How can managers improve their decision-making skills? 9 Ways!

Making sound and prompt decisions is a crucial skill, irrespective of your profession. Everyone, at every point of their life, is making decisions either consciously or otherwise. However, managers are among the people who get the biggest slack from it. It’s something that they cannot run away from.

Managers don’t have the luxury to make loose decisions like others. While others mostly make decisions for themselves, managers speak for a lot of people. Making decisions is a regular thing for managers, often under strict time constraints. So, unfortunately, developing decision-making skills is not just an option for managers – it’s a necessity.

If you’re also a manager or in a position where you have to make many decisions every day, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will discuss some proven techniques of how managers can enhance their decision-making skills and make better decisions. Moreover, we’ll also explore the necessary skills one should have to make a better decision. So, let’s get going without any further ado!

What is decision-making?

A choice of action made to accomplish organizational or administrative objectives, or goals can be referred to as a decision. Making decisions is a constant and essential part of managing any organization or business operations. 

Management is not complete without decision-making. Making rational or sound decisions is viewed as management’s primary task. Every manager makes countless decisions, either deliberately or inadvertently, and these choices are crucial to the job of a manager.

A specific problem is recognized and solved throughout the decision-making process, which is essentially cognitive. And this procedure needs to be flexible enough to produce prompt and sane decisions. It’s worth noting that decision-making is not a natural skill. Instead, it’s a wholly learned skill, and nobody’s born with it. So, managers need to work on their decision-making skills and not just rely on their natural abilities.

We have a comprehensive article on key barriers to effective decision making that you can read and benefit from here. So, moving on…

How can managers improve their decision-making skills?
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Why Is Decision-Making Important?

Making right and informed decisions is crucial. Even if you’re not a manager, it’s worth working on your decision-making skills for several reasons. We’ll only, however, check out a couple of reasons since that’s not the aim of this article, but if you’re curious, feel free to check this article out.

Firstly, making an informed decision can make you more productive. You might not notice it before applying, but it can help you save a lot of time and use the available resources more efficiently, especially when you’re in a position where you have an impact on a vast number of people.

Secondly, whether you’re in charge of a team, a department, or the entire organization, mastering good management techniques is crucial to maintaining a positive work environment for staff members and fruitful results for your business.

Critical Skills for Effective Decision-Making:

Being a great leader requires experience, but acquiring these skills can help managers manage teams of all capacities to be more proficient, efficient, and fulfilled at work.

Problem-Solving

The ability to recognize issues and resolve them is essential for making decisions—strong problem-solving abilities aid your ability to remain composed under pressure and find the best answers. As a manager, you’ll often find yourself in situations where you feel too much burden. It’s important not to give in to the stress and let it affect or deplete your decision-making skills. Always make sure you make decisions with a clear and composed mind. 

Fact-Check Your Data!

To effectively internalize the information, you must be able to do your analysis or assign tasks to the appropriate workers. It’s crucial to understand the type of data you require. Working on the wrong data to make a data-driven decision won’t get you anywhere, no matter how good the analysis was.

More often than not, we’re presented with data that doesn’t depict reality. And unsurprisingly, the analysis done on such data could show promising results, but they will only get you so far. Always make sure to fact-check your data, especially if your decisions are based on them to a considerable extent.

Interpersonal Communication

Decision-making requires the ability to articulate ideas clearly and persuasively. Excellent communication skills are vital for a leader. This skill set’s interpersonal communication part emphasizes the tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures in addition to the words you use. Remember that when you speak to your team, your audience can infer meaning from a range of verbal and non-verbal cues.

Active Listening

Paying close attention to and remembering what the other person is saying when communicating is a skill every manager should have. As a result, you will be better able to identify and anticipate each team member’s requirements, difficulties, and concerns. Additionally, it facilitates rapport-building and pleasant impression-making. Learn more about how to become an active listener in this article.

Goal setting

Unifying their team around a shared goal and encouraging cooperation is one of the leaders’ most complex and difficult challenges. Teams work better when they have clear, quantifiable goals; when they succeed, they get closer because of a common accomplishment.

Diplomacy

It’s crucial that you can support both the demands of your team and the company’s goals as a leader. To achieve this balance, you must establish positive relationships with senior executives and the people you manage by being direct and honest with both groups.

Conflict Resolution

It is the responsibility of people in management positions to diffuse disputes when they occur amongst employees or departments. This calls for endurance, constant communication, and quick response. A productive working atmosphere should be ensured by promptly resolving any conflicts. It’s crucial to have the capacity to weigh each employee’s viewpoint, act reasonably, and resolve disputes.

Motivation

Team morale might suffer, and productivity can be threatened by stress and high workloads. It’s crucial to keep an eye on your direct subordinates’ well-being and continually encourage them to give their best work when managing teams. Setting a positive example and giving your staff the freedom to pursue individual goals will help you encourage them effectively. 

Decisiveness

Numerous decisions must be made by leaders. These can be major choices, like adding a new team member, or minor ones, like choosing a time for a meeting. You’ll be better able to gain your team’s faith and trust if you make decisions more quickly and actively. Gather all the information you require fast, consider the possible consequences, and rely on your expertise and intuition as your guides if you want to improve this talent.

