As a manager, there is one skill set you will have to improve almost immediately when you undertake a management role; it's the skill to make decisions.  It is common for people to struggle with making decisions; we want to ensure we make the right ones!   Unfortunately, and I am saying this not because I want you to make them, but you need to be aware of the reality, you will make the wrong ones (sometimes). I see that making wrong decisions is an opportunity for learning and I would suggest you have to make the wrong decisions to learn and as a manager.  Making wrong decision making can be a regular occurrence as we learn, particularly in a new role and if we do it with positivity it is actually a great place to be.

Of course, a common mistake that many people make regarding decision making (because they don’t want to make wrong decisions) is that they don’t make one.  As a manager, this can be fraught with issues, if we don’t make decisions staff get frustrated and you need to know this can be seen as total incompetence and weakness by some members of staff.

As we go through life, we will make decisions, and some will be the wrong ones.  Learn from what happened, ask yourself what happened and ask yourself two key questions:

Question 1: What did I do correctly – we (as human beings) are very good at forgetting that there will be some areas that we did well, particularly when something doesn’t go to plan.  On reflection, write down what you did well in the process.

Question 2: What could I do differently – when we make the wrong decision this is a compelling question to ask.  When we ask what could we do differently, it makes us look for ways to solve our problems, so if we are facing the same issue again we have learnt how to deal with it better.

By writing these things down, it will give us an opportunity to reflect on what happened.  Moreover, when you look back, later on, you can see some real decisions you made, and this can be life changing especially when you realise you’re pretty good at making them.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.  To see courses where Ralph delivers see our website here.