Leadership Development: How to Make Good Decisions

Leadership Development How to Make Good Decisions

Practicing certain decision-making techniques can help you avoid regret. Some important tips include identifying common issues like cognitive biases, limiting the amount of information that you take in, and embracing the concept of good enough.

Another useful technique is rephrasing your decisions, such as saying, “What would I advise my best friend to do?” This can reduce the emotional component of your decision-making.

1. Identify Your Objectives

Making good decisions is a key aspect of leadership development. Whether you’re the one putting together the budget, firing someone or deciding to travel, great decisions often lead to better results (and fewer repercussions).

However, more choice does come at a cost. It puts a burden on our information-processing capabilities and can be paralyzing, as evidenced by studies of shoppers in stores or groups of people analyzing political choices.

It’s important to frame each decision with a clear understanding of the risks and benefits that come with it. For example, if you’re mediating a workplace dispute, consider what impact the outcome could have on your career goals and how each option might get you closer to those goals. Also, think about how your decision might affect other people or the greater community.

2. Focus on Reliable Information

We all make hundreds of decisions each day, but it’s when important decisions come along that you need to focus on making good choices. Whether it’s what to wear for a job interview or how much to invest in your business, good decision-making requires thoughtful consideration of the many moving pieces and potential consequences.

It also means seeking out information from those with expertise who can offer valuable feedback and perspective. Great decisions are shaped by considering many different viewpoints, but it’s crucial to seek out the input of those who can truly add value. And it’s also critical to avoid the common mental errors that sway people from making good decisions, such as survivorship bias, loss aversion, anchoring, and availability heuristic. This can be done by focusing on seeking out the right data and taking a broader view of the problem. A random date generator is a tool or program that generates random dates within a specified range. It is commonly used in various applications, games, simulations, or data analysis tasks where random dates are needed. 

3. Create a List of Alternatives

Create a List of Alternatives

The decisions you make shape who you are and where you are in life. They range from the mundane “what to eat” to the critically important “whom to marry.”

To ensure that you are considering all of your options, seek feedback from people who have the most knowledge, experience and perspective on the decision at hand. This includes those who are close to the decision, but also those at lower levels of your organization.

If possible, try to create alternative plans or prepare for a worst-case scenario. This will help you feel confident that your decisions are informed. It will also help you accept difficult trade-offs if they are necessary. It is also a great way to counter your tendency to over-estimate how much you can accomplish in a given time.

4. Create a Structured Approach

When it comes to decision-making, it’s important to frame the situation and weigh the alternatives. That’s especially true for leaders because their decisions often have more impact than others.

This means determining how your choice might affect people and the company, including your own employees. It also involves balancing short and long term costs and benefits.

This structured approach makes it easier to identify potential influences, recognize possible biases, and create a usable solution. As a result, it can help you make good decisions in a timely manner. It’s a skill that will become more important the higher you climb in your career, so be sure to practice it regularly. It will pay off in the long run. The sooner you start to develop this critical skill, the better off you’ll be.

5. Face Your Mistakes

Whether you’re making a big decision like what to wear to your next job interview or a smaller choice like how to spend your time, good decisions are made in a neutral place of peace. When you make decisions under stress or in chaos, you’re prone to making bad choices.

It’s also important to recognize your biases and the mental shortcuts you use to speed up your decision-making process. The availability heuristic, for example, is the tendency to base your choices on information and examples that are readily available. It can lead you to overestimate, for instance, your chances of dying in a house fire because you’ve seen so many news stories about them.


Ultimately, a good decision-making process requires you to learn from your mistakes. Try to make it a daily habit to reflect on how your choices turn out and what lessons you can take from them.