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The 3 Pillars for Good Managerial Decision-Making

Decision-making: a point that is crucial to good management. And one that should be approached with care, as it involves great risks. For let's be honest: it would be wonderful to have all the information at hand when you have to make a decision, wouldn't it? However, 9 times out of 10 it doesn't work that way! We have to make almost all our decisions based on incomplete information.

One of the things you have to be sure about is that before making a decision you really understand the problem or opportunity at hand. You should also make sure that you are comfortable choosing from the options you have. If not, you may want to consider waiting a while...unless the waiting will eliminate some very good options!

You probably already see it: decision-making is a delicate matter. Aside from all the attention points mentioned above, there are 3 points you may want to focus on when facing decisions:

1) Know when you, as the manager, can afford to put together a team in a decision-making process, and when not. Teams can be great and provide depth in the quality of a solution, but they're also time consuming and they can give way to many other hurdles such as hidden agenda's, overpowering from members who have more authority than others, or groupthink, which is when a team becomes so self-assured that it doesn't care about the quality of the decision anymore, because it regards itself flawless.

2) Know your personality if the decision is up to you. There are managers who only focus on the task, and there are managers who only focus on the people involved in the decision. And in between you have various gradations. By knowing what type of a decision-maker you are, you can try to expand your view or involve one or more people with the skills you run short in.

3) Beware of the most common decision traps! What that all boils down to is the fact that you should never make a decision based on a single event, an initial figure, or a narrow base of information, and you should never get so involved in a decision making process that you stubbornly cling to a decision long after you found out that it won't work.

Decision-making is one of a manager's steady tasks, but it also surfaces every day of your life: sometimes in more complicated issues than others. Mastering the basics of decision-making can therefore be a valuable asset to the way you handle simple as well as complicated matters in your life.

Dr. Joan Marques, Burbank, CA

About the Author: Joan Marques emigrated from Suriname, South America, to California, U.S., in 1998. She holds a doctorate in Organizational Leadership, a Master's in Business Administration, and is currently a university instructor in Business and Management in Burbank, California. You may visit her web sites at and

It is better to live in serene poverty than in hectic affluence. Everything has a price. The price for nurturing your soul is turning away from excessive stress, destruction of self-respect, and the constant strive in lifestyle with the Joneses. But it's worth it.

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