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Decision Making Skills: List, Tools & Definition

Here you will find a list of key decision-making skills, tools and a definition of them.

What are decision-making skills?
We have to make decisions and choices everywhere and almost all the time in our personal and business life. Some of them are easy to make and requires a short decision-making process while others are the hardest choices in our life.

The skills and abilities to make right and effective decisions are some of the most difficult to learn. It is a lifelong learning process defined by our personal traits, errors, and experience.

First let’s see what decision-making skills definition is.
They are the abilities that we possess and use to select a choice from available options. We always try to make good and effective decisions and we use all our knowledge and skills to pass the decision-making process in the right way.

A List of Key Decision-Making Skills and Tools

  • The ability to gather and select information

How do you select information?

At first sight, the answer sounds easy – just find and select data. But in our ages of endless sources of information, it is a hard task to find the right source.

You have to make informed decisions, based on the right information channels. Finding, sorting, selecting and using the right data are crucial decision-making skills.

Good decision-making tools are: select only proven sources and channels when you are searching information; consult qualified specialists and professionals; stick to information related to the problems. Collecting information will allow you to find possible actions and alternatives.

  • Finding possible options and solutions

Before choosing the right option, you have to find, view and consider different possible solutions and alternatives. One of the most known and helpful tools and techniques to do that is brainstorm process. List down all the ideas and options and prepare to analyze.

  • Analysis skills

When you have a list of possible alternatives, it comes the question what to choose. You have to make a choice based on a good analysis. Analysis skills are vital decision-making skills for effective decisions.

The analysis is about ability to break problems into parts to see relationships, reasons and factors. This is the basis for creating plans and finding right solutions.

Analysis skills are a whole combination of abilities such as problem-solving skills, management skills, interpersonal skills, setting goals and more.

If you want to be a good manager, leader or if you just want to make the right business choices, you have to be familiar with all of these tools and qualities. Learn and use them. Also, there are many good techniques and methods to see the ‘pros and cons’ of each alternative. For example SWOT, PEST, Porter analysis.

  • Selecting the best option

This is the most important ability in the decision-making skills list. To make an effective decision, you have to find the best solution. If you did the analysis in the right way, it is very likely to select the best option.

  • The ability to evaluate your plan

Before you start to put into effect your decision, take a final look at it. This is one of the best tools and techniques that will improve your decision-making skills. The ability to evaluate your plan will allow you to see common errors and missed opportunities.

Download Decision making skills Infographic in PDF for free.

Decision making skills infographic

About the Author Marin Valchev

Marin Valchev, PMP is an IT Project Manager with more than 10 years of experience. He implements cutting-edge technology in a wide-range of Financial and TELCO companies in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Marin shares his knowledge of software, analysis, project management and other business areas.