Decision Making 101

Whether you need to diffuse a conflict, start a new project, or rearrange your department, decision making skills are going to prove to be amongst the most valuable management skills you’ll develop. We’ve spoken before about the decision making process itself and took a close look at the steps you must follow, from recognizing a decision must be made to implementing your final choice.

Unfortunately, there are very few cases where everyone you encounter will be happy with every decision you make. The trick is to realize that you can’t avoid a decision, but that making a choice will allow you to regain control of your department or team, whether they like it or not.

Here are a few decision making skills you should work on as you progress:

Understand why you are making a decision. Do you really understand the problem at hand or do you need to obtain more information?

• Identifying your alternatives. Try to find a handful of solutions to your problem so that you can review them and choose which might work best. Human nature is to jump on the first solution we think of, but this isn’t always the most productive course of action.

• Evaluate the consequences. Review each alternative you discovered and determine whether or not implementing those ideas will have a positive or negative impact on your ultimate goals.

• Evaluate the outcome. You aren’t through with a situation just because you’ve made a final decision. Make sure you evaluate the outcome to ensure that the decision you made was the right choice. Don’t hesitate to make changes if you see room for improvement.

As a manager you have responsibility to make decisions that will impact the performance of your entire team or department. Be confident and assertive and your team will support any decision you make!

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Originally published: 28 November, 2008

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