Getting our wires crossed! How do YOU make good decisions?

Wisdom learned from a monumental cock-up is invariably a lesson from a very costly mistake. Trillions of decisions are made each day at varying levels of impact: personal, social, economic, political and business. How do you avoid costly mistakes? How do YOU make good decisions?

Following the recent loss in the UK of an eyewatering amount of very important criminal record data, whatever the reason for this failure of attention to detail and poor decision-making, new decisions are currently being rapidly taken in an attempt to recover the situation.

Our ability to make good decisions is vitally important at all levels, no matter what we are doing. Hopefully, many of our more major impact decisions are not made in isolation and are carried out with ‘joint ownership’.

Decision-making involves key soft skills

At its core, decision-making involves key judgemental and process soft skills, developed around individual and team abilities. These abilities involve intelligence; analytical and conceptual thinking; intuition; mental agility (at a judgemental level) and decision objectives; factors; options; evaluation; agreement and implementation (at a process level).

Bearing in mind this significant raft of soft skills and abilities, think for a moment about the following incidents. Remember they involve decision-making at all levels within the organisations involved:

  • A US federal judge ordered one of the world’s most famous brands to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine for “rigging diesel-powered vehicles to cheat on government emissions tests*
  • One of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer’s “culture of concealment” resulted in tragedy from an “culmination of a series of faulty technical assumptions… lack of transparency and insufficient oversight…**

What really went wrong in each case stems from a complex mix of individuals who all thought they were acting in the best interests of everyone else. In reality the opposite was the case.

Perhaps, circumstantially or not, the three cases I have referred to revolve around the use of computer software, which further emphasises the importance of human decision-making in this age of technological dominance.

How often do you ask yourself “What if?”

Maslow had the right idea when he identified his Hierarchy of Competence:

  • unconscious incompetence (wrong intuition)
  • conscious competence (right analysis)
  • conscious incompetence (wrong analysis)
  • unconscious competence (right intuition)

Unconscious competence is deemed to be the stage where the skill is a habit. You know what to do without thinking heavily.

However, in my view this is where “WHAT IF?” becomes a very important intervention, always, especially in a state of what most of us would call being on ‘autopilot’.

What happens if you are on autopilot? You believe you have the required level of skill to make a decision, but in reality, you don’t?

Decision judgement and decision management are two very important soft skills amongst a raft of other soft skills – imagine attempting to carry out any technical skill without the support of soft skills – highly risky, so never ever underestimate the vital role that they play in driving competent performance.

To emphasise my point, research we carried out in 1997 identified that soft skills are ‘end-to-end’; many of the underpinning characteristics and traits are common to the various soft skills and are interconnected. Indeed, our Model of Abilities has some 240 characteristics.

Take decision-making as an example, it has two parts: Decision Judgement and Decision Management. Each belong to a ‘cluster’ of five primary, inter-related skills.

The Judgement cluster involves creativity and originality (including problem-solving); thinking abilities; decision management; and information management.

The Decision-making cluster involves priority management; time management; information management; and decision judgement.

It is obvious when laid out like this, how these skills interconnect and are interrelated.

When an individual is deemed to carry out their job role as fully competent in these areas then they can be classed as performing at a high level. In reality, does this really happen? Yes, by some individuals, of course. However, there are many individuals who need to improve their knowledge and application of these soft skills. I know, this because all our learners undertake a baseline assessment to determine the extent of their knowledge and understanding, prior to taking the courses.

Thinking about a senior person in your organisation, what level of percentage attainment would you expect to see from a baseline assessment? Bear in mind these are individuals who are making important decisions in your organisation, day in and day out; 60% – 70% – 80% -90%?

Would you be surprised to know that the average baseline score in both decision judgement and decision management, respectively, is only 25%? Would that concern you? It would concern me.

However, the good news is that after undertaking our courses, gaining the required knowledge and then practicing the implementation guides, we see an improvement in knowledge to an average score of 93%.

Encouraged? I invite you to put yourself to the test. Our baseline assessment tests are free and available on www.skillogy.com. The results will be automatically emailed to you and we guarantee absolute confidentiality.

