5 Decision-Making Skills for Successful Leaders

Leadership requires exceptional decision-making skills.

Exceptional decision-makers at every level of an organization must create clarity out of ambiguity.

Exceptional decision-makers get the problem right before they determine what needs to be done. That seems obvious, but too often “Ready-Fire-Aim” hits the wrong target. Exceptional decision-makers know that most problems are more complex than they appear to be.

Exceptional decision-makers evaluate risks and opportunities, and they commit to achieving their goals. Urgency, pressure, complexity, resource limitations, and incomplete or conflicting information are everyday leadership challenges. Yet, exceptional decision-makers will make the most of the opportunities those circumstances offer.

Decision-making in complex situations is never easy.

Here are the top five critical leadership decision-making skills, as measured by the INSIGHT Executive:

1.  Identify critical factors which will affect the outcome of a decision.

Being a strongly skilled decision-maker requires having excellent analytical and interpretive skills. These are used to determine the issues that must be addressed and accounted for in the deliberative and implementation phases.

2.  Evaluate options accurately and establish priorities.

Effective leaders can assess the quality of alternatives and explain the reasons behind that evaluation.

3.  Anticipate outcomes and see logical consequences.

Adept strategists draw logical inferences in precisely defined and tightly structured contexts. This allows them to see the applications and the implications of all factors that shape and constrain decision making. Government regulations, policies, basic assumptions, core principles and protocols should be considered.

4.  Navigate risk and uncertainty.

The most accomplished managers judge the most probable and best justified inferences to draw in uncertain contexts. Information given may be uncertain or ambiguous, and the best inference is not a foregone conclusion.  The future is always unknown.

5.  Reason well in contexts requiring quantitative analysis.

Leaders must be able to analyze, interpret and evaluate vital information as presented in charts, graphs, text or tables.  They must understand what the numbers mean and how this impacts their options.

The words Better Results on blue graph showing an upward trend cause by better decision-making

INSIGHT delivers the data needed to assure CEOs that the senior management team has the critical thinking skills to excel.

  • The metrics reported on INSIGHT assessments are rigorously calibrated. They objectively identify how decisions were made and measure the application of reasoning skills.
  • Comprehensive individual reports document the strengths and weaknesses in essential leadership mindset attributes and the cognitive skills required for high stakes decision making.
  • Easy online administration takes the stress out of applicant screening.  Results are in your inbox within minutes.

Critical thinking skills can be improved.  INSIGHT Development Program offers a proven suite of thinking skills and mindset enrichment self-development learning modules focus on improving the quality of employee decision-making.  Designed to be used as an independent study by employees, it can also be incorporated into existing training programs. INSIGHT Development Program is online, confidential, and available at staff member convenience.

INSIGHT Development Program features a unique integration of assessment and development.  An analysis of skills and mindset attributes using our industry leading assessments is included for each participant.

Contact us to preview the INSIGHT Executive.

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