The Management Blog
Tips & advice to help you improve your performance
As a manager you should certainly be able to handle conflict.
Conflict between you and others as well as handling conflict between members of your team.
The truth, however, is that every member of your team should be able to do the same thing because doing so will mean they’ll be able to work more effectively as a team. Learn More
I’ve found over the course of my career that there are three main types of decision making models or methods that you can use to help you make a decision.
Whilst every person will follow their own process, all of them tend to fall into one of the three following categories:
Let’s take a look at what each of those categories mean and then I’ll cover a specific model that you can use.
Types of decision making models
If you follow the rational or logical decision making model you tend to gather facts, thoroughly examine situations, and make logical decisions based on all you know on a given subject.
You’ll do as much research as possible and leave nothing to chance. This is the most recommended method of decision making for those in management positions.
Intuitive decision making involves not the use of statistics and data but your gut feeling.
While this method isn’t necessarily bad it can lead to disaster as one’s gut, or instinct, should never be the sole factor in the decision making process.
It’s better to use past experiences, insight, and statistics together to make the right choice.
Probably the most controversial decision making model is the predisposed method.
Here, you will make a snap decision based on your personal preferences and opinions and will work to find data that backs up what you want to do, regardless of whether or not your decision is actually right.
You will tend to ignore important information merely because it doesn’t support your agenda.
It’s important for you to identify what type of decision making model you usually follow. Is the one you’re using most effective? Do you tend to act in a predisposed manner? Figure out where you stand on the decision making grid and then decide if you need to make a change.
Decision making model example
We make decisions every day. That’s part of our job and life!
And, most of he time, things go right with those decisions. Rarely do we make massive howlers that send the FTSE 100 index crashing through the floor, or find the building around us burn to the ground.
If you need to make large, long-lasting decisions that will have an impact on what you do in the future, it would be good to have some kind of decision making model that assists us and provides a firm foundation for the decision that has to be made.
Let’s take an example.
Let’s assume you have to decide whether to accept a new job somewhere else or stay with your current position.
One way of doing it would be to use something known as the “backwards-decision model”
It’s called this because, naturally, it’s made up of the acronym ‘noisiced’, which is ‘decision’ spelt backwards.
Here’s how it would run if you had to think through this scenario of whether to move jobs:
Needs – why do I need to move?
Objectives – does the job help me achieve my ambitions?
Information – do I have all the info I need what more info do I require?
Strategy – does it fit into my life plans?
Investigate – check out other possibilities
Choose – what steps do I need to take to make the move?
Ego states – how do I feel? – what do I think? – what should I do?
Decide – make the decision
You can see how this acronym can be used in other areas of life where decisions have to be made.
Try it out and see what results you get from it. It may surprise you how a ‘backwards’ model can be so efficient!
Decision making models are good but…
Do you use a model and still doubt yourself?
When you need to figure out a plan of action, do you take days to consider all the options, and can’t ever decide on the spot?
After you painstakingly resolve on a plan of action, do you go back and forth, reconsidering if you have made the right decision?
Here are some tips so you don’t second guess yourself.
Go With Your Gut
The most important lesson about learning to feel comfortable to make decisions is learning to trust yourself.
If you look back at your track record, you will likely realise that you have a good head on your shoulders, and you typically arrive at the right outcomes. Due to this, try to make quick decisions by going with your gut. It is likely that you do this anyway, except that you stall for time by considering all the possible alternatives.
Your subconscious is your ally, and will usually steer toward the correct choice, it is your conscious mind that plays tricks and makes you wonder as to other possibilities.
Stop The “What If?
Most of the time, we fail to commit to one choice because we are curious about the others.
If you consider promoting one employee, you will second guess other likely candidates, and what kind of contributions they would make to the department.
Or, if you have to pick a marketing campaign for a new product, you will mill over a half dozen ideas, and imagine what each one would offer to the company.
However, it’s vital to understand that you can’t live out all the possible scenarios, and can’t have it all, which is why you need to stop asking, “What if?” and commit to one choice.
Accept Possible Failure
Managers have to balance a lot, and their decisions affect their employees and the rest of the company.
This is the reason it is very hard for some leaders to make decisions for fear that a wrong choice can put the company’s welfare in the balance. If you need to decide whether to invest in a risky new idea, you will likely stay up nights making lists of pros and cons, not able to figure out the best solution.
Remember that although you do have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders, you are only human and may make the wrong choice once in a while. Don’t let that fear stop you from making quick choices, as even a well-thought out resolution cannot work out in your favour.
Some individuals can make decisions easily, while others have a much harder time at it. Think of it as a skill you need to practice.
Give yourself a time frame on making a choice, and stick to it.
Additional Decision Making Resources
Click below for some more tips and techniques on decision making.
Making effective decisions is a popular topic in the Management Training programmes that we run. If you’re a leader and want to improve your management skills then please check out our FREE Online Management Course. It covers the essentials of management and leadership and will help you to make better informed decisions.
What is the one thing a manager can do at the workplace to promote the best experience for all of the employees?
The answer may surprise you.
Being a leader is no easy task, and one that is not natural to many of us.
