Decision-making skills are highly valued at work because they demonstrate people's ability to take advantage of all available information and synthesize it into a sharp vision of the future. Employees who do this have been shown to take a longer-term perspective on their tasks and generate better outcomes for their companies.
According to a survey of 750+ companies conducted by management consulting firm Bain, a company’s financial results have a strong correlation of 0.95 with the decision-making effectiveness of its employees. Additionally, the data revealed that companies that were the best at executing their decisions generate an average of six percent higher returns than their competitors.
Making the right decisions makes people perform well at work, and with all the positive outcomes it brings, including increased confidence and material success, people are more well equipped to reach their long-term career goals. This post will outline some helpful ways to improve decision-making skills and explore how to leverage them for the benefit of your company and yourself.
1. Choose your attitude and don't let experience hold you back.
Attitude plays a significant role in the decision-making process. You can either take on a path of exploration and challenges or the path of maintaining the course, knowing that results will come in good time. Essentially, you need to ask yourself whether you want to take risks or play it safe. It is important that you comprehend how the results will benefit your personal growth, even when assessing a short-term project, you need to look past the short-term consequences and assess its long-term impact.
If you are a manager who needs to decide between staying at your current company or taking the opportunity to work abroad and experience new areas, you should consider how working abroad can benefit you in the long run.
People’s personal experiences can also be the constraints that hinder them from thinking outside the box, making them choose the comfortable solution that has worked before in a different context. Here, having a humble attitude and an open mind becomes important, when people are too certain about something, they often ignore some underlying factors that may be different from the past, leading to unexpected outcomes. Once a decision has been made, it is vital to believe in it, but the belief should be grounded on realistic analysis and expectations.
2. Evaluate all the factors - including the process
For performance improvement, it is imperative to consider both sides of the issue when making a decision. In analyzing a project, individuals tend to look at the bright side and how this project will solve problems instead of taking into account the factors that could negatively impact the development. Finding out the uncontrollable and unpredictable factors that might cause failure is essential in order to prepare for unexpected situations and lower the risks.
When it comes to identifying key decisions, you should also consider how each of them is made. What sort of information and materials are used to support the decision, and could there be additional pieces of information or perspectives that you aren't taking into account? Assess the plausibility of the conclusion by looking back at previous decisions and compare the outcomes they brought. This can help the organization pinpoint the decisions that need to be improved and what processes require modification to improve effectiveness.
3. Remember the details and learn to analyze
As we approach the final decision, small details deserve extra attention because they might have a great impact on the outcome. Failure often results from the accumulation of minor mistakes, such as failing to take into consideration seemingly small success factors. Once a decision has been made and the outcomes have materialized it is important to step back and evaluate the effectiveness of the initiative analyze why it did and didn’t achieve certain strategic objectives. By regularly analyzing the process of arriving at major decisions and not just the effectiveness of their outcomes helps to refine the decision-making process so that uncertainty can be addressed more effectively in the future.
To improve the capability of making decisions, you must be an expert at predicting and making judgments. This isn't a matter of luck, but rather it is a matter of choosing the right methods that optimize your ability to make the right choices. By mastering this skill, you will be in a better position to achieve your professional goals and help the company on its journey forward.
Using the tips mentioned above, you will have an easier time making a decision and increasing your chances of reaching the results that you desire.
To gain a deeper understanding of these principles and how you can apply them to your specific situation, contact us and learn more.
If you're interested in learning more about leading an international team, click here to read about What to Keep in Mind when Leading an International Team.