision making. We all tend to avoid making decisions that cause stress or anxiety, so tackling those first can prevent further stress and allow your organisation to run more smoothly. Additionally, leaders tend to put off more mundane or unexciting decisions. However, oftentimes these decisions are just as important as the big and exciting ones, thus leaders should also work to avoid procrastinating making smaller decisions.
Effective leaders are those who make positive decisions for their team. To do this, you need to be open to constructive criticism. Ask your team members how you can improve and analyse how you can execute this feedback into better decisions for your organisation.
As leaders make countless decisions every day, you may find yourself falling further from the long-term goals of your organisation. Despite this, leaders must keep their long-term goals in check to ensure that they are leading their team in the right direction. As a leader, you need to be able to see the bigger picture, even when making smaller decisions.
Applying for a coaching program is a great way to improve your decision-making skills.
As you can see, there are a number of factors that impact decision making. Many of these are learnt through V-Teamwork. V-Teamwork is a program that helps you develop your soft skills. It is not another online training video, it is an immersive learning experience that actually lets you practice using soft skills in a learning space with instant feedback from expert coaches.
Find out more about how it works.