Can you and your organisation run the risk of a bad decision and the consequences?… I mean, what if?…

Mike Bolam, Leader and Developer, Skillogy International | January 2021

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_scandal
**https://transportation.house.gov/news/press-releases/after-18-month-investigation-chairs-defazio-and-larsen-release-final-committee-report-on-boeing-737-max

Skillogy PERFORM™ Soft Skills Training Courses By Performance Area

 SELF

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to manage oneself and one’s relationships with others in a mature and constructive manner. Research indicates that EI is closely related to workplace success at all levels of the organisation. In this course we look at six key aspects of EI in order to help develop your skills and abilities in managing yourself and your relationships in the workplace.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Estimates show that some 70% of your work time is spent in some aspect of communication. With so much practice and experience, it would appear that we are all experts, but that is not the case. This course looks at your ability to reach a shared or common understanding with another person and how you apply your verbal and written abilities as well as your capacity to listen and understand.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
What you achieve at work is dependent on the contributions you make to your team. This is the sum of the skills that you willingly give to others or you add towards a common goal or result. This course looks at the key areas of contribution that you are required to make in order to achieve team objectives and results.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Personal organisation seems to have a considerable effect on feelings and moods. You have good and bad days. If you feel well organised, you have a positive sense of well-being and in control. This course looks at your ability to arrange and control all aspects of your work so that it flows smoothly and efficiently. This skill depends upon your inherent drives to control events and circumstances.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Managing priorities often causes a potential source of conflict. The correct work behaviour is summarised as ‘what you do second is equally important to what you do first’. This routine is achieved if time is controlled in terms of priority management. This course looks at your ability to focus on priority of job objectives and conflict between priority of importance and priority of time.

More information about this course
..
Buy now
Work stress has been described as the ‘wear and tear’ caused by your working life. In recent times, stress at work has seen a rapidly rising trend. This course looks at your ability to avoid work stress and to control and manage it. Excessive and continuous work stress problems stem from excessive workloads and impractical deadlines, relationships with colleagues and future job insecurity.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Your ability to think is probably your greatest asset at work.  Everything  you say and do will be touched by what is going on in your mind. Performance and achievements are a direct function of your thinking abilities. This course looks at mental agility, conceptual and analytical thinking, in allowing you to conceive and form ideas, in a practical sense and draw the right conclusions.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Time, like capital or human skills, is a resource that has to be managed effectively. It is also a limited resource. This course looks at your ability to manage job objectives, priorities and activities within the available time. Effective time management is criticalwhen time is at a premium and workloads are on the increase. In essence, the aim is to achieve the right things, at the right quality, on time.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Wellness is not a new concept. The ancient Greeks believed that a truly healthy person possessed a keen intellect, a well-developed will and a disciplined body. Their ideal of excellence of any kind, was considered a noble state of human functioning, representing the merging of body, mind and spirit. This course focuses on making you aware of and making choices towards a more successful life.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Your work personality brings together all those parts of you that have an influence on your performance at work. This course examines those qualities of your personality that you consistently demonstrate in your work and by which you become known by your colleagues. The main issue is whether you possess and use those positive qualities normally associated with good performance.

More information about this course
.
Buy now

MANAGER

Change is an inevitable part of life. Nothing remains static and the way we respond to change varies from individual to individual. Approximately one half of the population resists it, while the other half welcomes it. This course examines the change management process and the ways in which an understanding of the causes of resistance can be turned to positive advantage.

