Top 7 Decision-Making Skills Every MBA Student Must Know

Decision making is a vital part of management. The decisions you make will have a significant impact on you, your profession, and your organisation. That’s why it’s important to know what decision-making skills you should possess and how you can develop them. 

As an MBA student, you have the advantage of time. You can develop your MBA skills early and practice them through application and effort. However, to do that, you must first know which skills you need to acquire. 

That’s why we have created the following list of the top decision-making skills every MBA student must know. 

Crucial Decision-Making Skills You Must Develop

Having the right skills will help you climb the industry ladder and earn high-end salary packages. Here are the top decision-making skills you should develop as an MBA student:

1. Problem-solving 

Among the most critical MBA skills is problem-solving. Problem-solving skills help you tackle both large and small issues in your company. You should be able to factor in multiple viewpoints when facing a problem and consider the required variables to make a well-informed decision. 

As a professional, you’d need to make decisions while separating emotions from your discussions with other people as they would influence your outcome adversely. With strong problem-solving skills, you should be able to formulate decisions efficiently and effectively. You’d know how to research the issue and analyse the situation appropriately.  

2. Time Management

Time management is one of the most important decision-making skills because every decision has a specific deadline. You must have the ability to think on your feet and make decisions quickly. 

While quick-thinking has its advantages, time management enhances that skill further by helping you plan and structure things more efficiently. 

With proper time management, you can allocate sufficient time to different decision-making stages and complete the task efficiently. You can enhance your time management skills by applying them in your daily life. Prepare a schedule, test it out and optimise it according to your requirements. You can also plan out your different tasks and try to determine how much time they take. Such activities can greatly improve your time management skill. 

3. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to stay aware of your emotions and their expression. When you’re aware of your emotions, you can make decisions more objectively and logically. 

Apart from identifying your own emotions, emotional intelligence helps you recognise and understand the emotions of other people. As a result, it helps you build relationships with your team and achieve goals accordingly.

To improve your emotional intelligence, you should focus on staying aware and pay attention to your interactions with others. Observing how people use and react to different emotions can help you enhance your own emotional intelligence. 

You can also focus on observing your behaviour and how your body reacts to different emotions. For example, you might tend to avoid eye contact when you’re sad or feeling uncomfortable in a conversation. Being aware of such bodily cues will allow you to improvise your body language in a professional setting.  

4. Teamwork

Collaboration is key in decision making. No matter what role you pursue in management and leadership, you’ll have to collaborate with other professionals to solve issues and make plans. 

For example, you might have to work with the HR manager to determine the best way to retain talent and enhance your team’s productivity. However, teamwork skills depend heavily on multiple other skills, including reasoning, emotional intelligence, and leadership. 

In the example, we mentioned above, you’ll use your reasoning skills to figure out the optimal solution to enhance client retention. Afterwards, you can compare the possible KPIs (key performance indicators) that measure your team’s productivity. 

Your teamwork skills depend largely on the results you get and the people that get affected by your team’s decisions. 

5. Intuition

Many times in your daily professional routine, you’ll have to rely on your instincts to make decisions. Intuition refers to your ability to trust your instincts and take action accordingly. 

Unlike most of the decision-making skills we have discussed in this article, your intuition depends on your experience. The more knowledge you’ll gain as a professional, the stronger and more reliable your intuition will be. 

As an MBA student, you can develop a strong intuition by working on projects and applying what you’ve learnt in real-world scenarios. You learn lessons from every experience you have, and these lessons help you enhance your intuition. 

You should be able to associate your instinct with the actions you’ll take to see if your decision is practical and logical. 

Also Read: MBA Elevator Pitch

6. Reasoning

Your reasoning ability is among the most important MBA skills. It ensures that you can make smart decisions with the highest chances of delivering positive outcomes. With solid reasoning skills, you’d review all the pros and cons of the decision you’re considering making. Strong reasoning skills will keep you grounded in reality, allowing you to make rational decisions. 

You must consider all the relevant points during the decision-making process and also consider the viewpoint of those involved in the process. You should keep your reasoning aligned with the people you work with and focus on achieving the goals of your team or organisation. 

7. Leadership

Leadership refers to the act of organising multiple employees in your organisation. A good leader would establish a consensus about a specific decision. They would work with people and evaluate the situation and the team. They focus on motivating their team and interact with them to achieve the goal through making a better-informed decision. 

As a good leader, you should first focus on building a mutually cordial and professional relationship with your subordinates. It would help you understand them while also allowing them to be more comfortable around you to freely speak their minds. 

You should stay personable as a leader so your team members can work cohesively with you and make contributions to the decision-making process. This will bring to the table different perspectives on a specific matter, enabling you to look at the issue at hand from all possible angles. 

How an MBA degree helps you acquire the right decision-making skills?

Although developing these decision-making skills can be a strenuous task, an MBA degree can be the best pathway to attaining them. Since MBA courses focus on both domain knowledge and overall personality development of candidates, it is an excellent choice for those aspiring to gain leadership, management, and business administration. 

By picking the right MBA course, you can learn these skills and get the necessary guidance to hone them. At upGrad, we offer two fantastic global MBA courses – Global MBA with Deakin Business School (Australia) and MBA from Liverpool Business School (UK). Both are among the top B-schools in the world. 

The MBA course offered by DBS covers numerous subjects and skills, including Design Thinking, Business Growth Strategies, Strategic Thinking, Change Management, Integrated Business Strategy Formulation, etc. On the other hand, the MBA course by LBS includes Marketing Management, Fundamentals of Leadership, Accounting & Finance, Decision Sciences, Business Economics, Business Strategy, etc. 


So, there you go – these were the top seven decision-making skills that will help you advance your career to the next level!

However, remember that merely identifying the skills that will help enhance your decision-making abilities is not sufficient. You’ll have to constantly hone them by understanding their present-day applications and measuring your progress. 

Some of these skills are easier to understand while some others take a bit of effort. So, keep exploring and experimenting with your skills in real-world scenarios, and you’ll see what a big difference it can make!

What are the practical skills I will learn in an MBA degree?

Whether you’re doing an online or offline MBA program, there are various skills you will learn as part of your course curriculum. These skills are highly valued by employers globally. Some of them include leadership skills, risk management and analysis skills, effective communication and public speaking skills, proper project management skills and technical skills which includes understanding business software and related tools.

What does the upGrad MBA program with Deakin Business School include?

The global MBA program offered by upGrad includes subjects such as business growth strategies, strategic thinking and planning, design thinking, change management, financing strategies and international business. The programme is ideal for anyone who has three years of full-time work experience as an experienced manager, senior management executive and business owner/entrepreneur. The duration of the program is twelve months, and offers students 1:1 mentorship with industry leaders, offline networking opportunities and 360-degree placement support.

What are some of the hard skills campus recruiters look for in an MBA graduate?

Most campus recruiters look for candidates who are proficient in people management, possess necessary quantitative skills, have expertise in data science and analysis, understand supply chain management and the world of marketing. Besides these hard skills, recruiters also want their potential employees to have great communication skills, problem solving, strategic thinking, innovative thinking and technological expertise. While there is no method to learn these skills, you can always work at a firm that allows you to unleash your hidden talent. Since every MBA program requires prior work experience, you will already be proficient in these key skills by the time you get a formal job.

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