Choosing among options can be really challenging for some people, especially when the choices are tough and competitive. You may have noticed that some people are weak at decision making, and when an opportunity comes along, they cannot make up their minds easily. Indecisiveness makes one unreliable to other people.
For example, if you belong to a team and the team leader will delegate someone to make the decisions or help out with the decisions for the group, your chance of being given the role will be high if you can be trusted enough when it comes to decisions. Of course, the leader will only have to appoint someone who has the expertise and skills in carrying out the task.
Decision making skill requires a set of abilities for an individual to become good at it and to arrive at decisions efficiently. It is not a simple game of luck; it is a matter of wits and smart choices. How can you be a good decision maker? You need the three most important skills in decision making: critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and creativity.
Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking is defined as the mental process of making a wise judgment focusing on personal conviction and actions. It leads the person to believe to do what should be done. Critical thinking involves the following components:
• Inductive/Deductive Reasoning
• Challenging Assumptions
When you have good critical thinking skills, you also have good decision making skills. If given a situation wherein you need to make up your mind and choose a practical alternative, your critical thinking skills will work in the process. You are bound to think logically and reasonably. Given the components above, your approach in taking a decision is pretty smooth and systematic. If you are good at making a reflective judgment of a situation at hand, then it makes no difference with being able to make effective decisions.
Problem Solving Skills
In situations wherein the need for a decision is for a solution to a problem, it is necessary to have good problem solving skills. When a problem arises, a decision has to be reached in order to address the issue. So, the steps and processes involved in both problem solving and decision making are incorporated. There are four basic phases in most problem solving and decision making models:
a. Input Phase
Here is where a problem is identified and understood or examined.
b. Processing Phase
This stage determines the alternatives and evaluates each of them until the best option is selected.
c. Output Phase
The chosen alternative or decision is implemented and actions are taken to address the problem.
d. Review Phase
The last phase evaluates the decision outcomes and makes necessary changes.
Here are a few problem solving techniques concerning creative and lateral thinking:
• Random word technique
• Taking another’s point of view
• Values clarification
Creativity is a process of generating new ideas, views, and systems to solve problems and arrive at decisions efficiently. By being creative, you develop ideas that can contribute to the solutions needed to fix issues and to choose the best alternative for a good decision. In being a good and smart decision maker, creativity plays an important role because it allows the individual to think out of the box or go beyond usual perceptions. It lets the person think of possibilities beyond the conventional manner of addressing a problem or taking a decision making process. A person who lacks creativity tends to be limited in thinking of the possible options and alternatives for a sound decision.
If you think about these skills, they may seem a little too complicated to apply when making decisions. You are not expected to have all of these skills embedded in your system. Whatever is suitable to the situation can only be used and applied since not all kinds of decisions are about problems. There are decisions wherein you need to seize opportunities and simply make the wise choice to in order to make the most out of that opportunity.