The thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options.
There are many different decisions you may have to make: you may have to make a good decision, an effective decision or a difficult decision. It is important to remember that there is not always a right choice but the key is to have a method for reaching a decision and justification for making that decision.
How do you show you can make decisions?
The IMPORTANCE of your decisions will depend on the role you perform, nevertheless it is a useful skill to have as all roles require some form of decision-making. You can be noticed for making decisive and effective decisions (and not have a leg to stand on if you make poor decisions).
So an employer will require all it employees to have effective decision-making skills. Perhaps more importantly it is an essential skill if you are looking to ascend the food chain ( after all the higher up you are the more decisions need to be made).
You can show off your decision-making skills to your current employer in your day-to-day job. However, to show a prospective employer that you can make effective decisions think of examples of where you have:
- made a difficult decision;
- made a decision which ‘went wrong’ and explained how you solved it (and importantly what you learned from it);
- how you cam to a conclusion in a particularly complex decision.
Skill Development Plan
1. Add a few examples to your career journal of decisions you have made (or start thinking what things you could put in your journal in the future). When you write an entry include details of:
- the problem (and the context)
- why you need to make a decision
- the available options
- the reasoning/justification
- the decision/outcome
- improvements for the future/learning points.
2. Have an established decision-making practice.
A structured decision-making process should include the following steps:
- reduce complicated decision-making down into simple steps. clearly identify the decision to be made
- Make a list of the possible solutions/options
- discuss the problems with others (if appropriate), get any necessary feedback and try to have a full picture by gathering the information together
- Have a deadline!
When making the decision you should:
- evaluate the risks
- decide on the values/items of importance
- consider the pros and cons.
Action Point: think about your own decision-making process – how are you making your decisions? Do you need to improve?