How Good Are Your Decision-Making Skills?

Published November 4, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair


Welcome back to our discussion this week on the decision-making process. Today our post contains a survey that was designed to help assess how effective our decision-making skills are by identifying some of our strengths and weaknesses. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Survey Instructions:

Grab a note pad and for each statement, choose the number that best describes your decision-making process. Please answer the questions authentically (rather than how you think they should be answered), and don’t be concerned about whether the answer seems to score a “right or wrong” answer. Try to remember, there are no right or wrong answers. Once you’ve answered the questions honestly, add them up to reveal the total score:

  • 5 points for every Very Often answer;
  • 4 points for every Often answer;
  • 3 points for every Sometimes answer;
  • 2 points for every Rarely answer; and
  • 1 point for every Not at All answer

____ Evaluate the risks associated with each alternative before making a decision.

____After I make a decision, it’s final – because I know my processes strong.

____I tried to determine the real issue before starting the decision-making process.

____I rely on my own experience to find potential solutions to a problem.

____I tend to have a strong “gut instinct” about problems, and I rely on it in decision-making.

____I’m sometimes surprised by the actual consequences of my decisions.

____I use a well-defined process to structure my decisions.

____I think that involving many stakeholders to generate solutions can make the process more complicated than it needs to be.

____If I have doubts in my decision; I go back and recheck my assumptions and my process.

____I take the time needed to choose the best decision-making tool for each specific decision.

____I consider a variety of potential solutions before I make my decision.

____Before I communicate my decision, I create an implementation plan.

____In a group decision-making process, I tend to support my friend’s proposals and tried to find ways to make them work.

____When communicating my decision, I include my rationale and justification.

____Some of the options I’ve chosen have been more difficult to implement than I expected.

____I prefer to make decisions on my own, and then let other people know what I’ve decided.

____I determine the factors most important to the decision, and then use those factors to evaluate my choices.

____I emphasize how confident I am in my decision as a way to gain support for my plans.


____ Total Points


What the Test Scores Reveal:

Those with scores of 18 to 42: are individuals whose decision-making process hasn’t fully matured. They have difficulty being objective enough and rely too much on luck, instinct, or timing to make sound decisions. These people can improve their decision-making skills by focusing more on the process that leads to the decision, rather than on the decision itself. What they will gain by doing so is creating a solid process they can use to face any decision with confidence.

Those with scores of 43 to 66: are individuals whose decision-making process is okay. These people have a good understanding of the basics, but now need to improve the process and become more proactive. It is recommended they concentrate on looking at the many different options available, then developing a plan to help them discover and identify any risks with consequences that can act as obstructions to their goals. The better their analysis, the better their decision will be in the long-term. It is also recommended they focus specifically on the areas that reveal their weakest points, to help them implement more effective systems that will work across a wide variety of situations.

Those with scores of 67 to 90: are individuals with an excellent approach to their decision-making process. These people know how to set up the process that will generate a variety of potential solutions. There they analyze their options carefully and make the best decisions possible based on what they know. As they gain more experience, they use that information to evaluate their decisions, and continue to build their skills. However, these individuals are also asked to be mindful of the areas where they didn’t score higher points to evaluate how they can use this information to help improve their process.

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That’s it for today. Next time we’ll take a closer look at the following six themes that were used to develop today’s survey:

  1. Establishing a positive decision-making environment
  2. Generating potential solutions
  3. Evaluating the solutions
  4. Deciding
  5. Checking the decision
  6. Communicating and implementing

Then we will examine the data to reveal how successful leaders utilize these basic components to help structure and improve their decision-making systems to achieve positive outcomes.

Until then … Keep improving your organizational management skills!


 “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” – Paulo Coelho


TandA This Winter

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