How to Be an Effective Decision Maker (With Steps and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 14, 2022 | Published October 18, 2021

Updated October 14, 2022

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Every aspect of life requires decision-making, from cooking and dressing to professional interactions and job choices. Awareness of your decision-making can help you make these choices more effectively while relating them to your priorities. Good decision-making skills can enable you to achieve your objectives and gain respect from your peers at work. In this article, we explore 15 steps to be more decisive and the importance of this skill in your life.

Related: 

  • What are Decision-Making Skills and How to Improve Them

  • 8 Decision-Making Strategies for Career Success (With Tips)

How to be more decisive

Here are 15 steps on how to be more decisive at work:

1. Find different approaches to decision-making

You can make decisions using a variety of methods. When deciding how to approach the problem, consider your knowledge of the subject, the number of people the choice can affect, and the amount of time to decide. Sometimes, rational decision-making that includes everyone's perspectives is beneficial, but a quick, no-compromise approach works in some situations. The decision-making procedures outlined here use various techniques, allowing you to select the optimal option for each case.

Related: What Is the Rational Model of Decision-Making? (With Steps)

2. Be mindful of your personality

People are born with certain traits that influence their thoughts. Knowing your personality type may help you figure out how you currently make decisions and how you might improve in the future. If you're overconfident, you may make unrealistic decisions that may fail and weaken your confidence. If you're risk averse, your avoidance of making mistakes may stop you from deciding at all. Knowing your personality may help you develop solutions that may help you improve your decision-making skills.

Related: 5 Types of Decision Makers (With Importance and Examples)

3. Regulate your emotions

Emotions can be a factor in your decision-making process, but you can apply emotional intelligence if you want to make better choices. Too much emotion might cloud your judgment and lead you to make a decision you may not have otherwise made when rational. Observe your emotions, especially when the team criticizes your solutions, and where possible, postpone deciding for a while until you are in control of your emotions.

4. Make precise objectives

Think about why you want to gain decision-making skills and then create targets to assess your development. Consider specific tasks you want to do after a week, a month, or a quarter year. You can develop a plan for these tasks, such as how you can counteract any hesitation or anxiety and how you can enhance your decision-making skills in other areas of life.

5. Find a model for decision-making

A role model may make learning a new skill much easier, as you can imitate their behaviour. You can identify colleagues or professional mentors who have achieved success in their careers, a leader in your sector, or a contemporary workforce innovator. Observe what this individual gives priority and what knowledge might assist them to feel prepared when making a decision. You may even schedule a meeting to understand their point of view more and gain recommendations.

6. Take note of possible solutions

Document and preserve records of all possible solutions to a problem. List them at a meeting before your team so they may engage actively in this process. Discuss the advantages and drawbacks carefully to discover if it meets your objectives and your KPIs that measure success. Think of your decision as one having short-term and long-term consequences. Once you have identified the solutions, provide future actions to all team members to implement the agreed choice.

Related: How to Build a Collaborative Team in an Organization

7. Open yourself to change

If you're building a new strategy to be decisive, select new methods of accomplishing things. As your decisive capabilities increase, you may receive additional responsibility as the management can trust you more. Having flexible results expectations might allow you to be more confident in making better decisions.

8. Be prepared

When you know that you're about to make a decision, prepare your alternatives in advance. Knowledge of the options might improve your confidence if the circumstance changes or the deadline comes earlier than expected. Thinking about major decisions in advance may also allow you time to look for insights from others, which is essential when you make decisions that affect your job or environment.

9. Practise evaluating possibilities

To enhance your decision-making skill, think about theoretical situations strategically. Try to outline the pros and cons of each option mentally or on paper. By strengthening this skill, you can quickly evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various options in a real-life situation.

Related: Decision-Making Interview Questions: Guide on How to Answer With Examples

10. Consider both the immediate and long-term effects

Almost all decisions have both immediate and long-term consequences, making it critical to consider both before making a choice. When viewed from a long-term perspective, what appears to be a good short-term option may not be that great in the future. Do not overlook actions that may cause short-term discomfort but have long-term benefits. So, if your manager wants to reorganize the office, you may feel displaced while the construction is going on. Still, you can have a conducive work environment that can encourage collaboration and open communication after it's over.

11. Evaluate decision results

After making a decision, analyze if it was the proper solution after the results. You might also evaluate your personal, business, and team consequences from the decision to determine its effectiveness. Note how you approached your decision, and if you believe you have made a wrong choice, you now know what to avoid the next time.

Related: What Is Data-Driven Decision Making? (With Benefits)

12. Be optimistic

Being optimistic may be a helpful approach to make better decisions and be willing to accept the outcomes. To apply optimism, consider each possible outcome and then think of a good result from it. Remember, even a poor result may be helpful to you because it may provide you with feedback to make future better choices.

13. Forgive yourself

When you work toward your objectives, understand that the process may entail challenges, and it's necessary to forgive yourself for making poor choices. Make sure that you are accountable if these mistakes affect others. After analyzing what worked and what did not, move on from the mistakes and make better decisions in your next objectives.

14. Accept your control and knowledge limits

Recognize that you never have all the knowledge you require to make the right decision. Proactive decision-making in the workplace may be helpful, but you still interact with the clients, staff, and other departments. Other choices may influence the impact of your decisions and external variables. Learning to make decisions is not a single solution but a process, making it important to put your options into perspective and continue to work on them.

15. Look after yourself

The amount of sleep you get and how much water you drink can impact your mental clarity, focus, and decision-making abilities. Each night, aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. To accomplish this, avoid using electronics right before night and consider purchasing a white noise machine to aid in falling and staying asleep. Keep a water bottle beside you at all times to ensure you drink eight glasses of water throughout the day, and consider adding fruit to it to make it more enticing.

Why it's important to make confident decisions

Confident management decisions are important to the way you and your team operate in the company. You may be able to avoid negative situations in many aspects of your job and personal life. Here are some reasons it is important to make confident decisions:

  • Satisfaction and commitment of employees can grow: The way you decide impacts your team. Reliable decision-making leads to better results and can enhance their happiness.

  • It's going to be a simpler delegation: When you integrate your team into the decision-making process, you may be free to decide on your own and develop confidence between you and your team.

  • The results can improve: If you choose educated and calculated decisions rather than fear-based or fast decisions, the outcome may meet your expectations.

  • You're going to do it more quickly: You know what you want to do and how to accomplish it faster because the objective is clear. You can make smaller choices between activities more quickly to meet the objective.

  • It enhances self-confidence: You learn how to process the essential information and make the best possible option whenever you make confident decisions. The decision-making exercise may help you feel assured about your leadership talents.

  • You're going to have fewer errors: Every decision you make has no definite winning solution. When you add clarity, priority, and purpose to your decisions, you're less likely to make a wrong decision.

Related: Understanding the Process of Decision Making in Management

Now that we've explored 15 steps to be more decisive and the importance of this skill in your life, you'll be better positioned to use good decision-making skills to achieve your objectives and gain respect from your peers at work.

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