sg-crest A Singapore Government Agency Website
Official website links end with
Secure websites use HTTPS
Look for a lock () or https:// as an added precaution. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
workipedia logo white

6 minute read

Useful Tips for Improving Decision-Making at the Workplace

Decision-making is an essential skill in both our personal and professional lives. Making the right choices can be challenging, and sometimes we can become paralysed with indecisiveness, unable to move forward. By improving our decision-making process, we can make better choices and achieve our goals both in our professional careers and in our personal lives.

Every moment of our lives, we face decisions that shape our destiny. In the book Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, Chip and Dan Heath delve into the complex world of decision-making and unravel the common pitfalls that prevent us from making the best choices. They reveal how we often fall victim to narrow thinking, ingrained biases, and overconfidence, all of which cloud our judgment and hinder our decision-making abilities.

Consider alternatives and opportunity costs for better decision-making

When faced with difficult decisions, we often unintentionally limit our choices, hindering our ability to make the most effective decisions. Many times, we approach these decisions as binary, choosing between two options without exploring the myriad of alternative possibilities. By breaking free from this restrictive mindset, we can open ourselves to new solutions and make better choices in life and work.

Another critical aspect of decision-making is understanding the “opportunity cost” of each choice. Essentially, opportunity cost refers to the benefits or opportunities given up by choosing one option over another. By evaluating the trade-offs, we can gain a clearer understanding of the true value of each choice and make more informed decisions.

Have a job but want to level up? Explore career events and resources designed to help you develop your skills and expand your knowledge with Career GRIT. Check it out now!

Multitrack options for enhanced decision-making, but avoid choice overload

Problem-solving is an important part of decision-making, and to achieve the best outcomes, it’s essential to avoid fixating on a single idea.

Instead, adopt a multitrack approach – explore multiple options simultaneously to identify the most effective solution.

Multitracking not only produces higher-quality results but can also speed up the decision-making process. By considering multiple options, individuals become less invested in any idea, allowing for greater flexibility and adaptability. Additionally, having various alternatives at hand provides a safety net, ensuring there’s always a Plan B to fall back on if the initial option proves unsuccessful.

However, considering too many options can lead to decision paralysis. When multitracking, try to strike a balance to avoid choice overload.

Learn from others’ solutions

At times, we may feel as though we are the first to encounter a particular problem, but the reality is that someone else has likely already faced and solved a similar issue. The key is to recognise the underlying similarities between seemingly different problems and learn from the solutions others have devised.

By exploring how other people or businesses have tackled similar challenges, we can gain valuable insights and find the best way forward.

Challenge biases and preferences to make well-informed, balanced decisions

In decision-making, it’s natural for our preferences to influence our choices. Unfortunately, this can lead to biased decisions that may not be in our best interest.

Make it easy for someone to disagree with you or challenge your thought process. Next, consider the circumstances under which your least favourite option, or alternative options, would be the best choice. This approach encourages you to think objectively about the options at hand and allows for open discussion without generating hostility.

Finally, if you find it difficult to challenge your preferences, invite someone else to play the role of the devil’s advocate, presenting a compelling case against what you initially believe to be the best option.

Find out more about WSG’s Career Matching Services and how our professional career coaches can help you in your career journey.

Test ideas on a small scale before committing to them fully

In many situations, it’s prudent to test the waters before diving headfirst. This approach, known as “ooching,” involves testing ideas on a small scale to determine their effectiveness. Basing decisions on mere beliefs about what will or won’t work is less effective than trying things out in a controlled, low-risk manner. For instance, pursuing an internship is an excellent way to discover whether a particular profession is the right fit quickly.

Shift focus to the future and adopt an observer’s perspective for better decision-making

To make sound decisions, it’s crucial to shift our focus from the present moment to the future, as our choices are often influenced by what we find important at the time.

The first technique involves creating emotional distance by envisioning the outcomes from a future perspective. Emotions felt in the moment tend to be strong and clearly defined, while future emotions are less concrete. One effective method for balancing the influence of present and future emotions is the 10/10/10 rule: ask yourself how you would feel about your decision 10 minutes, ten months, and ten years from now.

The second technique involves adopting an observer’s perspective. Ultimately, one of the most helpful questions to ask when faced with a tough choice is: What would I advise my best friend or colleague to do?

Identify and commit to your core priorities to make well-informed decisions amid conflicting values

When making decisions, we may struggle due to conflicting values rather than short-term emotions. Therefore, it’s essential to identify our core priorities to navigate these complex choices effectively. To resolve this dilemma, determine your core priorities by asking yourself which long-term emotional values, goals, or aspirations matter most. Identifying your core priorities in this manner can provide clarity and help you make more informed decisions.

Consider a range of outcomes and implement safety factors to better prepare for your decisions’ consequences

When making decisions, we often imagine a single possible outcome and base our choices on that specific scenario, despite our inability to predict the future accurately. To address this tendency, we should consider a range of potential outcomes and prepare for both the best and worst possibilities.

First, assess the worst and best possible outcomes to estimate your current position, and consider potential responses for either outcome. Second, incorporate a safety factor to account for unforeseen circumstances.

Decision-making is an essential skill in both our personal and professional lives

Every day, we face a wide range of choices, from small, everyday decisions like what to have for lunch to more significant ones, such as choosing a career path or buying a house. Making the right choices can be challenging, and sometimes we can become paralysed with indecisiveness, unable to move forward. By improving our decision-making process, we can make better choices and achieve our goals both in our professional careers and in our personal lives.

This article is co-created by NexPage, a translated book summary app, and Workipedia by MyCareersFuture.

Related topics:

Find more jobs like these at
MyCareersFuture Job Portal