Management Decision-Making Games

by Tara Duggan; Updated September 26, 2017
Businesspeople playing tug of war

Management decision-making games allow participants to develop skills in arriving at the best course of action to take in a given situation. Participants practice considering different alternatives, exploring their options, choosing the best alternative, communicating the decision and taking action. You can conduct this type of competition as an icebreaker at a face-to-face workshop or instruct participants to use free online games for practice.

Conduct Icebreaker Exercise

To build skills in decision-making, divide a crowd into two groups. Challenge them to identify multiple ways to make management decisions based on leadership styles, and argue the pros and cons of each style. The winning team identifies the most ways to make decisions. These might include autocratic methods best used in crisis situations, or collaborative decision-making that is effective at building team rapport. The ability to recognize these techniques -- and when to use them -- can improve someone's management decision-making skills because effective management requires versatility.

Use Different Thinking

To make effective management decisions, you must consider different perspectives. For example, suppose a manager needs to choose which employee to promote. To build expertise in this area, divide a large group into six smaller teams. Distribute different colored hats: white, black, yellow, red, green and blue. Explain that each hat represents a different type of decision-making: fact-based, emotional, positive, negative, creative or controlling. Pose a challenge, such as which of six different employees to promote, and let the participants choose one of the eligible people based on the color of her own hat. Participants learn that different situations require different thinking, which can result in better decision-making skills.

About the Author

Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.

Photo Credits

  • Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images
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