Friday, June 19, 2009

Decision Making Ability

In our daily life, we take a lot of decisions everyday, some of them are routine while some involve some thinking from our side. And it is these decisions that we take , that has a profound effect on the way we lead our lives in present as well as in future. But we never give much credence to ourselves or to our ability to tackle sound decisions in our life. And we have all been involved from simple to many complex decision making activities at some point in our life.

But, even though we take lots of personel decisions every day , it is only in the context of our workplace that our decision making ability emerges as a good skill. As employees and as management personnel, our decision making ability is constantly under scrutiny at our workplaces and here we ourselves are not only more aware of our decisions but also pay more attention to making them.

As per one of the study, a sound decision making ability is given weightage by prospective employers especially at middle and top management level.But how does this process of decision making takes place ? What is so difficult about it that most managers are downright fearful of the consequences of a wrong decision? Generally, a decision making process involves three steps: A recognition of a need; a decision to change and a will to implement the decision.

Decisions are an inevitable part of human activities. If understood properly, each problem becomes an opportunity. Decision making is a key role for any manager or leader. But many people struggle when it comes to taking decisions. And this is not due to their inability but simply a fear of taking the wrong decision which makes them fearful. The fear of failure, procrastination and lack of clear understanding of the issue are the main reasons why decisions go wrong. And these are things which managers should totally avoid.

Management experts have come out witha structured approach to decision making which involves certain simple steps to take a complex decision. The first is to Define the problem as clearly as possible. It is absolutely vital to have a clear idea of the problem you are trying to reach a decision on. Many experts suggest writing down the problem on a sheet of paper and revising it again and again till it can be written down in one single sentence. Then the decision taker should assess all the possible outcomes. It is importanat to take a look at all possible outcomes of that decision. The third step is to explore various alternatives and finally Choose the best alternative. Of course, any decision taking will be incomplete without proper implementation. So, once you have decided on the option, go ahead and implement it.

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