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Understanding How Your Employees Make Decisions

Humans have impressive minds. Our days are filled with a constant stream of decisions. A recent study from Columbia University discovered that we’re tasked with making about 35 conscious decisions at work every day. As leaders, this number doubles to about 70 per day!

With all that decision making, we often succumb to all sorts of biases that prevent us from making ‘smart’ decisions. We find that there is a natural desire to make decisions to support our immediate circumstances instead of looking at the big picture and thinking about future priorities. Simply said, most people’s decision-making process is flawed.

The good news is that there is a way to train people’s decision-making process.  

Two Types of Decision-Making

For the purposes of this article, we are going to define the decision-making process as the analysis of a set of actions to determine the best action and the priority in which each action will be completed. The two most common types of decision-making are logical decisions and emotional decisions. Depending on their personality and situation, the logical decisions are about the facts – your team member asks themselves ‘which one is due first?’ or ‘which one can we afford?’ On the other hand, team members may also decide based on an emotional reason. For example, they may choose to work on the action that they enjoy the most. Or rather, work on the thing they fear will have the biggest consequences if not completed.

What Causes People to Make Poor Decisions

As mentioned above, most individuals act in the best interest of their present self instead of their future self. If there is no real time specification or follow up, it is very common for people to make poor decisions. They will focus on the things that seem urgent and important in the present, and push out the tasks that may be important but are not necessarily urgent. This vicious process could cause your organization to become unproductive and negatively affect the bottom line if you don’t take action.

How to Prevent Poor Decision-Making

Dale Carnegie of Orange County has trained managers to prevent this exact issue for over 100 years. We have an entire toolbox for leaders to positively influence their employees’ decision-making. Our favorite tool to recommend to leaders is the SMART goal setting formula. This strategic formula helps ensure your team understands that bigger picture available. As a result, decision-making becomes much easier for them on a day-to-day basis.

Related Article: Are You Making SMART Decisions?

Engage Your Employees to Make Smart Decisions

We are offering a two-hour free workshop to provide you with the tools necessary to create a value-driven culture to make smarter choices. If you can improve the manager-employee relationship, you will be able to raise your employees’ confidence levels and make them feel inspired, enthusiastic, and empowered to make smart decisions. This workshop will help you learn the critical actions that must consistently be demonstrated to drive engagement and see measurable results.

RSVP for our FREE Employee Engagement Workshop here.

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