Deal or No Deal: The Anatomy of Making Good Decisions
Without effective decision-making skills and strategies, even the most talented and brilliant can experience crushing disappointments. The ability to make sound decisions is critical in today’s world of quick fixes and superficial solutions. Here are some tips for making sound decisions, regardless of the situation.
Deal: Decision-Making Strategies
1. Conduct proper analysis of the problem. Decision makers often rely on opinion rather than facts. There’s also the problem of self-serving bias—mangers listening to people who share a common viewpoint, while disregarding information that conflicts with their position. In addition, a recent nationwide survey by Harris Interactive concluded that 75 percent of workers made business decisions later determined to be wrong due to faulty data; they trusted their data and did not seek additional sources when making a decision.
2. Utilize decision-making tools routinely. For instance, create a pro/con T-chart to identify an outcomes positives and negatives. After a list has been generated, go back and put a value on each of the items. And, since a decision that addresses the wrong cause won’t solve the problem—and may even create new ones—use the Fishbone Diagram also helps to identify the causes and effects of problems. To construct a fishbone visual analysis diagram, draw a long horizontal line representing the problem. Draw diagonal lines from the horizontal line, and label each line with issues that relate to the problem, such as people, machines, materials and methods. From each diagonal line, draw shorter lines running parallel to the problem line, and identify specific issues affecting the larger problem.
3. Utilize a written, clear set of criteria and then weigh solution alternatives. Identify criteria for a good decision, including what a successful decision would look like, as well as what is required of the solution.
4. Develop a list of possible solutions, including zany, off-the-wall ideas, to help encourage and develop creative problem solving. Then, re-evaluate the solutions for the best alternative or process to solve the problem.