The ability to choose the best option available
What is it?
Decision making is the process of evaluating and critiquing various ideas or concepts based upon logic and reason. It requires the ability to weight the relative merits of one idea over other ideas.
Why is it important?
Organizations are only a few bad decisions away from failure and decline. Every major decision must be analyzed and thought out. Employees who have skills in this area are invaluable to companies. Thinking clearly and making reasonable decisions are the hallmarks of a great leader.
Define the Ideal Solution
Before making an decision, we must specifically define the characteristics of a good solution. For example, a marketing director might determine that the best advertising campaign will be appealing to customers, can be easily adapted into the current marketing strategy, and is cost-effective. Each of those criteria can be defined in detail and then used to evaluate the options. Many people leave this step in the problem-solving process out thinking that the criteria is obvious. It usually isn’t.
The various options that are being considered need to be critically evaluated. Strengths and weaknesses for each option need to be identified and articulated. In other words, put together a list of the pros and cons for each of the possible solutions; that will help you identify the best option.
Get Input from Others
Many of us think that managers have to bear the full responsibility for making decisions. While that may be true, we should at least get input from as many people as possible. Others may have been in a similar situation and can give us great insight. Asking people for their perspective can help us see things that we may have overlooked. The most important decisions about strategy or hires or project plans should get as much input as possible.