More information about this course
.
Buy Now
This course looks at the step-by-step process of decision making from problem definition to implementation. It highlights the importance of qualitative information in decision judgement and the impact of unstructured decisions. It emphasises that judgement takes a higher priority when the impact of the decision is greater, more complex or the potential risk is higher.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Time, like capital or human skills, is a resource that has to be managed effectively. It is also a limited resource. This course looks at your ability to manage job objectives, priorities and activities within the available time. Effective time management is critical when time is at a premium and workloads are on the increase. In essence, the aim is to achieve the right things, at the right quality, on time.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
This course examines the ability to plan and control the allocation of work within team members in order to maximise resources. Good delegation is based on clear objectives, regular reviews and solid feedback. It shows how delegation can provide a sound basis on which to improve productivity, engender ownership and responsibility, whilst fostering individual growth and development.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
People are a vital element in any organisation and managing and leading people is criticallyimportant for every manager. This course describes the key people management skills that contribute fully to individual performance improvement and organisational effectiveness.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Information encompasses every aspect of your job. Throughout the work process you use it, produce it, pass it on and communicate it. This course examines the ability to store and the retrieve the essential information required to carry out your job efficiently.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
An interesting aspect of job knowledge is that the majority of people believe they understand their job until they are asked to explain it. This course sets out to examine your professional, specialist or expert knowledge and understanding that are especially required in your job.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Objective setting is the foundation of good management. Without objectives, you will never be able to focus on achievement, nor manage the various aspects of your work and working relationships. This course covers your ability to think through and define the results you and your team wish to achieve, through an eight-step process, which is constantly subject to change and review.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Project Management is a combination of steps and techniques for keeping the budget and schedule in line. This course follows the five stages of the project cycle, which provides a clear process and system for project tracking. A successful project manager demonstrates team building skills and develops a thorough knowledge of the team’s strengths and the project’s needs.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Each team has a unique  ‘team  personality’ made up from the individuals that form it. It is this aspect that determines how effectively the team works together, the quality of their performance  and what they are capable of achieving. This course looks at how teams work together to achieve team objectives. Effective teams have a common ‘team spirit’ which directly impacts on their results.

More information about this course
.
Buy now

LEADER

Management is about finding creative solutions to problems and identifying the appropriate course of action. Creativity and originality explores the power of the mind, in bringing things into being, from original thought or basic concepts. This course sets out to show how the power of imagination can build on original thoughts to create solutions and plans, which contribute to work performance.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Ethical leadership involves the way that managers and leaders carry out their decision-making in terms of moral issues and choices. This course examines the role of the ethical leader and the influence that he or she can exert in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and improving an organisation’s ethical climate.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Innovation is a special and highly regarded ability in people at work. The organisations that are the most successful at innovation, will gain leadership in their market. This course focuses on the role of the corporate innovator, in larger scale project development and highlights the importance of building innovative teams, in order to maintain a competitive edge.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
A manager can spend 50% of their work time in meetings, of one type or another. This course looks at your ability to plan and control meetings and make effective use of your time. Meetings involve planning, preparation, selection of participants, adherence to issues and time schedules. Meetings involve the maintenance of teamwork, supporting relationships and superior work performance.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Leaders and managers will not be effective, if they do not understand the theories and practices of motivation. What you believe about people, affects the way your team reacts to you and your leadership. This course looks at the inherent needs of people and how to improve productivity and motivate a workforce. The level of motivation displayed by a team reflects the skills of the leader.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
In achieving optimum performance and long-term success, all organisations have to respond and adapt. Similarly, all jobs are conditioned by plans that require change. This course addresses your ability to have the knowledge and understanding of your organisation’s objectives, strategies, plans and the external environment in relation to political, social, financial and market competitive forces.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Personal character is the sum of your moral and ethical qualities. It is these same qualities that provide the foundation for your working relationships. This course helps you to reflect on your work behaviour and integrity. Without this, it is impossible to lead and manage a team with any degree of success. Nor is it possible to survive in an organisation, which is not dedicated to ethical standards.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Much of what you achieve depends on your ability to persuade other people. In many respects, persuasion is the highest form of communication. This course looks at the ability of persuasion and negotiation, in producing successful outcomes and moving towards a convergence of opinion and understanding. Negotiation depends on your attitudes in approach and devoting time to planning.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Managers and leaders use power every day. Using power effectively, is an important skill and by developing influencing techniques, can lead to increased team effectiveness. This course describes the sources of power and strategies and assesses your abilities in line with these. Power contributes to organisational goals, respect human rights and conform to standards of equality and justice.

More information about this course
.
Buy now
Transforming leadership involves having a transforming approach to your work and life. Leaders operate from a set of core beliefs about people, that motivates them to perform and engage in the organisation. This transforming improves personal development and the productivity of all involved. This course explores seven key areas to help you become more effective as a leader.

More information about this course
.
Buy now