Tips for Effective Decision Making
While some people tend to get stuck in procrastination and find it impossible to make one simple decision, some find it quite easy to land on one and move forward. If you are one of the former, then you might be in need of tips on effective decision making. When faced with big decisions that will have a potentially major impact on your life, it can be quite difficult to settle on the final choice since you will be caught up worrying about picking the wrong one or regretting it once you’ve made it. It is natural for people to have regrets about their past and previous decisions. Many of your painful regrets all come down to making the wrong choice. However, the ultimate question that needs to be asked is, what is a right decision and what is a wrong decision? How do we distinguish what’s best for us between the various choices handed to us regularly and land on the perfect decision that will help us improve our lives? Effective decision-making in today’s world is especially harder than ever with the countless alternatives we are served with and endless choices we are forced to select from. If you, too, are looking for an effective decision-making process that will ease your life in almost every aspect, then this is the guide for you. Here are some important tips that will help you make powerful and effective decisions in your personal life, your social life, and your career.
Helpful Tips for Making Effective Decisions
1. Step Away from the Problem
effective decision making and problem solving
One of the best and easiest ways to move forward can sometimes be backing away from the problem. Remember that effective-decision making and problem-solving go hand-in-hand, which is why it is important to step back and think about it in full context when presented with a specific problem. Focus on looking at the issue from as many perspectives as possible and ensure that you are not favoring one aspect and neglecting the others.
2. Find Support in Evidence
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Also known as EBM, evidence-based management aims to use scientific evidence when making business-related decisions rather than solely trusting one’s instinct. In today’s business world, it is important to rely on effective decision-making techniques that are supported by solid and verified facts. Like most people, you probably lean towards using your judgment and basing your decisions on what is more familiar. However, experiences that you have had at other corporations or with different teams may not apply to the situation that you have on hand. Here are some basic steps you can take to incorporate evidence into your decision-making process:
- Get the most current and complete data from performance analytics tools in order to support your decision.
- Challenge your instinct and gut feeling by asking if there is any objective evidence to support them.
- Determine whether generally-applied former business strategies have been effective in a situation similar to yours.
- Find out what the suggested course of action is based on and whether it supports the data you have collected.
- Make sure that the business data you are working with is accurate, up-to-date, and objective.
3. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
In order to stay in our comfort zone, we quite often tend to choose the status quo over change. However, being comfortable with a particular approach may not always be enough to justify its validity. While challenging the status quo, you need to question whether you would choose that certain course of action if you weren’t already in the midst of following it. Good decision-making examples entail examining options as realistically as possible, finding supporting data that will help you review options objectively, and bare your breast against the possible cost or effort that will come with making a change.
4. Get an Outside Perspective…but Trust Yourself
effective decision making skills
While working on your effective decision-making skills, make it a habit to ask others for opinions and various information. Try to stay as open-minded as possible and get a wide range of perspectives that will help you see the issue from multiple point-of-views. Don’t forget that employee opinions also count: Find ways to encourage information sharing in your company and foster an atmosphere that leads your team members to be direct and truthful, even when the situation presents itself as unpleasant and uncomfortable. When you wish to consult other colleagues about a problem, be sure to consider it carefully from many possible angles before talking to them. This will help you avoid being limited by their ideas and interpretations.
5. Stay Alert for Potential Risks
Here is a decision-making 101 tip for you: Every decision – matter how big or small – comes with a risk. Familiarizing yourself with this knowledge going in, it becomes much easier to train yourself to look for all types of risks at any given moment. Whenever you are faced with making a decision, ask yourself the following question: If I make the wrong decision, will I know it? For instance, you may be considering changing the transportation carrier your company uses to cut costs. While doing this, think about how you would determine that you’ve made the wrong decision and have chosen the incorrect carrier. Not seeing any cost savings at the end of the quarter, receiving more customer complaints about delayed orders, and witnessing your administration staff bellying about the new supplier’s inadequate service would be just a few of the red flags that prove you had chosen poorly. This type of exercise will help you locate potential pitfalls of a decision and take respective steps to avoid them.
6. Don’t Hold on to the Past
We all have a tendency to make choices that reflect our past experiences. Even when a previous decision has not worked out as well as we’d planned, we still lean towards spending time and money fixing past problems, instead of acknowledging the mistake and moving on. Effective decision-makers are able to take into account the evidence that is available at the time. The context may sometimes change, making the decision no longer valid. Recognizing that you have made the best decision possible under those particular circumstances will help you review the situation and determine whether a different course of action is now called for.
7. Be Honest to Yourself & Your Team
Make sure to take time to review your motivation before gathering evidence to make a decision. Are you really gathering this evidence objectively, or are you looking for any sort of information that will justify your existing idea? Is your mind already made up on a particular decision? You can remain objective and focus on finding the best possible solution for your team and your business if you are aware of your own motivations at all times.
Tips for Managers on Making Decisions
As a manager, you may resort to different decision-making methods and steps, depending on the size, sector, niche, and other specific characteristics of your business. However, effective decision-making for managers can be boosted with these tips that have the potential of benefitting almost any type of decision-making method:
- Define your larger goals and make sure that your current decisions are supporting them.
- Encourage cooperation, not competition, between those in charge of the decision-making process.
- Be flexible, yet determined and stable.
- Resort to your active-listening skills when others make suggestions and demonstrate their point-of-views.
t forget that effective decision-making in management requires repetition and practice.
- Aim to be objective when weighing options.
- Find ways to relieve stress under pressure, especially if a decision is bound to affect many people.
- Train on your decision-making style to determine its weaknesses and strengths.
In the end, it’s one thing learning about how to make effective decisions, yet it’s a whole different story demonstrating your effective decision-making skills in reality, especially in the ever-changing and unforgiving corporate world. With these effective decision-making examples and tips, you can focus on making informed and evidence-based decisions in a timely manner and know how to fix it when you have chosen wrong.