As a supervisor you have to make decisions
every day – some with minor consequences and others with far-reaching effects. A
lot can be at stake: personal success, the future of your employees, company
development. Generally, the further reaching the decision is, the harder it is
to make a decision. While in many cases you can draw on your wealth of experience
to find a solution to a recurring problem, new situations require strategic and
Try this practical test and use the
following 7 decision-making aids
the next time you have to resolve a
On the next page, read about
practicability and who you can learn from.
- 1. Do you make decisions intuitively or rationally?
day you make many decisions intuitively. These solutions based on a gut
feeling have a decisive advantage: they are made quickly. But one
disadvantage can be: they are subjective. They are shaped by your
previous knowledge and your personal experience. Therefore, make
intuitive decisions only when you know enough about the background.
- 2. Making decisions based on proper analysis
time an important decision is to be made, it is important that the
situation is analyzed thoroughly. Albert Einstein once said:
"Recognizing a problem is more important than resolving it; describing
the problem accurately leads almost automatically to the right
solution." What do you want or have to decide? Express your problem as
a question – preferably in writing. This also works when the
facts are very complex. Give it a try.
Example: You want
to increase the reliability of a part of your plant. If you now ask the
question, "How can reliability be increased?" you come to the right
conclusion: "It can't". Actively, you can only reduce the number of
faults and, as a result of this, you increase reliability.
the next step, consider what objectives you want to achieve. Weigh up
the problem on the basis of required objectives that must be reached,
target objectives that should be reached and possible objectives that,
if reached, would be an advantage but are not too important.
- 3. Before making a decision, gather information
good decision needs to be based on sound information. Take advantage of
the expert knowledge among your co-workers. Someone who stands the
whole day long in front of a machine often has a completely different
view of the production process. Examine this source of information.
Also use informal sources, such as tips from acquaintances. These days,
the most fruitful source is the Internet, but always remember: the
information that you obtain in forums or online encyclopedias such as
Wikipedia are often not 100 percent accurate or verified.