Most managers often wish there was some kind of a blueprint that they can follow that will help them make the right decisions and leading their team.
Most of us wouldn’t know what to concentrate on first if we didn’t have our to-do lists in front of us.
A common evening activity for many busy professionals is to compile or revise a list of all the pressing tasks for the next day. Learn More
There a multitude of articles online detailing how managers can help their staff manage their stress levels.
Certainly, tight schedules, big workloads and an off balance in work-life ratio can be to blame; however, oftentimes, leaders are the very ones responsible for causing their subordinates to worry. Learn More
Too often I see people earn the title of manager and then lose themselves in their new identity. Some will thrive and grow in their new positions while others will become stagnant after a period of time.
Most, when asked, will say they are “a manager” and my next question is always this:
What type of manager are you?
Truth be told, there are plenty of differences. We have general managers, senior managers, managers, supervisors, and – well – you get it… you could place a wide variety of different terms on the different levels or types of management. I know of one company that assigned the title of “Assistant Vice President” to every mid-level manager in the organization. Sounds nice, right? The problem is that many people don’t understand exactly what their titles mean.
Let’s take a look at a couple of those titles and their definitions:
Where do you fall on the management mall map? Are you where you want to be, or are you aching to move up the corporate ladder?
The state of the economy, worldwide, has left hundreds upon thousands seeking employment. Those who have not lost their jobs often find themselves wondering whether they would be better off if they had been let go instead of taking the brunt of the aggravation and, now, short-staffing in their current offices.
The truth? Managers don’t only look at salaries when they determine who they’re doing to layoff when times are tough. They look at the big picture and try to determine how they can save money without losing quality workers. If it comes to choosing between a higher paid employee with a great attitude versus a lower paid employee with a terrible attitude, the lower paid employee may just find himself on the chopping block.
So what can you do now that you’ve found yourself in the position of survival? Here are a few things you can do, both as an employee and from a managerial standpoint, to make your life a bit easier.
Layoffs are sad but not abnormal. Do your best to regroup and move on. You still have a job, and you’ll want to keep it as long as possible.
There’s a rumor circulating about the world of business – it states that honesty pays. Every once in a while, though, I have to wonder if honesty is really the foundation upon which successful businesses are based on.
About 20 years ago there was an article in the Harvard Business Review. The article questioned whether or not honesty and integrity were prominent factors when determining if a business will become successful or not. Realistically speaking, building a business upon a dishonest foundation is completely possible. It can be profitable. And the odds of getting caught are – well – slim to none, in most cases.
To start the week off I’d like you to think about your position within your business. Have you, as a manager, ever made an unethical decision? Have you ever told a little white lie just to convince an employee to meet a goal or to make a sale? Do you think that you, as a manager are the only person bending the truth to get things done? How deep into your organisation would you have to dig to uncover something bitter – and perhaps a lot more questionable in terms of ethics?
Over the next couple of days we’ll take a look at a few situations that push the line when it comes to ethics. I hope we’ll prove that you can build a business with 100% honesty and integrity – even if it does take a little more work upfront!
Every morning I get up and take a look at my to-do list for the day. At the end of the day I look at my list again and I’m either pleased with what I’ve accomplished or disgusted by how much there is left on the list.
Then I realized there was a problem.
You see, the reality of the situation is that I can put as much on my to-do list as I want each day. The problem is that most of us make to-do lists without regard to the amount of time each task might take. In the end, there will always be only 24 hours in a given day – no more, no less.
So, yes – you can set goals. And yes, you can identify your personal “time wasters.” You can even sit down and write out a “time management plan” to help you get your work done at a realistic pace. You might even waste your money on a software program that helps you manage your tasks.
In the end, though, the reality is this – you need to put on your management pants and learn to do two things – prioritise and delegate.
Because, truthfully, those two areas are the real issue. It’s not time management. It’s the thought process that makes us believe we can (or even should) do all of these tasks on our own. You have a team for a reason. Prioritize your tasks, delegate them to the appropriate people, and cross them off of your to-do list.
You’ll suddenly find yourself less stressed and, eventually, you’ll be managing an incredibly effective and productive team.
Appreciative Inquiry is a newer term not many of you may be familiar with. It is, in short, the act of learning about and appreciating the values that those around us have to offer.
You’ve heard the phrase “find the best in others.” That’s exactly what appreciateive inquiry is about. In business, and as a manager, it’s your responsibility to work with people until you uncover their positive traits – the traits you and your team can use and appreciate.
According to Carol Wilson, there are four main stages when it comes to appreciative inquiry. They are:
You start by discovering what you have – learning about what is working for your team right now and what could potentially change based on the traits and skills you have uncovered. You then take the time to think about (or dream up) the best possible outcome possible. After you have an idea, you have to design a plan that will bring those dreams to fruition. You then determine the destiny by figuring out exactly how your design can most naturally exist, combining both new and existing resources without upsetting the old systems.
You must evolve and emerge.
Appreciative inquiry isn’t about forcing change. It’s about learning about the traits, skills, and characteristics of your team members you didn’t realize existed and allowing them to evolve naturally into your processes – with a little encouragement, of course!