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Decision-making is a cognitive or mental process that results in selecting an action course among several alternative situations and scenarios. Each decision-making process produces a final action or an opinion, which can be an exceptional output. The process of decision-making is as ancient as humanity (Gruinig, Grunig, & Kuhn, 2009). At first, it involved interpreting dreams and studying trail marks. It later transformed to voting, where the majority of senate members, citizens, and comrades would vote to make decisions. Since then, it has developed and resulted in a complex result involving an initial analysis of possible alternatives. Decision-making is a process everybody has to undertake at any one time (Gurvis, 2007).
Decision-making is a leadership-defining characteristic viewed in different perspectives. In the cognitive perspective, the process is continuous (McLucas, 2010). There is an interaction with the surrounding environment. In the psychological perspective, the process is in the context of an individual preference, needs, and values. In the normative perspective, an individual’s decision is based on the logic of the process and the invariant option it leads one (Kaner et al., 2011). One has to know the difference between an opinion and a decision. Therefore, it is important to make a decision that one should and leave the rest. Another essential point to note is that leaders have to make decisions from several options and alternatives, which do not have to be ideal in solving the existing problem or circumstance (McLucas, 2010).
Evaluate the situation before developing an action course. For example, a decision to call a fire brigade to help stop the fire from spreading within a slum is more significant than that of buying a car. The latter can always wait. Think about the outcome and consequences of decisions made (Kaner et al., 2011). Another key tip is to avoid making hurried decisions. This can result in a downfall and choosing things that are not a priority. As much as leaders should act quickly on easily changeable, less crucial, and adaptable decisions, they need to do it carefully because action-cause might have far-reaching implications and ramifications that might be hard to change. Timing is often fundamental. Therefore, avoid procrastination. It is better to make a wrong decision early and correct it than to make a correct decision rather too late (Mullen & Roth, 2009).
Timely decisions are good. They come in handy when required. Writing down all options and checking their workability is vital because it forms a guide to decision-making (Mullen & Roth, 2009). They assist in evaluating facts and fiction. In addition, avoid bias and choosing options given by friends. Evaluating all the options can help one focus on the scope. Making an independent decision as one moves along is more practical and efficient than postponing the whole thing. The core of decision-making is objectivity. Moreover, involving other individuals feasibly helps in seeing issues clearly. It also motivates them and brings up an atmosphere of commitment and cooperation (Rai & Bhushan, 2004).
In conclusion, effective and true leaders in any organization must have an opportunity to be right, and in some cases wrong, since no human is perfect. The leaders must also trust themselves and feel confident in handling whatever circumstance comes their way. Before becoming a leader, there is a need to train and understand the process of decision-making (Mullen & Roth, 2009). Leaders need to evaluate which issues are worth spending energy and time on to avoid wasting time on unnecessary content. The process of making decisions is an in-depth plan of action, which requires a lot of brainstorming, fresh ideas, and thoughts. A thorough follow-up of the decision made enhances the effectiveness of the outcome. There are people within organizations who never want change. They will constantly try through thick and thin to disagree and keep things as they were before. For an organization not to stagnate, one needs to make imperative decisions at the right time, for the right people, and at an ethically acceptable condition (Gruinig, Grunig, & Kuhn, 2009).
Gruinig, R., Grunig jr, R., & Kuhn, R. (2009). Successful decision-making: A systematic approach to complex problems. Seatle, WA: Springer.
Gurvis, S. (2007). Management basics: A practical guide for managers. New York, NY: Adam Media.
Kaner, S., Lind, L., Toldi, C., Fisk, S., Berger, D., & Doyle, M. (2011). Facilitator’s guide to participatory decision making. Chicago, IL: John Wiley and Sons.
McLucas, A. C. (2010). Decision making: Risk management, system thinking and situation awareness. Washington, WA: Argos Press.
Mullen, J. D., & Roth, B. M. (2009). Decision making: Its logic and practice. Minnesota, MN: Rowman & Littlefield.
Rai, K., & Bhushan, N. (2004). Strategic decision making: Applying the analytic hierarchy process: Decision engineering. Seatle, WA: Springer.
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