Decision-making for Dummies


In hindsight, that title isn't strictly accurate. If you've recently made the transition from worker to manager you're clearly no dummy. You'll quickly find, however, that as a new manager you're required to make decisions of varying degrees of importance every day.

Circumstances can change rapidly in any work environment; imagine, for example, that your network servers had suddenly crashed without warning or that your business telecommunications had been lost due to a severed cable during road works. In such instances it is vital that a manager avoids ill-considered 'knee-jerk' reactions to a problem but can swiftly make the right decisions that will effectively address the situation. Maguire Training's Decision Making Strategies is not only an excellent course from which new managers and leaders can learn the skills and strategies necessary for rapid and effective decision-making but can also provide a timely refresher for established managers.

In the meantime, it's possible to improve decision-making skills by firstly taking account of all of the decisions that you are routinely called upon to make during the average working day and then applying the following rules to each.


  • Confirm that the decision is your responsibility

    As a new manager you may find yourself dealing with an unfamiliar situation which requires effective decision-making to resolve. If you're struggling with a decision because it feels uncomfortable or seems beyond your remit, take steps to ensure that it is your decision to make and, if not, to identify and liaise with the appropriate decision maker.
  • Obtain all of the relevant background information

    It's impossible to make the most appropriate decision unless you are in possession of all of the relevant facts and details regarding the situation in hand. It is vital to keep an open mind whilst gathering information; what you may believe is the best decision based upon your own previous experiences may prove incorrect once you have the bigger picture.
  • Consider the timing and impact of a decision

    Even when in possession of all of the facts and in a position to make a decision, it may be prudent to defer any action if the outcome will be more favourable; if, for example, alternative and preferable solutions may become available at a later time. However, if it becomes clear that a decision is required immediately procrastination ? no matter how difficult the decision may be - must be avoided.
  • Listen to, but don't be dictated by, your gut instinct

    Your gut instinct 'an intuitive response to a situation based upon your own perceptions and experiences of similar situations' can be a useful guide in effective decision-making but should not be solely relied upon. At the very least it's worth consulting with an associate or your immediate superior to confirm whether or not your gut instinct is pointing you toward the correct decision.
  • Consider every possible alternative

    Ultimately, decision-making is all about choices. There may be several different options available to you in any given situation; it is vital to evaluate each in order to arrive at the most appropriate decision. Weigh up the practicality of each course of action open to you, its likely impact in both the short- and long-term and its advantages and disadvantages.
  • Have the courage of your convictions

    Armed with the full facts and having considered every alternative and its likely outcome, take the responsibility for your decision, make it and stand by it. Fate and circumstance dictate that nobody makes a perfect decision 100% of the time, but by following a logical and thorough decision-making process your chances of success are vastly improved.

Managers lead very busy lives and classroom based business skills training is not always a viable option if this means time away from the workplace. However, the ability to make sound decisions is a crucial managerial skill which can be acquired and developed through effective training. Via Maguire Training's outstanding E-learning platform, delegates can learn valuable decision making strategies during any spare time in the workplace or otherwise at a time, location and pace that is most convenient for them.

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