CPD tips: How to improve your decision-making skills

CPD tips: How to improve your decision-making skills

02 Apr 2023

CPD News Team

News & updates from CPD News Team

View Profile

Decision-making skills are essential in all aspects of our lives. We make thousands of decisions every day and it is an important ability that, like many others, can be taught and improved upon. The following CPD article will begin to outline how good decision skills can help your career and some simple techniques you can use to improve your own decisions.

What is strategic decision making?

Strategic decision making is the process of choosing to base actions on long-term outcomes where decisions are made according to a companies goals and objectives. It should begin with a clear idea of the organisations mission and vision, and the reasons it exists as a business. For example, this could be a dedication to provide environmental solutions or simply financial gain.

By clarifying your own or those of your company’s big picture aims, this will allow you to align your shorter-term plans and choices with a deeper, broader mission, giving your operations more clarity and consistency. If you know what the desired results you are striving toward in the future, you will be in a better position to infuse these aims and principles into your daily decisions.

Are decision-making skills important?

Overall development of soft skills such as decision making and problem solving can enable you to become a better role model for your team or colleagues, and result in a plethora of positive consequences in your personal life as well as professional career.

In our careers and through our regular activities we are confronted and challenged with several options and possibilities throughout the day, no matter whether its as small as what to have for breakfast or as important as where to invest your money. The success of these pursuits is based on our ability to make good decisions if we want to be most effective.

Benefits of good reasoning and decision making

Often situations may arise where you will need to decide something without all the information that you would ideally like or need. In these instances, you will need aim to make the best decision you can with the information available at the time. Having a proper decision making process and the necessary skills helps you to make better choices by evaluation of the situation and alternate solutions.

Therefore, by developing your reasoning skills and decision-making techniques you will be equipped with the tools and knowledge available to handle situations that may arise.

Can decision making help me to develop my career?

Whether you are job searching to begin an exciting new start, for instance, or seeking to advance or develop your role within a company, knowing the basics of good decision making can be useful. 

Decision making is an important skill that can prove useful in all phases of our career, from running our businesses, to improving our employment or even in job searching. Professionals with a high level of good decision-making skills are consistently sought by hiring managers and recruiters due to their ability to contribute more effectively to the organisation.

By improving your overall capabilities in decision making, this can benefit a business in many ways as these decisions will largely affect not only the individual, but also colleagues, managers, and even contribute to the success of the company. Employees can often be hesitant, indecisive, and inaction can lead to unfortunate consequences. The ability to possess strong decision-making can be a critical component in effective management and leadership. Furthermore, you can highlight yourself and your strong decision-making skills by demonstrating these in your résumé, cover letter, and interviews.

Tips on how to make better decisions

Effective decision making is a skill that can be developed and improved through proper training. While there are many formal CPD courses and educational routes with which to improve your decision-making skills, there are several simple rules you can apply to teach yourself to make better decisions and can include:

  • When making a decision, define the problem and then assess the costs and benefits to find an ideal solution.
  • Leave yourself some space to reflect on your previous mistakes and successes. 
  • Write down your goals (Learn more about How to set smarter personal and professional goals.)
  • Figure out any unknowns that could affect your results.
  • Always consider both long-term and short-term consequences of any decision.
  • Analyse all the available data before making a decision. Sometimes, trusting your instinct can be a mistake.
  • Try to find objective data points to round out your knowledge of the situation. These data points can help you paint a clearer picture of what your future will look like. 
  • Seek out feedback from others.
  • Be aware of the time frames and use your time wisely so that you are not pressured into a last-minute decision.
  • Plan ahead for a given scenario, and act quickly when possible. For example, reduce the information gap by using your research skills, talking with people and asking for the information you need.
  • Ask for help or advice if you are struggling to make progress on your own.
Simple things to improve decision-making skills

What techniques can improve my decision-making?

Decision making is a process. Sometimes the process takes months and oftentimes it happens in an instant. It can involve gathering information, weighing options, and ultimately making a choice. The following decision-making techniques and steps can help improve your ability to make better decisions throughout your career and enhance your own effectiveness as a manager or leader. 

Plan in advance

Planning ahead allows you to have time to reflect before acting and to weigh up different options and possible outcomes. This can help prevent inaction or last minute rushed decisions.

Ask an expert /seek trusted advice

Acting with correct and factual information is always the superior option and so, when possible, those who may be trusted or have access to knowledge or expertise you do not should be consulted before a decision is made. They may also impart methods in how to make effective, informed decisions.

Set yourself deadlines

Giving yourself a time limit will prevent you from being paralysed into inaction and gives you a timeframe to go through the other methods on this list. (Learn about good time management.)

Weigh your options but limit choices

Looking into how and if you should act will sharpen your skills at weighing options and seeing potential outcomes and consequences. This means you will not be acting blindly and making obvious mistakes. However, your potential options should always be limited as much as possible so you are not overwhelmed or overthinking the problem and therefore do not act or make a decision.

How to make better decisions in the workplace

Be decisive

Ultimately, even if you still do not know what to decide, a decision must still be made, and so decisiveness and taking the risk of making mistakes is a key way to improve your decision making.


You will also find that as with learning any skill, practice makes perfect. The more you act and make decisions, the easier it will get.

What are the different decision making CPD courses available? 

There is an ever-growing amount of relevant CPD courses, training and formal learning options available online. A key selection of these can be found at The CPD Certification Service here.

Please visit the CPD Courses Catalogue to find a number of courses specifically focused on how to improve your decision-making skills. All the certified training has been reviewed and recognised as meeting the required industry standards and benchmarks. To find out more about a particular CPD course listed on our website, complete an enquiry form and the details will be sent directly to the relevant CPD provider.

The CPD Certification Service

We hope this article was helpful. Making good decisions often requires a blend of different abilities. To find out more about how to improve your decision making and other professional skills, you can read our previous articles:

Simple ways to improve your problem-solving skills

CPD tips - Give yourself time to learn about time management

CPD - what is meant by active listening?

Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. If you wish to provide training courses, workshops, eLearning and virtual events that may be suitable for Continuing Professional Development, please contact our team to discuss in more detail.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a free online CPD record tool to help manage, track and log your ongoing learning, as well as store your personal training records and attendance certificates in one simple place, go to the myCPD Portal page.

Related Articles

CPD News Team

For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Want to learn more?

View Profile

Get industry-related content straight to your inbox

By signing up to our site you are agreeing to our privacy policy