Whether you’re aiming at a new career that sees you become the decision-maker or you simply want to become better at doing that in your own job, there’s no denying that the ability to make a choice when it comes down to it can be vital. But what are the skills that can make you a better decision-maker? How many of them can be taught in a classroom and how many of them have tools that you can use to better improve how you use them? Here, we’re going to look at how you can become a career decision-maker.
Collaborating with others
You might think that effective decision-making is all about being the most important person in the room with all the answers. That’s not always the case, however. Often, you need more than one person to solve a problem. It might be too big for one person to analyze the different outcomes, it might require multi-disciplinary expertise, or it might involve compromising between parties with different priorities. Collaborating with your teammates involves being able to get everyone behind the same objective, with the right expectations as to outcomes, and maintaining effective communication throughout the project. Your ability to get people with different skills and priorities under the same mission can help you much better make use of a broader range of abilities to make decisions.
Learn how to analyze
Raw data is valuable when it comes to making good decisions. Being able to read the numbers or datasets of any format can help you build insights to make decisions based on more complete information. However, in an increasingly digital world, analytics is becoming a more and more technical skill. As such, data analysts have become a new breed of specialists that more and more companies are hiring. An online analytics degree can help you become truly able to make sense of the data that rules most of the modern working world. The ability to read, glean information from, and create visualizations or insights out of data is a skill that is being highly sought after in many workplaces.
The ability to reason
Even when you have all of the data, the best answer to any given question might not jump out at you right away. That doesn’t mean that you pick a random solution out of the ether, however. Instead, it means that you should take the time to use reasoning to work through the different options with the rules provided. There are two types of reasoning, inductive and deductive. Deductive is usually the most effective at finding answers, but you may at times need to induce and extrapolate based on the available points of data, the potential pros and cons of the different decisions available, and the best way to both implement the decision and to mitigate any of the downsides of the decision.
Be ready to solve problems
Business decisions aren’t often made in a vacuum. Rather, they are prompted by a problem, meaning that you may need to learn how to think quickly and able to find the right way to approach said problems in your work. Being good at solving problems isn’t just about knowing the answer to them, it’s about practising the right problem-solving processes to find those answers. This can include making step-by-step plans, including identifying the problem, analyzing, brainstorming ideas, developing the best solutions, and then figuring out which of those is most likely to work to your needs and finding the right way to implement it. It’s a key skill in any position of leadership.
Intelligence is emotional, as well
Good decision-making isn’t just about having all of the facts in front of you and making the objective best decision. Where your decision directly affects other people, you do need to consider your decision’s impact on their emotions. For instance, a change to a system in work that is technically more efficient when used better, but is despised by your trained and valuable workforce, could end up making them less productive in the end due to a loss of motivation. There are emotional intelligence training courses that can help you better learn how to take both the emotions of others and your own emotions into account. After all, we all have biases that can affect how we settle on our decisions.
Trusting your instincts
As mentioned, bias can be a problem that can make it harder to make good decisions objectively. However, that doesn’t mean that you should always ignore what your gut is telling you. Intuition is very important when it comes to decision-making as it helps you take into account past experiences as well as core values, not just the circumstances surrounding the problem right now. What’s more, trusting your intuition helps you make a firm commitment to the decision that you have made. Once you settle on your answer, being ready to implement it and see it through ensures that it can get done quickly. There needs to be some room for flexibility should the circumstances change, but not indecision.
The ability to carry it out
Once you have the decision made, you then need to implement it. This isn’t just about committing to the answer. You need to think about the step-by-step process of how you’re going to make a decision a reality. Project planning and management tools can make it easier to do that, breaking the process down into steps, figuring out what kind of skills are necessary to achieve those steps, and making sure that you have the right people in the right position at work to provide those skills. Effective organization of the assets and time at your disposal, even if it’’s just you alone, can help you make sure that decisions are implemented as effectively as possible.
The skills above can have your work mean a lot more and influence the direction that a company takes. The final decision-making power always goes to the employer or business owner, of course.