The ability to make decisions using imperfect data to create least-bad solutions is one of the many areas where human brain power is more elastic than computers. This is why the ability to make the right decisions and exercise good judgement is one of our ten essential skills for the next decade.
In this article, we explore how to improve your judgement in business situations where leaders are expected to make decisions, and to view this as a distinct skill set from problem-solving which looks at correcting something that is not behaving as it should, deviating from the norm or that has gone wrong.
Decision making is a case of choosing between different alternatives. Divergent thinking techniques can be helpful in generating creative ideas, while convergent thinking can assist in structuring and evaluating potential solutions.
Leaders need to be able to rationalise where and when to use both individual and group decision-making methods, be able to understand bias and to discern which data is important to avoid information overload. And critically, leaders need to be able to make a decision and not become paralysed by the competing arguments within any given situation.
So how can busy professionals improve their personal judgement to become better decision makers?
The leadership development team at Melius have identified six ways to improve personal judgement:
1. Be aware of personal bias. Recognise where your unconscious preferences and motivations influence how you make decisions.
2. Consider opposite points of view. Good judgement is about making the best decision rather than ensuring your viewpoint wins out.
3. Accept your mistakes. Good leaders are self-aware, able to take responsibility for mistakes and to take negative feedback when required.
4. Learn from experience. Bank what works and avoid repeating what didn’t.
5. Avoid flip-flopping. Use instinct where necessary to make a decision and start to take action.
6. Automate repeat and routine decisions to free your mind for more important decisions.
Melius upskills individuals and teams looking to develop their decision making, problem solving and judgement skills in pursuit of improved business performance. Get in touch with Melius to find out more about how this approach can benefit your business.