Career Development

Decision-Making Skills: Definition and Examples

June 9, 2021

This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach


Decision-making skills can be the difference in making a choice that improves your organization. The aptitude to make decisions is a leadership trait, which portrays your ability to think objectively and relates concepts to the goals you're trying to reach. Your capacity to make a quick decision can help establish a strong bond with all employees that strengthens your company's culture.

In this article, we will talk about what decision-making skills are, examples of decision-making skills, how to improve decision-making skills and how to highlight them when applying for a job.

Read more: Setting Goals to Improve Your Career

What are decision-making skills?

Decision-making skills show your proficiency in choosing between two or more alternatives. You can make decisions once you process all the information available to you and speak with the right points of contact involved in a certain situation. Overall, it's important to identify processes that help you make the right decision on behalf of the organization and make a concerted effort to uncover biases that may affect the outcome of it.

Read more: What is Strategic Planning? Definition, Techniques and Examples

Examples of decision-making skills

You must incorporate a wide variety of skills to make the right decisions. Check out these decision-making skills below that you can add to your resume to stand out to your future employer:

  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership
  • Reasoning
  • Intuition
  • Teamwork
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Organization

Problem-solving

Leaders can employ their problem-solving skills to make critical decisions for their company. You need to factor in different viewpoints to consider the numerous variables required to make a thoughtful decision. It's a necessity that you separate the emotions from the conversations you have with people that'll influence your decision-making. The essence of having adept problem-solving skills is that you can formulate decisions quickly and effectively, so you need to do your research and pay close attention to detail to match the facts with the situation you're addressing.

Read more: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

Leadership

Leadership is defined as the act of organizing several employees within your organization, and good leadership can establish a consensus about a particular decision. In this case, leadership involves working with people to evaluate the present and motivate them to achieve their goals once a decision is made.

Make sure that you take the time to build a strong relationship with your coworkers, so you can get to know them and have them be comfortable to speak freely around you. The more engaged and personable you are, the higher the likelihood there is to work cohesively with your team and making productive choices that have a long-term impact.

Read more: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Reasoning

Reasoning is one of the main skills needed to be informed about the decision you can make. Make sure that you review all the advantages and disadvantages of the decisions that you're considering taking action on. This is the best way to reason with the present and plan for the future while staying objective and grounded during this process.

Consider all available and relevant points of data to help you guide your decision-making and take a stance about who you're making it with. You want to keep your reasoning aligned with the people you trust and aim to stay committed to the goals you're trying to achieve.

Related: Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning

Intuition

Intuition is about deciding and trusting your instincts. Your instincts come from the experiences you've witnessed in the past and the core values that drive you each day. The sum of the experiences and the lessons you've learned from them factor into your decision-making. You need to associate your instincts with the potential actions you can take to see if your decision is logical and actionable.

Teamwork

You must collaborate with your coworkers at some point to make a sound decision. For example, you may have to work with your marketing manager on the best way to work with the client and improve the results of their marketing campaign last quarter.

Here, you use reasoning to break down options to help the client improve their campaign, so a status report can give you applicable data. After, you can weigh the possible key performance indicators (KPIs) that can measure its success going forward. Overall, your ability to work with a team determines the results you earn and the number of people affected by the decision your team made.

Read more: Teamwork Skills: Defintions and Examples

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence makes you critically aware of your emotions, and you can express them in a way that encourages action. Your emotions should lay the groundwork for your inspiration regarding a specific cause or mission that motivates you. However, the way you analyze data on the subject matter is going to dictate how well-informed you are when making your final decision.

Read more: Emotional Intelligence: Definitions and Examples

Creativity

Your creativity harnesses your logical and emotional thinking to generate a unique solution. You need to have trusted employees within your organization to exchange ideas to come up with short and long-term solutions. You can also use your creativity to frame the conversations you have with employees during meetings and the amount of time allocated to ensure that everyone's voice can be heard. Consider having weekly brainstorming sessions to maximize employees' creativity to gain noteworthy input.

Read more: Creativity Skills: Definitions and Examples

Time management

Since decisions need to be made quickly, you have to outline the amount of time you have to make your decision. You always have to work within the confines of your situation, but time management allows you to structure how you can make a decision. If you make have to decide by the end of the week, you can spend the time on each stage of the decision-making process including possible actions and purposed solutions you can take.

Read more: Time Management Skills: Definitions and Examples

Organization

Organization is vital in your making a final decision. You should use this skill to find out what results you're looking for and if it's a top priority. If you're giving surveys about your product, your priority is to gain feedback from your target audience and see if you're using the correct user personal for your marketing campaign.

Read more: What Are Organizational Skills?

How to improve decision-making skills

Check out this guide to aid you in improving your decision-making skills:

  1. Identify the situation.
  2. Note potential solutions or actions.
  3. List the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
  4. Choose the decision you want to proceed with and measure the results.

1. Identify the situation

Problems can be recognized by any member of the organization. They should be reported to a department manager or human resources depending on the seriousness of it. The executive team may also be informed if it's tied to the long-term goals they set out. Schedule a meeting with all parties involved first before proceeding with informing the rest of the organization.

2. Note potential solutions or actions

Document all possible solutions for the problem in front of you and keep a record of them. List them in front of your team during a meeting, so they can actively participate in this process. They should also be sent an email to keep a record of it for themselves. Once you have the solutions listed, list potential action items to all team members to execute the decision agreed upon.

3. List the advantages and disadvantages of each option

Discuss the pros and cons extensively to see which options can proceed to the decision-making stage. Take your time and calculate the pros and cons wisely to see if it matches your goals and KPIs that measure its success.

4. Choose the decision you want to proceed with and measure the results

Think of the decision you make as one with a short and long-term impact. The good news is that you'll always learn from the decisions you make, so track the performance of this decision to align the outcome with the pros and cons you listed.

Read more: 10 Best Skills to Include on a Resume

How to highlight decision-making skills

Take a look at three ways you can showcase your decision-making skills on your resume:

Use applicable verbs shown in the job description

Word association is key to properly display your skills to the hiring manager. Verbs like selected, decided and strategized and executed all exemplify a decision-maker. The caveat is that you need to expand on substance within the description to earn an interview.

Underscore the metrics you earned in different roles

List the top-performing metrics at each position you held to get the interest of the recruiter. For instance, your last position in a leadership role made you responsible for managing a 10-person team and guided them through a six-step content creation process that boosted engagement by 20%.

Check out examples from job posting websites

Since you're tailoring your resume to the company in your targeted industry, browse multiple job postings sites to compare the experiences of other applicants and see if you can showcase your decision-making skills in the same way.

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