“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder- Ziad K. Abdelnour”
That is very true as we constantly face dilemmas in situations related to our life, work, and so many other spheres. It could be extremely tricky in cases where you face conflicting situations between work and personal life, for example, and you don’t know which way to go.
As everyone faces this, we must understand how we can get out of such situations as a winner. What does it take to defeat what you have been dreading? What does the path to a winning conclusion look like?
Well, we shall discuss all of this in this article so that no matter what circumstances you face, you do not lose out or give in. Let’s have a look at the points involved:
- What is a Decision-making skill?
- Significance of Decision-making
- Essential Skills for Effective Decision-making process
- Types of Decision making
- Decision-making process in 6 Steps
What is a Decision-making skill?
Decision-making is your aptitude to comprehend your options and zero in on the best one. You will need to carry out a lot of research, data collection, and scrutinizing to make effective decisions that help you reach your desired output. While this is true for all areas of public life, it holds a great deal of significance in business.
In today’s ruthless competition, the employees are to be at the top of their game consistently. This will happen only when they can make the right decisions at the right time. This means you will have to consolidate great thinking with quick thinking.
To ensure smooth business operations, the staff must possess the critical characteristic to judge a situation and come up with impeccable solutions. If you have good decision-making skills, you can overcome almost all the challenges at your workplace, and catalyze the process of business growth.
William’s company has had to terminate one of its employees. The terminated employee presented his frustration in the form of social media posts by writing grievances about the company. It will soon be read by so many people, including aspiring candidates and CEOs of other businesses. What should be William’s next action so that it does not damage the firm’s reputation?
Option 1: Ignore the posts and let them ride until the tide subsides.
Option 2: Check if existing employees respond or react to the posts. What are their reactions? Does the terminated employee truly have a point?
Option 3: Introduce a social media policy. Fix rules, terms, and conditions for terminated employees.
Option 4: Take legal action against the nastiness of the terminated employee.
William will have to decide which course to take to deal with such a situation. He gathers enough data, speaks to his advisors, and like many other similarly-sized firms, decides that he will go with Option 1. The team realizes it is possibly the last misadventure by an upset ex-employee.
This is only one of the many plots businesses face where they must make a decision for successful sustenance. Let us move on to learn what importance does efficient decision-making hold for any business.
Significance of Decision-making
There are diverse roles in an organization, and a different task is assigned to each employee, depending on their job role. Each task has multiple solutions for achieving the desired outcome. While you may have a lot of options and workable scattered around you, you will need to be careful picking one of them. This is because not every alternative you come across will be efficient or feel right from all perspectives.
Before determining the right option, ensure that you have considered all the aspects that will be affected once you make the decision. Some options may not be feasible, or some are not economical; alternatively, some may even take a long time to show results. So, simply put, to make the best decision in the company's interest, an employee should understand the objective, take a close look at all possible options, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, and determine the best course of action.
You can not only select the best option good decisions also lead you to ensure sustainability for your business. You can see how you or your managers have been performing and analyze their performance and productivity.
Moreover, you can also work with your resources and bring out their optimum utilization. Innovate procedures and drive business growth. The benefits of decision making process are innumerable.
Here is how an adept process of decision-making helps businesses:
Essential Skills for Effective Decision-making process
You will need these skills to ascertain that they make every decision to benefit the company. Making good decisions requires a number of competencies. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Identifying and solving problems
- Analytical Thinking
- Effective time management
- Being a good listener
- Relationship and communication skills
- Effective leadership
The Decision-making process in 6 Steps
It is now time we look at the detailed process of decision-making, what goes into it, and the 6 steps that will help you.
Adversities are a part of life; while getting bogged down by them is easy, it is essential to face them and stay composed. Taking a deep breath and maintaining your composure can take you a long way in the process.
The idea is to not get stressed out. The higher the stress, the more it shall impact your decision-making capabilities. If you have already figured out a task that needs your skills or will require you to choose an option, it is wiser to soak in some positivity before you embark on the journey.
When faced with challenges in business, you can consult your financial advisors or take help from legal advisors in the case it involves any legal actions to be taken. A simple team discussion or brainstorming can rescue you if it's something smaller.
We all agree that one can make great decisions only when one has all the information related to the task/ assignment. Therefore, it is only obvious that you must gather all the related information and work on it to create a concrete foundation for your decision.
Conduct extensive research to establish the facts pertaining to your goals. Perform a quantitative analysis, which further enhances your chances of getting to the right decision. Although critical thinking is common, avoid getting into an over-thinking mode, as that could do more harm than good.
Let’s look at a scenario that requires a company to decide to safeguard its name by gathering enough data.
Weigh all the Options at Hand
Many scenarios lead you to believe that you barely have any options to choose from. Yet, careful observation and a keen eye for detail will ascertain that it is not true.
An example, here, could be of a company ABC that is trying to penetrate newer markets at different geographic locations. There are names of cities that are already shortlisted. It now has to make a decision to finalize on the market which will produce the best income. So, analyze all your information that presents the metrics that indicate the best location to offer the most profitable outcome.
