Important Decision-Making Skills: Definition And Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Decision-making skills are abilities that help you become a leader in the workplace. Knowing how to make effective decisions can help in saving time, allow optimum resource utilisation and ensure the company is on the path to long-term success. Learning how to make good decisions in the workplace establishes bonds with employees and makes significant improvements in the work environment. In this article, we explain what decision-making abilities are, list some examples, provide steps to improve these skills and explore how to highlight them during your job search.

What Are Decision-Making Skills?

Decision-making skills show your ability to select the best possible option from the alternatives available. The ability to maintain good decisions helps contribute to the company's goal. The process involves using the information to assess the risk and opportunity associated with each choice. Good decision-makers are those that overcome biases that might affect their choice. Employers expect managers to make excellent choices based on facts and data rather than intuitions.

Related: What Is Decision-Making? Definition, Types And Tips

Examples Of Decision-Making Skills

Here are a few decision-making abilities that can help in making moral choices:

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills are essential for making decisions in the workplace. Identifying a problem and finding a solution is imperative to deciding between multiple choices. Employers expect managers and leaders to consider the various viewpoints to make thoughtful and tough decisions. Good decision-makers do not get influenced by their emotions or personal loyalty when deciding about the company's betterment. Leaders with problem-solving skills help in making decisions that benefit the company. This helps make unbiased decisions and even minimises the chances of the same problem recurring again.

Emotional intelligence

Individuals with high emotional intelligence are better at controlling and processing emotions in challenging situations. This skill set enables managers to empathise with the feeling of their team members, making it easier to communicate with each of them. It allows them to have a healthy discussion about a challenge and create an environment where each person's thought process receives an acknowledgement.

Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills are essential for decision-making because it allows managers and leaders to gather information and analyse it to extract critical data. These skills ensure that a leader's decisions offer a desirable outcome and minimise the risk of errors that might disrupt the project or company's growth. Critical thinking skills involve a lot of research and reflection on past scenarios to solve similar challenges.

Logical reasoning

Leaders evaluate all the data and facts presented for making critical business decisions. To ensure you make the right decision, it is essential to evaluate and review the advantages and disadvantages of your decision. When choosing between alternatives, consider every data point to guide decision-making. Decisions backed by data and reasoning help you stay committed to achieving organisational goals.

Leadership

Leadership is the ability to guide employees and teams to reach a shared objective. It is the leader's responsibility to motivate employees to work hard and achieve goals after making decisions. Good leadership skills help in establishing a consensus about a particular decision. When leaders take time to build a strong relationship with colleagues, it makes them feel comfortable and they speak freely about their viewpoints on the decisions. Employers expect engaged and personable leaders because it increases the chances of working cohesively with the team and making productive choices that have a long-term impact.

Related: How To Develop Leadership Skills (With Practical Tips)

Teamwork

For making effective decisions, it is essential to collaborate with colleagues and ask for their input. For example, when working with marketing and sales managers, you can use your colleague's viewpoints to create an effective marketing strategy. Collaborating with employees in the decision-making process motivates them to agree to the decisions leaders take for the organisation. This is because employees feel that the manager or leader values their input.

Related: Examples Of Teamwork Skills (And How To Improve Them)

Creativity

Creativity is the ability of a leader to think creatively about a task and find unique solutions to challenging problems. Employers prefer managers and leaders with a creative mindset because it helps them spot the best solution, even when the solutions are not obvious. These professionals require creative skills to make decisions that impact the bottom line. This is because when working with complex problems, standard approaches and thought processes might not be effective in finding a solution.

Time management

Managing time is essential for making effective workplace decisions. This is because some decisions might be time-sensitive. For instance, if you make a decision by the end of the week, your time management skills help you decide how to plan the decision-making process to ensure the best possible outcome.

How To Improve Your Abilities To Make Decisions

Use these steps to improve your abilities to make a decision:

1. Identify the situation

The first step in improving your decision-making process is identifying the problem and analysing the situation. Identifying the situation helps you clarify why a particular decision is required. Before making a decision, consider its short-term and long-term effects. For instance, while project management software might be a viable long-term option, it might not be suitable for achieving your short-term goals.

2. Collect information

When making a decision, focus on gathering all the relevant information. This can include information from personal observation, research or studies. Good decision-makers base their decision on data and facts rather than intuitions. It helps in avoiding biases in the decision-making process.

3. Explore every viable solution

Before reaching a conclusion, document every possible solution for the problem and maintain a record. Listing all the solutions helps ensure you make the right decision for a problem. During a meeting, list all the solutions in front of your team members so that they actively take part in the decision-making process.

4. Perform a SWOT analysis

To identify the best solution, conduct a strength, weakness, opportunity and threat (SWOT) analysis. This analysis explains the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with each solution. The result can help you make the right decision.

Related: SWOT Analysis Guide (With Examples)

Decision-Making Abilities In The Workplace

You can use your decision-making abilities in the workplace in the following ways:

  • Manage your emotions. While emotions play an essential role in deciding something, ensure you use your emotional intelligence to make better decisions. Being overly emotional with a decision can cause biases and hinder your reasoning ability.

  • Be assertive. Take command of your decisions without being aggressive. Being assertive increases your confidence and empowers you to make difficult decisions.

  • Use experiments. Experimenting with your decisions can help you evaluate the consequences of your decisions. For instance, if you plan to include a project management software, use a free trial and ask a few employers to use it and see if they find it helpful.

How To Highlight Your Decision-Making Abilities

Use these steps to highlight your decision-making abilities during the hiring process:

1. Highlight these skills on your resume

Using the right words in your resume is a great way to display your skills to employers. Using words such as decided, strategised, executed and selected can show employers your ability to make decisions in the workplace. When writing your resume, review the job description and include keywords. This makes your resume applicant tracking system (ATS) compliant and increases your chances of earning an interview.

2. Include them in your cover letter

Use your cover letter as an opportunity to display your decision-making abilities. Start by using a real-life example and include details of how your decision made a difference to the project. To increase your chances of getting hired for a desirable role, quantify the impact of your decision. This shows the employer that you can make impactful and right decisions. Focus on organically spreading the decision-making related keywords throughout the cover letter.

3. Talk about them during an interview

Your job interview allows you to talk about the business decision and its impact. Employers expect a professional to exemplify their decision-making abilities during the interview for managerial roles. Prepare for commonly asked interview questions that test your skill set. This helps you give meaningful responses that improve your chances of getting hired.

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