How to improve your decision making skills

Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager

One of the most valuable skills possessed by successful entrepreneurs and business leaders is the ability to make clear, calm and effective decisions. In fact, decision making is a vital component of almost every job, with the decisions you make daily having a direct impact on your organization or employer.

With many business decisions often involving difficult topics and short timeframes, it’s important to know how to feel confident, capable and clear-headed when faced with complex decisions. Are you confident in your own decision making abilities?


If this is something that you feel a little unsure about, the good news is that you can improve your decision making skills and techniques.

The Importance of Strong Decision Making Skills

In a recent article for Forbes, Lynda Shaw writes of the importance of effective decision making in the workplace. As a business neuroscientist, offering solutions to improve work relationships, communication, and problem solving, Shaw believes that “effective decision making is more important today than ever before.”

It’s important that “everyone in your team is able to make decisions quickly and skillfully,” she says. “If you or your people hesitate for too long, money can be lost and morale can plummet.”

Try 'Six Thinking Hats' for Better Decision Making

Employers and managers can help staff to develop better decision making skills and become more confident in their own abilities. One of the most popular ways to assist staff in decision making is through Dr Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats.

Since 1970, Dr de Bono has been a world leader in organizational innovation, strategic leadership, individual creativity, and problem solving. His methods have been used by many organizations, large and small, to deliver improved training solutions.

The Six Thinking Hats is a simple, effective technique that can help employees to become more productive, by learning how to separate their thinking into six distinct categories. Each category is symbolized by a different colored ‘hat.’

  • The White Hat calls for information known or needed.
  • The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition.
  • The Black Hat is judgment – the devil's advocate or why something may not work.
  • The Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism.
  • The Green Hat focuses on creativity – possibilities, alternatives and new ideas.
  • The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process.

By mentally wearing and switching the colored hats, you can learn to focus or redirect your thoughts, to get to the right solution faster and more easily. This can be incredibly beneficial for teamwork, allowing groups to tap into their collective wisdom and function more effectively.

Use eLearning to Learn More About Decision Making

Keen to learn more about how you can apply the Six Thinking Hats technique to your work? Take a look at the popular online course Decision Making Excellence.

During this short eLearning course, you’ll learn about the different types of decisions we make every day, particularly in the workplace. The course also gives insight into how our thinking processes work and provides best practice tools for better decision making.

Who Can Benefit from Improved Decision Making?

Becoming a better decision maker isn’t just a smart investment for managers and leaders. Everyone, at all levels of an organization, will benefit from improving their decision making abilities, in both their personal and work life.

Taking this course may just help get you selected for a leadership role, or better placed in terms of a promotion at work. Learning more about what’s behind your own individual thinking processes, and how this affects your decision making, helps to make you more confident, empowered and effective in your choices.

Enrol today, and get started online, all in the convenience of your own home – in just 30 minutes!


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