Decision-making skills of an individual refer to his ability to choose the best course of action after carefully analyzing and examining the available options and the given circumstances. Whether trivial or significant, decision making is an integral part of our personal as well as professional lives.

By making a choice you are basically defining your position in any given situation. Therefore, decision making skills require being involved in a thought process where the pros and cons of each alterative are weighed and the outcome of each option is forecasted based on the available information.

Why are decision-making skills important

Decision-making skills have always been one of the traits that appeal the most to employers. The reason it has been given so much importance is that the ability of making a decision as well as sticking to it is considered to be the cornerstone of any good leadership.

Some people believe decision making skills to be necessary for only the higher authorities in a company who are required to make important strategic decisions for its well-being.

However, truth be told, some level of individual decision making is the requirement of virtually every job. Decision-making skills enable you to act promptly in any given situation, avoiding the chaos that could interrupt the overall efficiency of the staff and productivity of the organization.

How to improve decision-making skills

Since decision-making odes not usually allow second guessing, take the following tips to improve your decision making skills and avoid making bad choices:

  • Make a list of alternatives and analyze each one. Whenever we have a single idea in our mind, we are inclined towards implementing it without reconsidering it. That is just how our mind works most of the time. However, you must be able to force yourself and come up with an exhaustive list of alternatives. Equally important, then, is the analysis of all these options on the basis of which you should be able to choose not only a ‘good’ option but the one that’s better than the rest.
  • Weigh the cost against benefits. Whenever evaluating an alternative, you must forecast the outcome and then weigh the cost against the forecasted benefits. This approach has great significance and must be used before making the ultimate decision. The list of pros and cons you make during the evaluation will help you determine whether or not the decision will be in accordance with your priorities and whether or not it will be worth the risk.
  • Understand the significance of the matter. The time, energy, and thought you will put in a decision-making process depend upon how significant the matter or your decision is. The best way to go about this is to think about what it is you have at stake and whether or not your decision will have a major impact on your life.
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