This year has been unprecedented in many ways – from being thrown headlong into a global pandemic, to having to come up with inventive ways to stay productive while still trying to adapt to the ‘new normal’, it has been quite the rollercoaster, hasn’t it? During times like these, what sets apart people as true leaders is the ability to dive into problems and come up with decisive solutions, while remaining empathetic to the world around.

When it comes to decision making, what do you listen more to – the heart or the brain? How do you handle it when decision-making gets messy or political? Do you think decision-making is a collaborative effort or is it a solitary enterprise? Do you approach problem-solving with a scientific outlook or you trust your gut? This workshop presents an opportunity to discuss all of these and provide you with some useful tips and tools that aid in fine-tuning your decision-making process.

Here are a few tips and techniques for building problem solving and decision-making skills:

  1.  Identify the exact nature of the problem and the solution that it requires - All problems cannot be solved the same way, so the process of finding a solution or arriving at a decision depends on various factors. A lot of people are too focussed on finding the solutions, but in the process, they end up not paying enough attention to the root causes of the problems themselves. Identifying the problem succinctly helps in better brainstorming and makes decision-making a faster and smoother process. 
  2. Identify your role during the brainstorming process - When a group consensus is needed to arrive at a decision, things must be handled with a lot of tact and diplomacy. It is a good idea to identify roles for people within the group prior to the decision-making process. Each brainstorming session should ideally have a facilitator, recorder and multiple contributors. This will ensure that discussions do not turn into flare-ups or get personal, there is a written record of the discussion, and an effective consensus is reached. 
  3. Include risk analysis as a part of the decision-making process - It is very important to take into consideration risks and consequences before arriving at a decision. Spur of the moment decisions goes awry many times because the stakeholders fail to do a thorough risk analysis before acting on the decision that they’ve made. This can backfire very often and pave the way for further bad decisions to be made to mitigate problems.
  4. Use scientific tools and techniques to make decisions - A natural instinct for problem-solving is a great asset but relying on guts an instinct alone to make decisions is an untrustworthy approach. Using tools that are meant for risk analysis, brainstorming, problem-solving, and decision-making make the process extremely scientific, well-thought-out, fair and impartial. Arm yourself with decision-making tools and combine them with your instinct to arrive at the best results. 
  5. Reflect on your earlier decisions regularly - There can be no success at the workplace without introspection and reflection. Look back at your decisions to see what you have done well and identify the things that went wrong. The next stage would be to reflect on how you could have handled those differently. Such continuous reflection clarifies your decision-making process and makes it more effective over time.

Want to delve into all of these in greater detail? Join the workshop on ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit - Making the Best Decisions’ on Friday 6 November from 4.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

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