How to Improve your Decision-Making Skills

Posted on: October 23, 2014

Decision-making skills are a high-commodity in the business world. However, it’s a skill that’s hard to teach, experience often being the best counselor. So, to help out of your with your next decision dilemma, we’ve rounded up tried and true advice from the pros on how to make quality decisions in an efficient manner.

1. Wait it outReal Simple

Attorney and author Frank Partnoy says, “Waiting gives you the opportunity to learn more about the situation at hand and to process it in a more nuanced way.” If you have the flexibility, give yourself as much time as possible before making a big decision. Then, come back to it after gathering more information and greater perspective on the situation.

2. Consult your co-workersForbes

If your decision were on the front page of the paper, what would people think? Have you consulted others about the situation? Don’t only speak with friends who will tell you what you want to hear. Discuss the decision with someone who thinks differently than you; they will help you see biases you may be holding, and provide you with a different perspective than your own.

3. Close your eyes – Real Simple

Eugene Caruso, an associate professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, found in a study that shutting your eyes actually helps decision-making. Closing your eyes blocks out the constant flow of stimuli you are bombarded with, and focuses your minds on the task at hand.

4. Be aware of your emotionsHuffington Post

Emotional intelligence means being mindful of your emotions and the way they might be influencing your decisions. This doesn’t just refer to negative emotions; excitement from positive emotions can also cause you to make untimely decisions as well. Stéphane Côté, a professor in the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, told Huffington Post: “People who are emotionally intelligent don’t remove all emotions from their decision-making; they remove emotions that have nothing to do with the decision.”

5. Simplify the Situation – Real Simple

Rom Schrift, Ph.D. says we often overthink our decisions, making them harder than they need to be. Don’t enter the decision with the assumption that it will be a strenuous haul. Give yourself time and space to think, but don’t agonize over it. Remember, sometimes your gut is right.

6. Seek advice

What decisions are you wrestling with today? Perhaps you’re deciding whom you should hire for an upcoming project. Maybe you’re looking at several great job opportunities, but aren’t sure which to take. Whatever choices are on your plate, seeking advice from experienced advisors should always be a part of your plan. Contact the Lee Group. We can help you sort through your options and make the best decision for your company or your skill-set, and your current needs.