Effective decision making is the key skill and competency required to succeed in the workplace. It requires a high level of self-awareness as well as a thorough understanding of one's strengths and weaknesses.
This guide will provide you with nine examples of good decision making. You may notice that following the interview example is usually not difficult, but instead requires some simple yet powerful insights into one's own personality type.
- Calculating marginal risk before making a major decision
- Figuring out the best timing for procrastination
- Working backwards from the goal to find a plan of action
- Consider both short-term and long-term perspective when making a decision
- Identifying obstacles in front of you and overcoming them
- Using one's strengths to make decisions
- Working with others (collective decision-making style based on group project vs. individual decision-making style based on individual projects, etc.)
- Asking for feedback, consulting people, and learning from mistakes
- Developing a natural decision-making process
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Calculating marginal risk before making a major decision
Calculating marginal risk before making a major decision is an example of calculating the exact value of the consequences of your decisions by using the concept of "margin of safety":
A margin of safety is the difference between a risky decision and an optimal one.
The margin for a risky decision can be calculated using standard statistical methods such as calculating the standard deviation.
This is done by using a risk-expected value graph, which is a graph of expected values (number of units) for every possible value of S (number of units). The graph can be calculated by dividing the amount of money that you have to spend by the marginal cost of each additional unit.
For example, if you have $1,000 and your marginal cost per unit is $10, you could buy 10 units or 100 units.
If you calculate the standard deviation the first time, you will find that 100 units is likely to be the most economical choice, and so you would make this choice on the basis of your margin of safety calculation.
Figuring out the best timing for procrastination is an example of increasing productivity by making use of "slot time"
A slot refers to a period of your day that has been set aside for a certain type of activity.
For example, if you have decided to spend your time on personal development and have some free time after work, you may consider pushing back your work for the rest of the day. If you decide that you need to work on a certain project, such as writing a letter or updating an online portfolio, then it is best to do that in the slot assigned to that activity.
Having dedicated timeslots reduces the potential scenarios you have to keep up with in an otherwise haphazard schedule.
By working through this process, you can get the most out of your time by focusing on the activity in which you are most productive.
Working backwards from the goal to find a plan of action is an example of using "reverse planning"
The process of reverse planning involves reversing your steps from a desired result and working back from that point.
This can be done using a diagram such as a tree diagram or decision table to find the best possible plan for you to reach your goal. By doing this, you can determine how much progress will be made after each step and whether or not you will achieve your desired results in an efficient way or if there is room for improvement that could lead to better results.
Such diagrams also help in the breaking down complex situations. You redefine things in simple terms so that you can make an informed decision. A difficult issue could potentially be reverse engineered in this way and make problem solving just a tad bit easier.
In the example below, a plan is developed to achieve a goal that was set in the previous section.
The reverse planning process begins by determining what you want to achieve. The most important part of this is determining what you will not do in order to reach your goal. This is the action plan.
Next, determine how long it will take you to get there by using a chart or planning system. If your plan has five steps, then it is best to divide that amount of time into five equal parts and work with these portions of time as equally spaced parts of your day. As you work with these parts, you should be able to visualize the path that you will use in the future.
Once you have decided on your plan, it is best to create a schedule that shows what steps must be completed within each part of your day. This will help provide an efficient and effective plan for achieving your goal.
Consider both short-term and long-term perspective when making a decision is an example of taking "win/win" situations into consideration
The term "win/win" refers to a situation where two parties come away with more than what they expected to gain by making a separate agreement with each other.
In some cases, the short-term perspective involves losing out on a large amount of money in order to make a safer bet. This is because the long-term perspective (and a big picture) involves securing more money in the future when a better investment opportunity presents itself.
Using the perspective of time can elicit fresh risks, opporunities and factors that were unconsidered before. Time creates an urgency to a decision made, so it is important to bring the perspective of time into consideration.
Identifying obstacles in front of you and overcoming them is an example of using "objective thinking"
This example of decision making refers to any situation where there are forces acting against you or preventing you from reaching your goal.
One way to overcome objective thinking is by asking yourself whether or not your current position would be better off if it were not for these obstacles. If you answer yes, then it is best to remove a part of these obstacles to achieve your goal.
Using one's strengths to make decisions is an example of using "strength-based decision-making methods"
In order to use this technique, you must first identify the skills that you have and rank them according to their importance.
Next, find out how much opportunity exists for using these skills when making a decision.
Lastly, decide whether or not these opportunities are worth pursuing given the amount of effort that you must put in to reach your goal.
One way of doing this is by working backward from your goal and estimating what you will be able to do with your current capabilities. If it is an activity that you do not wish to complete, then it is best to find a way to find the time and opportunity in your life so that you can pursue this goal.
Preparing for the worst case scenario for your choices is an example of making use of "negative sacrifices"
This decision making technique refers to having a plan in case things do not turn out according to plan.
For example, having a backup plan or alternative action plan when your original course of action is not working out can help you achieve your goal. This type of decision making takes advantage of the fact that no matter what happens, there will always be some possibility for success.
By preparing ahead of time, you have time to determine the best course of action with your current situation.
Supporting or encouraging yourself when you are not feeling totally confident is an example of using "positive self-talk"
When you do a task or take part in a project that requires a lot of effort and concentration, it can be difficult to reach your full potential level. It is important to remind yourself that you can do this and help you reach your goal by focusing on different aspects about the project that are working well for you.
Making a plan before you begin an activity and acting according to this plan is an example of using "process-based goal setting"
Process-based goal setting involves planning out exactly what steps need to be taken in order to achieve your desired result. This can help you ensure that you are able to reach your goal by identifying the obstacles that stand in your way and work around them.
The steps that you take should be relevant to the process of getting your desired result and not just something generic such as listing all of your online social networking sites.
Once you have a plan, it is important to follow it and make adjustments if necessary, but not so many changes that you confuse yourself or deviate from your original plan. Keep track of your progress towards your goal and work to improve this as time progresses.
If you are unsure about certain parts of the process, then it is best to consult with a friend when making your plan.
The planning process can be used to achieve a variety of different goals in life, whether it is to learn more about the world, develop a greater understanding of science, or improve your performance at work.
There are many different strategies for planning which can be used for any situation. Researchers have found that there are three cognitive processes that can be used to make decisions which include; rational thinking, intuition and preparation. The type of strategy that is best for you depends on the situation and your own personality preferences.