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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Leadership Decision Making


My decision-making score was a 66 and fell in the middle category of being ‘OK’. This is what I expected. I was one point away from being in the excellent category, which I was surprised about. I figured my score would fall in an average category, but I thought it would be on the lower end. This was the explanation of my score, “You have a good understanding of the basics, but now you need to improve your process and be more proactive. Concentrate on finding lots of options and discovering as many risks and consequences as you can. The better your analysis, the better your decision will be in the long term” (Mindtools, 2017).
            At the end of the survey there is a list of steps necessary to take to make a good decision, and the first is “establishing a positive decision-making environment” (Mindtools, 2017). My score in this step was 14 out of 20, which was about what I received in every category. To improve my skills in this step I need to make sure I fully understand the issue(s) I am faced with, that I have a process in place to structure my decisions, that I have considered everyone possibly affected or involved with the issue, I create a clear objective and work effectively with a group if needed to make a decision. Especially when trying to make decisions with a group of people it is important to create an environment in which everyone feels comfortable voicing their honest opinions. I think this is a major aspect that hinders me because I always fear what other people will think about me and judge my decisions.
            Another important component of this step is looking at the positive side of your decision-making process, especially if it is resulting from a problem you have encountered. “Every problem, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity” (Arsham, 2017). When I try to find the positives in a situation, I am more likely to make a better decision than if I am upset and trying to solve a problem as quickly as possible. “In many situations, small bad decisions turn out to have important consequences”, so it is important to keep a positive outlook, so you can confidently make the best decisions in the midst of a problem. Most of the time if I need to make a decision that resulted from a problem, I don’t look at the situation as an opportunity to learn and grow so it is an area I need to work on.
            The next step is “generating potential solutions” (Mindtools, 2017). I scored a nine out of 15 on this category. Sometimes I think making decisions is hard for me because I get overwhelmed with all the options, so it is interesting that this step encourages you to think of as many solutions as possible to come up with the best decision. This step also promotes considering other perspectives and a range of ideas from others to help when making decisions. I always ask my friends and family for their opinions about what I should do, but it makes me feel like I can’t make a decision on my own sometimes.
            The next step is to ensure that you are “evaluating alternatives” (Mindtools, 2017). I scored a 12 out of 15 in this category. This step takes the longest and is sometimes why decisions are not made, because people don’t take the time to consider the risks, consequences and feasibility of their decisions (Mindtools, 2017). I expected to score highly in this category because I take time contemplating what risks and consequences are associated with my decisions, and how practical, doable and realistic my choice is compared to my other options.
            This step corresponds with one of the tips in “11 Genius Tips to Be More Decisive”; “evaluate the best and worst that can happen, and then don’t look back” (Suslow, 2017). This tip urges you to think about your desired outcome and then use your available options to consider the best and worst possible outcomes that could result. Once you have decided which to go with it stresses the importance of sticking with that decision and making sure it is carried out until the end. This step is hard for me because I never know what exactly could result from my decisions so I try to think of every possible scenario that could result, and it prevents me from making a decision in a timely manner.
            The next step is to make the decision. I scored 11 out of 15 here. To me, every decision is important, even if it is a small one because a lot of the decisions we make impact our lives in some way. That makes it stressful for me. “To help you deal with these emotions as objectively as possible, use a structured approached to the decision. This means taking a look at what's most important in a good decision” (Mindtools, 2017). This is where I need to ensure that I have a structured process in place to help my decision-making as smooth as possible. I am normally pretty good at this. I take into consideration what the issue is, the possible choices as well as their risks and consequences, what makes the most sense to me, what I feel is the right decision, and I plan how I am going to implement my choice and that I have a reason why it is the best option.
            After making your decision it is important to check it against your alternatives and make sure that it makes sense and is the best possible option. I got a seven out of ten in this category. Like I mentioned earlier, I always second guess myself as to which option is best, even after I have made my decision, so I need to do a better job of evaluating each of my alternatives and determining which makes the most sense to me and ensure that it is the best choice.
            Communicating and implementing your final decision is the last step. Making sure others are aware of what your decision is and informing them of how and why you made the decision will help you gain their support. It is also vital that you have a plan in place for implementing your decision. I scored a 13 out of 15 in this section, which did not surprise me because once I make a decision, I explain how I came to the decision I did and why it was the best choice. I also always have a plan in mind of how I will go about putting my decision into action.
            After completing this survey, I would say my decision-making abilities are closely aligned with a participative or leader-member exchange theory of leadership styles. I value input from others and always want to get opinions from those who have been in similar situations or who will be affected by the decision that will be made. I think it is important as a leader to get to know everyone you are working with so you can make the best decisions for your team and I have done just that when I held various leadership roles in the past. This has been very helpful for me to see what I need to do to improve my decision-making skills to be a better future leader.
References
Arsham, H. (2017). Leadership Decision Making. Retrieved from:  http://home.ubalt.edu/ntsbarsh/Business-stat/opre/partXIII.htm
Mindtools, LTD. (2017). How good is your decision making? Retrieved from:       https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_79.htm
Suslow, P. (2017). 11 Genius Tips to Be More Decisive. Retrieved from:   http://www.success.com/article/11-genius-tips-to-be-more-decisive
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