Top 9 Ways Managers Can Improve Their Decision-Making Skills

To make effective decisionsmanagers need to improve their skills constantly. Let’s go through the top 9 ways managers can improve their decision-making skills

1.     Making a Strategy:

Making a strategy can be beneficial if you know you must make a decision soon. For instance, consider which people from your organization will be a part of your team. You might also consider what tools and resources could aid in your and your teams’ success. This will help you save some time and be ahead of the problem.

2.     Setting deadlines:

Set time limits for yourself when making each choice. This can reduce the time you need to decide or alter your opinion. You might need to gauge the significance of your choice first. If it has a significant impact, you might need more time to consider it, which might help you better manage your time.

3.     Limiting your choices:

The decision-making process might get more challenging the more options you have. By reducing your alternatives, you can decide after carefully weighing a smaller number of them. Having fewer options may also teach you to think critically when evaluating the alternatives that are still available. Having more than four options will make it harder to decide, so you should avoid having too many. One option indicates that you have no other choice, and two indicates that you must decide between yes and no.

4.     Considering the Pros and Cons of Each Choice:

Consider compiling a list of each choice’s advantages and disadvantages. This might aid you in making an informed assessment of all your options and choices. You might even come up with new things to ponder about as a result. By organizing it into a list, you may make your decision easier to understand and evaluate all the benefits and drawbacks. Your analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities can all be improved by doing this.

5.     Making a Priority List

You may be able to enhance your time management and decision-making abilities by prioritizing your choices. Make a list of everything you need to do or decide, beginning with the minor one. Making progress through the list can give you power and accomplishment, boosting your decision-making confidence.

6.     Learning From Past Events

We frequently overlook the significance of experience because we think each decision is unique. Learning, assuming generality, and then applying to the situation are the three steps that lead to wisdom and sound decision-making. This implies that you should document your choices and the processes you used to reach them. You then add some notes about how things transpired after that. So that you can learn from your recent decisions, you should occasionally take some time to think back on them. Pay equal attention to successful outcomes as well as less successful ones.

7.     Collecting Extensive Data

Finding what data is required to make a decision is a helpful habit to get into when faced with a challenging issue. This effort will force you to look beyond the facts you already have and make sure you’re compiling all the available evidence. We frequently reject or ignore all information contrary to our position in favor of focusing solely on the evidence that supports it.

8.     Encouraging Healthy Debates

As a manager, you must promote thorough reasoning and debate to make better decisions. Assign separate team members the task of presenting a case for each choice. Give the job of pointing out weaknesses in all arguments to others.

Keep track of the arguments so you can comprehend each decision in its entirety and consider it from numerous angles. Determine whether the justification is supported by evidence and how it’s interpreted. Also, see if it’s based on values, people, or a vision. Each one might have a distinct resolution or even none at all. If necessary, choose a team that will vigorously challenge your chosen point of view with arguments.

9.     Welcoming Outside Opinions

One crucial step toward making better decisions might be to involve outsiders in the process. They’ll adopt new perspectives. They will ask the questions you probably didn’t think of because they are less knowledgeable. You can quickly pick up new information from them if you take the time to respond to their queries. 

Difference produces both new insights and a clearly defined point of view. Outsiders can bring their unique perspectives and offer original solutions. They are impartial and will be more concerned with their choice than their ties to others or their sense of self. Making sound decisions can be seriously endangered by group mentality. People in a group may unintentionally take longer to make crucial decisions if they are concerned about starting a fight. Outsiders are less likely to do this.

Getting a second opinion might make you feel more confident in your decision-making skills and verify your choices.

  • 6 Barriers to Effective Decision-Making (Real-Life Examples)
    6 Barriers to Effective Decision-Making (Real-Life Examples)
  • The Decision-Making Model Explained (In Plain Terms)
    The Decision-Making Model Explained (In Plain Terms)
  • 13 Reasons Why Data Is Important in Decision Making
    13 Reasons Why Data Is Important in Decision Making

 

Conclusion

Despite having a lot on their plates, managers benefit from a significant experience up their sleeves. It’s critical to emphasize that none of them suddenly acquired a particular set of skills. They have demonstrated initiative, diligence, and leadership to merit their titles.

Making judgments will get more challenging as you grow in your job and take on additional responsibility. Eventually, as a manager, you’ll have to decide how to allocate resources, where to spend, and sometimes, who to hire. In situations where your decision-making options are unclear, you will face ethical quandaries.

The best ways to develop decision-making abilities are to be aware of your environment and to take each circumstance as it comes. After all, knowledge is power, and experience has shown us that the more we know, the more effectively we can handle problems.

You should constantly make decision-making improvement a significant component of your continuing improvement because it is essential to developing a managing capacity. In conclusion, managers need to improve their decision-making skills in order to make efficient decisions. 

Emidio Amadebai

As an IT Engineer, who is passionate about learning and sharing. I have worked and learned quite a bit from Data Engineers, Data Analysts, Business Analysts, and Key Decision Makers almost for the past 5 years. Interested in learning more about Data Science and How to leverage it for better decision-making in my business and hopefully help you do the same in yours.

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