The Importance of Confident Decision-Making

By Indeed Editorial Team

February 4, 2021

We all make thousands of decisions every day. Most of the decisions are easy, but others may be more difficult or complex. Our more difficult and complex decisions can influence time, costs, feelings and relationships. The more difficult decisions will likely require you to overcome fear and nervousness to make.

In this article, we will discuss what confident decision-making is, why it is important and how you can cultivate a confident decision-making process.

What is confident decision-making?

Confident decision-making is the ability to make decisions in a way that reduces stress and anxiety while remaining accountable for your actions and staying true to yourself. Confident decision-making begins with the standard decision-making steps. These standard steps are:

  1. Identify the decision.

  2. Gather information.

  3. Identify the alternatives.

  4. Weigh the evidence.

  5. Choose among alternatives.

  6. Take action.

  7. Review your decision.

Decision-making in management roles may still be overwhelming with these steps. It may be helpful to assess positive and negative emotions that you may encounter during the process so you can identify areas that may need improvement.

How to make more confident decisions

Here are some strategies for making confident decisions in the workplace:

  1. Don’t assume.

  2. Suspend judgment.

  3. Create alternatives.

  4. Remain objective.

  5. Release attachment.

  6. Use your intuition.

  7. Take responsibility.

  8. Evaluate decisions.

1. Don’t assume

A good practice is to allow yourself to release control. When you don’t assume that you have all the answers you allow yourself to seek input from other sources sooner. This will help you to become accurately informed about the decision at hand and possible answers that you may apply. 

For instance, if you need to make a decision that has potential legal implications for your company, ask a legal professional more details instead of relying on your limited scope of knowledge on that subject. 

2. Suspend judgment

Remember that your bias may not be the full reality. Confident decision-making requires that you gain a new perspective so you can maintain clarity and see all choices as valid until you eliminate the options later on in your decision-making process. 

You might write out your potential biases so you know of them. This way you are consciously aware of them and can avoid them the best that you can. 

3. Create alternatives

Sometimes the options you are given won’t work for the decision you need to make. Try using your creativity and expertise to create alternatives that will be effective. 

For instance, you may brainstorm possibilities or draw out ideas that may work better and weigh the pros and cons of both options.

4. Remain objective

Before you make a decision, it’s helpful if you know all the facts so you can remain objective. There are usually many interrelated factors involved that are impacted by the weight of your decisions. You will probably want to be prepared for the repercussions of your decisions.

For instance, you can test your ideas with others because they may see potential impacts that you haven’t thought of.

5. Release attachment

Be aware of possibilities but not attached to them. There are too many unknown circumstances in life and management. The journey of confident decision-making should be the focus instead of the outcome. Outcomes are still important, but they should not be obsessed over. 

For example, if you have been brainstorming effective ways to reward your team, gather evidence of what they may like but do not obsess over what will happen or what they will say if they don’t like the rewards. 

6. Use your intuition

Facts and data are important in the decision-making process. However, you were likely placed in your position for the unique way that you process information and decide. Usually, you know the answer because there are signals that your body gives you daily regarding decisions. 

If it is difficult for you to connect with your intuition, you might do something that can reconnect you. For some people that may be running, dancing, walking, swimming, yoga or meditation. 

7. Take responsibility

No matter what decision you make you should own it and be responsible for the final decision. This displays your own confidence in the decisions you make when you don’t blame anyone else for the consequences. Most things can be fixed and reevaluated so being ashamed of the outcome is usually unnecessary. 

Try owning your decisions by making others aware of your choices, as long as it is appropriate for the situation.

8. Evaluate decisions

Look back at previous decisions you’ve made and evaluate them. This is important so you can hone your decision-making techniques and gather information about what has worked and what doesn’t. Make sure your final decision is as good as all the input, research and facts that you have collected. 

Why confident decision-making is important?

Confident decision-making in management is essential to the way you and your employees function in your workplace.  When you make decisive and confident decisions, you will probably be able to eliminate unpleasant feelings in multiple areas of your work-life and personal life. Here are some reasons confident decision-making is important:

  • Employee satisfaction and engagement will increase. The way you make decisions affects your employees and confident decisions that lead to improved outcomes will increase their satisfaction. When you include employees in decision-making, they will be more likely to engage.

  • Delegation will be easier. Delegating usually includes delegating decisions. When you include your team in the steps of the decision-making process, it is easy to check in with them about the decision later. You will release yourself from deciding on your own and build trust between you and your team.

  • Outcomes will improve. When you make informed and courageous decisions instead of fear-based or quick decisions, the outcome will likely match your expectations. 

  • You will accomplish more faster. Knowing what you’d like to achieve and how you’d like to achieve it, you will achieve it faster since the goal is clear. The smaller decisions in between tasks will all be made quicker to match up with the overall goal. 

  • It boosts self-confidence. Each time you practice confident decision-making you will learn and improve on your ability to process relevant information and make the best decision possible. The practice of decision-making will likely allow you to feel confident in your abilities as a leader.

  • You'll have fewer mistakes. There is no absolute winning alternative to every decision you must make. However, when you add clarity, prioritization and purpose to decisions, it is less likely that you will have to re-decide on a failed decision.

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