return to homepage

Decision Making Skills

Decision making skills are an important aspect of the manager's job. Making decisions is a difficult process that consists of identifying and selecting alternatives, criteria and possible outcomes, to improve a situation.

All decisions have an uncertain nature and carry with them the potential for dissatisfaction, conflict and creation of new problems. 

For many simple and straightforward situations, intuitive decisions are effective enough to produce the needed results.

However, most decisions are complex  and involve many objectives, several stakeholders and  a well structured process. Click here to get your decision making steps guide.

Collecting information and getting all the facts about the situation that demands an improvement (a decision) is not always adequate. Often, there's a tendency to focus on "what is the best alternative", rather setting back to determine the right process of selecting the alternative.

The "how" question marks a new perspective on making creative, effective decisions. Start  your thinking process with "how should I go about making that decision?" instead of "what decision should I make? "

The Goal
of this section is to enhance your decision making skills with decision making tips and techniques that facilitate a different approach from the traditional models.

Participatory Decision Making (PDM)

PDM is the process that involves all the stakeholders in identifying and analyzing alternatives. It is also the only process the reduces the potential for dissatisfaction and other post-decision consequences. 

Benefits of PDM

- it focuses on the process, eliminating emotional discussions about the alternative.
- it gives a multi-perspective approach; it seeks diversity, rather than simplify complexity
- it stimulates a learning process, group analysis and interaction
- it empowers stakeholders through allowing equal participation  and ownership of the process.

Participatory processes are very powerful and are based on cumulative learning by all the participants. The approach and  attitude towards these processes is vital for getting the best results.

More tips on participatory decision making skills!

Here are some considerations for managers before starting the process:
  • become a facilitator
  • believe in the participatory process
  • be honest about seeking independent opinions and solutions
  • prepare an environment that feels safe and comfortable to share opinions (e.g round table seating
  • give yourself and your team all the time needed for the process
  • follow-up and validate opinions shared during the session

Participatory Decision Making Techniques

There are numerous techniques used in participatory processes. Here are a few that will enrich your participatory decision making skills!

More techniques coming up!


Nominal Group Technique 

Fishbone Diagram

Group Decision Making

Problem Solving Techniques

Decision Making Skills Related Articles:

Decision Making Steps

Decision Making Tips

Split Second Decision Making

Rational Decision Making Process

Outstanding Leaders consider themselves a work in progress
 Dr Franklin C. Ashby 

lead and learn

Free Monthly  Newsletter

Subscribe to our free  e-newsletter and get new monthly articles and other management tools.

Management Skills Resource




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Management Skills Resource.

Quote of the Month

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open. Thomas Dewar

Management Terms

Decentralization -
pushing power and decision making downward.

MBO - Management by Objectives.


[?] Subscribe To
This Site

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Add to Newsgator
Subscribe with Bloglines

Enjoy This Site?
Then why not use the button below, to add us to your favorite bookmarking service?

Template Design
Copyright© 2008-2012 Management Skills Advisor. All rights reserved.