In short, weigh all your options before coming to finalizing them.
Count on Expert Advice
Even if you have proved yourself as someone who has mastered the art of decision-making, never shy away from taking others’ suggestions, especially in situations where water runs deep.
There will always be areas in business that will catch you off guard, and you may find yourself underprepared.
Do not get bothered by this. Instead of trying to arrive at solutions yourself, get a helping hand from team members or your seniors, or anyone who has expertise in the matter.
We can sight an example in a hospital scenario where the surgeon discusses the options before surgery with other senior doctors. This not only ensures the best effort to achieve a positive result of the surgery but also helps the doctors exchange a lot of valuable information. This information could be further utilized in future surgeries by everyone.
Experience is the Best Teacher
Mistakes and errors are inevitable in some situations. No matter how well you have performed and tried to avoid them, they can always occur when you least expect them. Let every defeat become a milestone that helps you move ahead with more confidence.
Failures are nothing but great teachers. Analyze how your decisions have affected the presumed results. There will always be scenarios where similar decisions have given diverse results. Learn why that happened.
Moreover, you can also take clues from others’ mistakes and learn from them. Consider an example of a newly-opened coffee house that analyzed the customer reactions to the neighboring outlet, which did not offer any local delicacies. The new café worked on this and, besides their unique recipes, also included locally-relished food items, which eventually gave them a higher footfall.
When you are about to finalize your decision, consider its short-term as well as long-term effects. Do not be overwhelmed by the situation. Be rational and try to ask yourself the questions that take you closer to what you set out to achieve.
Ask questions like what will be the consequences of my decision in a year from now, 2 years from now, or 10 years down the line. Write down the answers you get for all of these. Analyze the impact and move ahead confidently with what you perceive apt.
Types of Decision making
Various ways lead you to make the right decision and derive the results you wish. Some of the ways to make a decision include:
- Strategic Decision making
- Conceptual Decision making
- Behavioral Decision making
- Analytical Decision making
- Directive Decision making
Strategic Decision Making
It involves drafting strategies to meet the end goals effectively.
How will an employee maintain the pace of work and quality of the output during a long-term project in the company?
Creating short-term goals for long-term projects makes them more manageable. Moreover, it offers better clarity about the deliverables and the pace to be maintained.
Conceptual Decision Making
In this case, the decisions are made by implementing a concept in which the team firmly believes.
Jim's retail company has performed well during their first year of operation. In the next five years, he is looking forward to expanding the company. This new store is a risk, but he feels confident they will succeed, which will help them launch their brand nationwide.
Behavioral Decision Making
The type of decision-making process revolves around a person's personality, traits, or behavior.
Here’s an example of a situation an employee faces at their office:
James knows that his boss or the manager is wrong about something. What does he do?
Saying, “I’ll never point out my boss’s mistakes.”, may not reflect very wisely on James. Yet, this kind of situation requires him to be tactful and confident at the same time. So, he ensures he has the right choice of words. He finds the right time to communicate the error to his boss privately. This way, James ensures that he conveys it without being disrespectful or rude.
All these are the major categories of decision-making. It is key for people to develop good decision-making skills to make the most of all the resources & information to make the best decisions for the business.
Analytical Decision Making
Analytical decisions are made by carefully curating all options and the data at hand. A lot of time and effort is invested in bringing up an appropriate decision.
ABC news agency is trying to figure out how they can reach a wider audience with their current advertising campaign. The marketing manager requests that each team leader create a report summarizing the numbers, including audience demographics. The marketing manager reviews each report and meets with the team leads. The meeting concludes with the marketing manager purchasing more add space on social media websites for the upcoming 3 months.
Directive Decision Making
Decisions are taken using quick, decisive thinking in the directive decision-making style. An individual using this style steers clear of any ambiguous or contradictory ideas.
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Let's grab the key points from the article here:
- Decision-making is your aptitude to comprehend your options and zero in on the best one
- You will need to carry out a lot of research, data collection, and scrutinizing to make effective decisions that help you reach your desired output
- If you have a good decision-making skills, you can overcome almost all the challenges at your workplace, and catalyze the process of business growth
- While you may have a lot of options and workable scattered around you, you will need to be careful picking one of them. This is because not every alternative you come across will be efficient or feel right from all perspectives
- Before determining the right option, ensure that you have considered all the aspects that will be affected once you make the decision
- Some options may not be feasible, or some are not economical; alternatively, some may even take a long time to show results
- To make the best decision in the company's interest, an employee should understand the objective, take a close look at all possible options, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, and determine the best course of action
- Employees need effective decision-making skills to ascertain that they make every decision to benefit the company
- Identifying and solving problems, Analytical Thinking, Reasoning, Effective time management are some of the skills required for an effective decision-making process
- Chin up, gather information, weigh all the options at hand, count on expert advice, experience, and rationality are the 6 steps towards effective decision making
- The types of decision-making styles include Strategic, Conceptual, Behavioral, Analytical, Directive