Definition: Characterized by or showing a consideration for alternative courses of action,and demonstrating the ability to make decisions quickly and firmly


Consider these suggestions when making important and/or difficult decisions:

  • Balance–be aware of the pros and cons of all choices for the issue

  • Information–make sure you acquire and implement valuable information

  • Inclusion–when appropriate, be sure to include others in the process

  • Experience–utilize your past experiences to better inform everyone involved

  • Steady–remain firm and do not flip back and forth with your decision once it is made

  • Responsibility –take responsibility of the final outcome

In the end, a great decision is usually made with information, along with your brain and your gut.
— Selena Rezvani - Forbes

Self-Directed Learning Activities

Relevant Readings:


  • Hammond, J.S., Keeney, R.L., & Raiffa, H. (1999). Smart choices: A practical guide to making better decisions. Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review.

  • Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2013). Decisive: How to make better choices in life and work. New York: Crown Business.

  • Kahneman, D. (2013). Thinking fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

  • Klein, G. (1998). Sources of power: How people make decisions. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

  • Russo, J.E., & Schoemaker, P.J.H. (2001). Winning decisions: Getting it right the first time. New York: Doubleday.


Self-Guided Activities:

  • The next time you need to make a difficult decision, implement the decision tree analysis tool to assist your efforts ( This tool will help you comprehensively assess the situation, the important factors, and every possible option, and it will help you come to the best conclusion. Use one of the Learning Journals to reflect after practicing decision tree analysis.

Guided Learning Activities


  • Identify strategies to remove obstacles that get in the way of your team accomplishing more, more quickly. Discuss your ideas with your manager. Learn from the discussion and apply the ideas to other projects.

  • Before making an important decision, do a cost-benefit analysis and list out the pros and cons of each course of action. Be as objective as possible, and try to create a comprehensive list of options and their respective outcomes. Once you’ve listed everything out, get input from a supervisor to ensure that you have included all important factors, and then make the final decision. Use one of the Learning Journals to reflect after practicing the cost-benefit analysis. Assess what went right and where you could improve, and analyze the overall outcome of your decision.

  • Engage in a developmental exercise where you ask for feedback from your manager and peers regarding inappropriate snap decisions you may have made in the past. Then, consider how these decisions could have been improved.

  • Work with your supervisor to identify an issue occurring in your department or agency and act as the point-person to problem solve and determine an effective solution. Leverage a decision tree to come up with the most effective solution, and run this by your supervisor to gain his approval before putting your plan/solution into action.

Formal Training/Education

School and Course Module(s):

  • Northwest College:

CO/M 2015 -Leadership Skills: This course is designed to educate specified groups in effective leadership skills. Includes discussion and practice in teamwork, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, planning, conflict management, and social responsibility.

  • Laramie County Community College:

CO/M 2120 Small Group Communication: Students develop group communication skills focusing on topics such as group decision making and problem solving techniques, group development and cohesion, conflict management, andleadership principles