Problem Solving and Decision Making Workshop: A Self Reflection
I found the workshop on Problem Solving and Decision Making not just useful but also interesting. When we graduate and find work in organizations as Human Resource (HR) managers, we will be faced with many situations on a daily basis that will require us to make sensible, accurate and fair decisions. It could deciding which person to hire, which supplier to use, or which strategy to pursue, but the ability to make a good decision with available information is vital. To be able to do this we need to understand the processes of decision-making and how one can try to eliminate bias while doing so.
Over the course of the day, I learnt that in order to make good decisions, the ability to reason logically and sift the accurate information from the corporate jargon is very important. When we were taught the various steps involved in decision-making process I realized that sometimes I arrive at a decision without considering some of the options. Being creative was another skill I picked up during one of the exercises. Some of the best solutions come from thinking innovatively. We were asked to be part of thought showers and come up with different uses of screwdriver, it was amusing to see what a group of 7 girls could come up with. It also showed me how insightful some of these events could be as we came up with ideas I couldn’t possibly think of by myself. Many organizational decisions we will be required to make will never have clear-cut solutions and it is important we think out of the box sometimes.
I also picked up different techniques to solve problems like drawing up a matrix to simplify complicated information, fishbone analysis as well as using decision trees that we later applied to the group case study.
The session on ethical decision-making struck a cord with me, as it is probably one of the most challenging tasks of managers today. Ethics can have a different meaning for everybody hence it is even more important to follow some universally acceptable ethical practices while making decisions. As it is rooted in context, there needs to be a good match between personal ethics and organizational ethics for an employee to be satisfied with the job. This principle will definitely help me understand and evaluate the type of companies I want to work with in the future.
When I considered what I value most, it is self-respect. No job can be satisfying if you do not believe in yourself and your abilities. Being ethical and giving the task at hand my best is what constitutes self-respect for me. This is a virtue I would not want to give up and I hope to maintain that even while working in the corporate world.
As an area for development, I need to talk less and listen more so I understand the whole situation before I offer an opinion. I recognized that during the case study on ethical decision-making I was quick to judge the solution and that half-baked information can be quite dangerous. Until Carol handed us the lawyer’s advice none of us had thought of other possible scenarios and we had to revise our plan taking that into consideration.
Decision-making is a key skill in the workplace, and is particularly important if you want to be an effective leader .HR managers have a great task of simplifying complex information and deducing facts especially while interviewing and selecting candidates. Even though HR does not take too many strategic decisions, they do have the task of laying out all the information so that people in charge can make better-informed choices. Sometimes these choices relate to the jobs of people, for example, redundancy decisions or new market expansions. Adair (1999) suggests 5 steps for effective decision making which include defining the objective, collecting relevant information, generating feasible options, making the decisions and also evaluating it (so we know if it was a good or a bad decision). It is therefore very...
References: Adair, J. (1999). Decision Making and Problem Solving. London: CIPD
Bazerman, M. (1998). Judgment in Managerial Decision Making. 4th Edition. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Jennings, D. & Wattam, S. (1998). Decision Making: An Integrated Approach. 2nd Edition. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall.
MindTools (1996) Hartnett 's Consensus-Oriented Decision-Making Model. Available at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/codm.htm (Accessed on: 14th November 2012).
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