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How Can We Improve Decision Making Skill
As always say that your today’s problems are yesterday’s wrong decision, so take right decision today. Decision making process a not so simple as it appears on surface. Decision making is all about opting for one course of action from several available, pro-actively to optimize a situation or outcome and not let it happen by default. As a professional you must be involved in decision making process in day to day affairs. From hiring a person, assessing his suitability to deciding about his promotion and placing him on right growth track. How many times you analyze your decision and their impact. Some times you will procrastinate on making a decision because you are not clear on what you really want. Other times it is because the unknown factors of how a decision may affect you and your ability in the future. Some times you need to dread emotion as a signal to think twice before taking the decision. Some times you use your gut instincts in decision making and some times you simply decide not to take a decision at all just simply to keep the problems under the carpet for others to decide and resolve in future. What kind of decision maker you are? Red . . Yellow . . Or Green . .? what mean about these categories is that, the individuals who often feel frozen in fear when required to make a decision, such individuals are resistant to change and keep themselves away from making decision. They tend to have the rug pulled out from under them before they will move to safer platform. These individuals are categories as RED... Means always want to stay away and not to move forward. Individuals who are caution oriented and look both ways venturing into flow of activities, they normally weigh the pros and cons of any given situation before deciding. Such people are categorized as YELLOW... Means always want to be rationale in decision making. Third categories of professionals are of adventuresome type. They jump on the decision without looking left and right thinking that all will go well. They are fast and take risks in decision making. These are categorized as GREEN... Means never lowering their speed and moving fast in the lane. They are always in hurry. These categories indicate rigid characteristics of professionals.
Remember, life doesn’t always seem to allow a retreat or retake option in decision making. Some times we are too emotionally connected to the situation to see clearly all the details involve in making a perfect decision. The time to make decision we take, throw us into next live situation which may be positive or negative.
If you want to make quick and effective decision you should use following techniques:
- Identify the problem. Don’t be distracted by the symptoms. Find the root cause. Know the situation due to which problem has erupted.
- Collect all facts and information concerning the problem which may involve much deeper issues than it appeared.
- Formulate the principles based on values and beliefs of the organization before reaching for any decision.
- Discuss with all concerned who may be affected by the decision, find out possible alternatives.
- Determine which alternative is best and easy to accept by all.
- Evaluate consequences of each alternative in accordance with principles and criteria already decided upon.
- Declare your decision for implementation. Make available detailed ‘to do list’ to ensure the accomplishment of what is needed.
- Monitor execution of your decision constantly. Modify suitably if feel needed.
- Evaluate results of your decision.
- Analyze the process to find out what right or wrong went, where and how? This will help you to improve your decision making skills next time.
Steps for better decision making
- Make sure what you want.
- Look at the objectives you are seeking to attain, available alternatives and the risk of alternative you consider.
- If feel difficult in making decision, involve others.
- Not making a decision is a decision not to take any action and allow the problem to persist.
- Take regular decision. Do not allow problems to accumulate. Deciding about many little problems could be harder to deal with then one complex decision.
- Choose what is right and not who is right.
- Always keep in mind how far down a decision should be made and how far down it should be made. Keep the minimum distance between the two.
- Don’t be afraid of any pit fall in decision. You cannot be 100% sure of each decision to fit in correctly.
- Don’t waste your time on such decision making process which you can easily delegate.
- Also assess how the decision is to be implemented before reaching to any decision.
- Don’t look back after taking the decision. Know fully how it is affecting you and focus on your next move.
- Analyze but don’t over analyze. Make it and carry it through.
- Learn from your mistakes as well as your triumphs. If your decision have not given the desired result you accepted, find out the reason. Apply that knowledge to your future decision making process.
- Keep it in mind that a decision made in a timely manner is always better than a decision acted upon too late. Don’t feel paralyzed by your internal need to foresee all possible alternatives.
- Remember, you can not keep happy all the people all the time. Every decision will involve some degree of dissatisfaction among a class of people. Don’t worry about this class if majority of people are satisfied with the decision and they perceive it as a natural and best one in the given situation.
- Know the size and nature of risk you take while choosing a course of action.
- Focus on most basic and necessary result, you desire to achieve avoid considering extraneous factors and far fetched possibilities.
- Involve your head and heart too while going through decision making.
- Listen to your intuition and consult gut feel also and don’t dismiss them always.
Getting rid of indecisiveness.
Indecision arises out of fear of the unknown, of an error, of being proved wrong. It is almost an automatic response and managers get indecisive when they do not know what lies ahead. To get read of indecisiveness, following are the few means:
- Accept the problem as a challenge and opportunity to take corrective action.
- Over comes your decision making mental block.
- Don’t be complacent.
- Be creative by thinking positively. Do not hesitate to take risk.
- Plan ahead of schedule for keeping space for eventualities.
- Don’t get panic in case emergency. Keep a clear head.
- All decisions are never wrong and all never right.
- Don’t get confused in dilemma of right and wrong.
When we say about making judgments based on intuitions or gut feel, it is an internal guide we use while making decision. These internal factors are most elusive and most difficult to understand and control. Their influences are so much on persons that some times they insidiously undermine good decision making. These internal templates developed in over selves based on past experience with many different kinds of persons help us to quickly decide upon about a person whether he is ‘too submissive’, ‘too creative’, ‘too fussy’ or ‘having no sense of humor’. Some times as a manager we takes right decision based on these internal feelings but some times we are wrong but even after proved wrong, we continue the same templates unless we are forced by situations and time to modify them. The down sides of these internal feelings are that we make wrong judgments about a person and don’t correct our selves.
Avoid decision making errors:
- Biases – being biases against some one rarely results in good decisions. As a manager you should never allow to develop such out right irrationalities in your thinking process which ultimately disconnect you from the ground reality and start influencing your decision invisibly.
- Over reliance on pattern recognition – Decision based on over reliance on pattern recognition some times lead to faulty and disastrous consequences because it will not be correct. What you have experience with persons in your career of last so many years may not be correct today again in a new set of situation and employees. Never rely too much on pattern recognition.
Check your decision making ability:
At the end answer the following questions and decide yourself how confident and able you are in decision making:
- Do you feel paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision?
- Do the really important decisions feel like the hardest ones to make?
- Do you wish to see into the future first before taking any decision?
- Do you get overwhelmed with too many alternatives and too much information’s and gets stuck in analysis paralyses.