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How can Managers Improve Their Decision-Making Skills

“To be or not to be, that is the question.” Out of the prolific pen of William Shakespeare, this is how the lofty character Hamlet pronounced himself in one of the most famous dilemmas in Universal Literature. This poetic remark loudly speaks to the fact that the act of deciding is not an easy task. Much less, when you need skills to make decisions in real life, as it is done in the business sector. 

Today, construction companies that pride themselves on offering services backed by their high technological quality, tend to be changing, demanding, and competitive. Having competent managers to take on the demands and challenges that these companies need, is one of the guarantees for their success. 

Managers must improve their skills to make sound decisions. Furthermore, if these decisions result in the guarantee of high-quality and attention to detail during the development of a design project, then the evolution of these skills needs to be constant and progressive.

Decision-Making: The Concept

Decision-making is first and foremost a cognitive process where a specific problem is identified and solved. This process must be agile enough to achieve quick, sensible, and timely decisions. Decisions can be classified into strategic, tactical, and operational. 

Strategic decisions are major choices of actions that influence the company as a whole and involve a final goal. These will be focused on the overall long-term goals a business may have. These decisions need to be made by someone who knows the company well and can apply his or her judgment, evaluation and intuition to lead the processes that will materialize these strategic decisions. 

Moreover, tactical decisions involve the methodology and implementation process of the strategy that will be fulfilled. These decisions will involve important company resources such as the time of employees, which is why these tasks need to be carefully evaluated. Finally, operational decisions will relate to the day-to-day operations of the company. These decisions are the ones that do not require much business judgment. We are all well aware of how spontaneous and versatile a day at work can be, and a good manager will be able to make decisions accordingly.

Decision-Making Skills: Methodology

Developing decision-making skills becomes a process where science intervenes. Methods and skills for decision-making such as analysis, synthesis, assessment, selection, evaluation, and control become vital so that managers can formulate better alternatives. Managers must use a methodology by which, in the first place, they define the problems and challenges within the company that they are trying to resolve. 

Coupled with this, the nature of the problem must be identified through detailed analysis. Effective data collection is always helpful for this analysis, which is something the business intelligence module in PASconcept can provide. On that account, there will be enough information to visualize the situation from other perspectives when breaking down its parts. 

Then we will go on to the generation of alternatives and the possible hypotheses for their resolution. When generating these hypotheses, the certainties, risks and uncertainties that permeate the problem must be taken into account. In the end, of this process, the one that is more adequate will be chosen, which is nothing more than the selection of a course of action. The process is finished with the control and evaluation of the results obtained through the decision. With this, it is possible to glimpse opportunities or threats for the development in the current and future moment of the company.

Conceptual Proficiency

Managers must know how to control all the work and the teams below their command. Detailed knowledge of the company and its vision will be necessary for them to know how to direct with the least amount of mistakes. 

Managers have to know a little bit of everything, but most importantly they must know the reason behind each process. Information Technology, accounting, human resources, communications and marketing, among others, are some examples of the areas a good manager should understand. The comprehension of these subjects allows them to understand the company as a whole, consequently allowing them to manage according to the interests of the firm.

Human Dexterity

One of the most important attributes a manager must have is people skills. A manager not only has to deal with his own employees, but he also has to deal with clients. It is important to identify these skills to be mindful of at the time of interacting in a professional environment.  Portland Business Journal describes people skills as: 

  1. The ability to effectively communicate, understand and empathize.
  2. Ability to interact with others respectfully and develop productive working relationships to minimize conflict and maximize rapport. 
  3. Ability to build sincerity and trust; moderate behaviors and enhance agreeableness. 

It is also essential to know how to manage human talent. Put everyone in the position and task that best suits them according to their abilities. For this, it is necessary to take advantage not only of the technical knowledge of the employees but also their soft skills such as behavior, commitment, sense of identity, social performance, and emotional management. Furthermore, the manager must be able to identify what his weaknesses are so he can constantly work on improving them, as well as his or her skills to constantly integrate them. This will allow him or her to become a role-model to the people who work below them. 

Technical Dexterity

Technical dexterity is the ability to use technical knowledge, methods, and tools necessary to perform specific tasks. It is nothing more than the so-called working mechanics. In this scenario, unexpected situations or crises usually arise. Knowing how to work under pressure in these delicate stages is important for the much-needed self-control that managers need. Additionally, building self-confidence is essential to improving decision-making skills. 

On the other hand, it is necessary to have strategic thinking. See beyond what is happening in the environment and if possible envision long-term strategies that create the need for your company’s services.

Creativity as one of the decision-making skills

Offering new proposals without breaking what already exists is what we call being creative. Creativity is a necessity for managers today because it allows you to get rid of mental schemes. It is conducive to conceiving innovative ideas that are usually interesting when executing the action of deciding. 

Most of the time, creativity allows people to evaluate problems in a deeper sense. It allows you to visualize problems that others may not perceive and in the same way identify all alternatives possible to resolve an issue.

Prepared Managers, Successful Company

Managers have a lot on their plate, but they also have the advantage of experience. It is important to highlight the fact that none of them just instantly developed a certain spectrum of skills. They have earned their titles by showing initiative, hard work, and leadership. Being mindful of your surroundings and accepting each situation as it comes will be the best teachers to improve decision-making skills. After all, experience has taught us that the more we learn the more we are able to resolve problems in an effective manner.

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Paula Omañas is the Marketing Communications Manager for PASconcept. She graduated from FIU with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration double majoring in Marketing and Management.