Imagine being asked to plan the next big marketing campaign as a project leader. Or being asked to decide your team's compensation increase as their manager. As a leader, you'd be asked to make many decisions, and it can be intimidating.

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You can develop your decision-making skills by understanding the key elements of an effective decision-making process and some practical tips.

Why are decision-making skills important?

Wait a minute, why can't we make a decision that just feels right?

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There are different ways in which effective decision-making can help you:

  • Deal with problems better — in the process of decision-making, you can anticipate the potential problems and plan ahead of time. When it actually happens, you're prepared to handle it.

  • Motivate your team — knowing that their leader has great decision-making skills feeds into your colleagues' confidence in their work environment and ultimately themselves. They're more likely to work harder and commit to your decision.

  • Save time — because you're more prepared for any challenges, you can ultimately spend less time on planning in the long run.

  • Improve productivity — with effective decision-making, thorough planning comes alongside it. Better planning means you can maximize the productivity of your team.

Quiz time!

Meet Peter. He was recently promoted to be a manager for his department in the designer company. It's his first time being a manager, and he's very excited to put his decision-making skills into practice!

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The other day, he was asked to make an important decision for his department. His decision will determine the direction of the department for the next quarter.

He decided it was important to show that he was a reliable leader, so he made a decision on his own, without talking to anyone. He followed his gut and went with what he thought was right.

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He was expecting a lot of praise from everyone, but nobody was happy with his decision and got very upset with him. He doesn't get it!


Why was his decision making NOT appreciated by everyone? Select all reasons that apply:

Essential decision-making skills

Develop these 4 key areas to improve your decision-making skills:

Flaticon Icon 1. Problem Solving

Effective decision-making skills require your ability to understand the core of the problem you're trying to solve and factor in different viewpoints.

Flaticon Icon 2. Logical Reasoning

With different viewpoints in mind, you also need to remain objective and rational in the decision-making process. It requires you to weigh the pros and cons logically and come to the most rational conclusion.

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3. Emotional Intelligence

During the decision-making process, it's important that you remain self-aware. You need to prioritize the decision and logical reasoning over emotions.

However, you do need to understand what kind of impact the decision would have on your people and your workplace's culture. People are more likely to understand and collaborate with your decision if it you communicate it well and show humility.

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4. Planning

Just like a chess game, you need to plan a few steps ahead of the moment of decision-making.

What problems could occur? What kind of pushback might you receive? You need to be prepared for any scenario, and it's also important that you openly seek feedback to improve the outcome of your decision.


Which are examples of effective decision-making process? Select all that apply:

Additional decision-making skills tips

Flaticon Icon 1. Don't procrastinate

It's tempting to leave the tough decision-making to the very end, but you'll thank yourself later if you confront these tough decisions first!

Tough decisions often require more thorough thinking, and they can be more time-consuming. By giving yourself more time to think and collaborate with people, you can lower your pressure and make better decisions in the end.

Flaticon Icon 2. Do your research

Effective decisions are often very well-informed decisions. By conducting thorough research, you can have a deeper understanding of different perspectives and make a more objective, impactful decision.

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3. Don't let your emotions take over

Sometimes the most effective decisions aren't the ones that please people. You might expect that people will be upset or that you'll get pushback. It's part of your job as a leader to make tough but effective decisions.

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Take Action

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Now it's time for you to put your decision-making skills into practice!


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