Taking Decisions - A 5 Point Checklist

R.G. Srinivasan
 


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Your success as a manager primarily rests on one single factor. The key factor in your managerial success is the ability to take decisions, quickly and effectively. The fine art and science of decision making will decide how far and fast you will travel in the managerial ladder. The choices you make will have long term impact in your business and career.

Decision making is not the ability to take the best guesses and works on strong hunches as some management guru’s make it out. Gut feel and instinctive decision making may sometimes be inspiring and work well but it is best for the professional manager to keep away from this kind of decision making.

How does one take decisions? Here is a five point checklist to take better decisions.

1. Information

Best decisions are of course made with the availability of quality information. Check whether you have all possible information and data available in the area where a decision is required. But don’t take too much time to gather the information. Sometimes it may help if you take timely decisions with all available information rather than procrastinating on the basis of unavailability of complete information.

2. Defining the outcomes of the decision

What are the desired results from the decision? It is best to define the outcomes from the decision making process and take decisions which would best give the desired results.

3. Worst and best case scenario

When in doubt better to arrive at the worst case scenario and prepare for the worst case scenario if things go wrong as a result of your decisions.

4. Seek Counsel

Sometimes when you agonize over the outcomes of the decisions and unable to take a proper decision it is best to seek counsel from more experienced persons in your organization or industry. It may even be helpful sometimes take the counsel of people totally unrelated to situation. It may even be a friend or your spouse. One would be surprised at the creative solutions such people offer.

5. Take the decision even if undecided

Decision making methodologies can be evolved based on the 5 simple tenets outlined above. Time is a key element in the decision process. More opportunities are missed for want of a decision rather than wrong decisions. Keep these factors as a checklist and refer to them whenever you want to take any decision.

Remember it is better to be manager who takes some wrong decisions than be a manager who is indecisive and cannot take decisions. As Samuel Johnson said “nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome”.

R. G. Srinivasan is a managerial professional, Writer and Author. He writes a regular blog on management thoughts with interesting articles, resources, personal experiences and links useful for any manager at http://management-thoughts.blogspot.com

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