How To Improve Your Decision Making Skills

Decision making gears conceptYou can blame it on the zodiac sign or a personality trait, but the fact is some people are simply better at making decisions than others.

While you can take your time choosing between a pair of trousers, the business world will not be waiting for you to make an appropriate decision.

Your clients and competition are on a time crunch, and you better improve your decision-making skills so you can keep up with them.

Avoid Decision Making Fatigue

Human beings are created in such a way that our brain is only able to make a certain number of decisions in a specific time.

Unfortunately, the modern world presents many opportunities and choices, leading us to make decisions over and over again.

Studies have shown that people often encounter decision fatigue, where their common sense starts to deteriorate with the more decisions they have to make.

As such, many people have taken to creating routines to replace the need to make decisions.

This could involve dedicating specific days to eating a specific meal or wearing a specific outfit, etc. (salads on Mondays, fish and chips on Tuesdays, and so on).

 Although this may sound silly, it actually gives the brain a boost by eliminating needless decisions and helps us focus on more important ones.

If/Then Thinking

Another psychological concept we can use to guide our decision-making skills is if/ then thinking.

This can involve promises to ourselves, such as:

  • If my boss sets up a review, then I will create a portfolio of my annual work.
  • If the client calls to ask about new products, then I will recommend a certain offering to them.

Humans are very good at encoding information in ‘If X, then Y’ terms…to guide our behaviour. Deciding exactly when and where you will act on your goal creates a link in your brain between the situation or cue (the if) and the behaviour that should follow (the then),” according to a source.

Create a Pros and Cons List

Making a decision is often an abstract concept that can cause us to spiral out of control by thinking about the aftermath.

It can be much easier to make an educated decision by writing down your thoughts and creating a pros-and-cons list.

Give yourself five minutes to write down all of the potential benefits and pitfalls of making a certain decision, and then choose the side that you think will present the best outcome.

Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 17 July, 2018

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