Improving Decision Making
Decision-making is simply defined as the choosing best option from available options. As it is to choose the best option, it is not that easy to identify which option is best and which is not. Thus it requires improving the decision-making skills.
Decision-making requires exercising judgment and creativity depending upon the nature of the problem, need of the solver, situation, culture, opportunities, resources availability, etc. It also needs to be base on education, experience, as well as knowledge of the situation. The decision-makers have to follow certain rules to improve their individualistic decision-making ability.
Robbins (2005) has suggested five ways of improving and enhancing decision-making skills that need to be a good decision-maker.
Analyze The Situation
While making the decision the individual should take care of the culture, belief system, values, of the group, organization, and nation at large in which s/he belongs. If the rational decision-making model does not seem fit for that situation it is not necessary to comply with that model. Adjusting the expected value and probabilities respecting the belonging organizational cultures, rules and regulation are necessary.
Be Aware of Bias
Prejudice regarding race, ethnicity, minority group, females is a critical issue in recent times. It should be avoided. Emotional intelligence is important. There are four ways to reduce biases and errors while making decisions.
Focus on Goals
Without goals, you can not be rational, you don’t know what information you need, you don’t know which information is relevant, and what is irrelevant. You will find it difficult to choose between alternatives, and you are far more likely to experience regret over the choices you make. Clear goals make decision-making easier and help you to eliminate options that are inconsistent with your interests.
Look For Information That Disconfirms Your Beliefs
One of the most effective means for counteracting overconfidence and confirmation and hindsight biases is to actively look for information that contradicts your beliefs and assumptions. When we overtly consider various ways we could be wrong, we challenge our tendencies to think we are smarter than we actually are.
Don’t Try To Create Meaning Out of Random Events
The educated mind has been trained to look for cause-and-effect relations. When something happens, we ask why? And when we can not find reasons, we often invent them. You have accepted that there are events in life that are outside your control. Ask yourself if patterns can be meaningfully explained or whether they are merely coincidences. Don’t attempt to create meaning out of coincidence.
Increase Your Options
No matter how many options you have identified, your final choice can be no better than the best of the options set you have selected. This argues for increasing your decision alternatives and for using creativity in developing a wide range of diverse choices. The more alternatives you can generate, the more diverse those alternatives, the greater your chance of finding an outstanding one.
Combine Rational Analysis with Intuition
Improving decision-making needs both rational analysis and intuitive calculation, to make a fair and effective decision. Intuition is the ability to know when a problem or opportunity exists and to select the best course of action without conscious reasoning. However, there is controversy regarding the value of intuition.
Studies show that intuition is the power through which people use their tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge develops through observation and experience. Thus intuition allows us to draw on our vast storehouse of unconscious knowledge. Experienced decision-makers can sense the best solution without consciously thinking about it. However, one should recognize perceptual distortions and false assumptions, and the value of intuition in making effective and sound decisions.
Don’t Assume That Your Specific Decision Style Is Appropriate For Every Job
Recognizing problems and opportunities appropriate for every job is challenging. Decision-making involves perceptual, diagnostic awareness of the problems. The sense of complex information of the job involved will increase decision ability.
Organizations offer a variety of jobs that produce different situations. Some job needs quick action which needs the directive style of action and thinking, for example, stockbrokers need a quick decision. Likewise, accountants, market researchers, or financial analysts need the analytic style for more effective decisions.
Try To Enhance Your Creativity
The last but not least way for improving decision making is through creativity. Creativity refers to the ideas that make a pro-social, novel contribution. It encourages reframing the problem in a unique way and generating different approaches to the problem. Organizations need to provide jobs and a work environment that fosters creativity.
An effective decision maker should try to remove barriers that kill creativity. Creativity flourishes when employees are given a sense of empowerment, autonomy in thinking, freedom, responsibility to decide how to accomplish tasks and solve problems. External pressure, lack of feedback, etc. may break down creativity. The decision-maker should always focus on creativity rather than the possibility of making it a failure.