Effective Decision Making

Effective Decision Making

Make better decisions using the fundamentals of behavioral decision making and game theory in this interactive learning experience.

Upcoming Dates

Program Dates
Time Commitment
Program Fee
Spring 2025
In-Person, Washington, D.C., Area
4 days

Request More Information


Leaders have to make important decisions every day and trusting your intuition blindly will lead to mistakes. Successful leaders recognize that decision making is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. Through interactive game play, case discussion and surveys, you'll:

  • Get real-time feedback on the strategic consequences of your decisions
  • Identify blinds spots and the role of intuition in your decision making process.
  • Gain competitive advantage by understanding how consumers, key stakeholders and competitors make decisions

Intended For

Team Leader, Senior Management, Executive, C-Suite


Leadership, Management Competencies

Making good decisions isn’t easy — and it's getting more difficult each day. In a recent survey, Gartner found that 65% of decisions made are more complex (involving more stakeholders or choices) than they were two years ago. To keep pace with change and competition, leaders need to continuously train and challenge their intuition.

This interactive program integrates simulations alongside case discussion and group work to help leaders better understand how and why they make decisions, as well as their customers and key stakeholders, to become a better negotiator, expand influence, and make more effective and impactful decisions.

  • Program Topics

    Featured activities & session topics include:

    Key Topics & Themes

    • System 1 (fast, intuitive and emotional) and System 2 (slower, more deliberative and logical) Thinking - differences, pros & cons of each
    • Estimating and Updating Probabilities
    • Risk Preferences - use roulette model to determine strategies for risk
    • Negotiations - understand other party's risk tolerance to negotiate best outcomes
    • Behavioral Finance - learn how psychological influences affect market outcomes
    • Mental Accounting - understand preference of choice using payment plan options
    • Time Discounting - understand the impact of instant vs. delayed gratification

    Special Activities

    • Simulations in Designing a Retention Bonus, Setting Pricing Strategies, and Entering New Markets
    • Active Game Play around Risk Preferences, Human Behavior in Games and War of Attrition
    • Debrief and Analysis of Simulations and Games
    • Surveys on decision-making process, risk preferences and probabilities that impact direction of class sessions
  • Impact & Outcomes

    In this program you will gain the skills to:

    • Develop a framework to approach common and difficult management decisions.
    • Understand your own decision-making process and how to mitigate common mistakes.
    • Gain competitive advantage by learning how consumers make spending decisions.
    • Strengthen your negotiation skills.
    • Avoid common pitfalls when it comes to financial investment decisions.
    • Learn how to overcome biases and overconfidence in decision-making.
    • Learn about improper discounting of future consequences, and its effect on self-control and procrastination. 
    • Learn design principles for experiential goods.
  • Participant Profile

    This program is designed for leaders who are tasked with making decisions on behalf of the organization, as well as those who aspire to those roles and want the decision-making credential for growth.

  • Location & Lodging
    UVA Darden DC Metro Sands Family Grounds


    UVA Darden DC Metro
    1100 Wilson Boulevard
    Arlington, Virginia

    Materials and some meals are included in your program fee.


    Accommodations are not included in the program fee and should be arranged by the participant. Recommended accommodations include:

    Hyatt Centric Arlington
    1325 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, 22209
    Tel: +1-703-525-1234

    Le Méridien Arlington
    1121 North 19th Street, Arlington, VA 22209
    Telephone: +1-703-351-9170

According to a McKinsey Global Survey, leaders reported spending 37% of their time making decisions, and more than half of this time was thought to be spent ineffectively.

Decision Making in the Age or Urgency
McKinsey Global Survey, 2019
Certificate in Leadership & Management

Earn Your Certificate

Effective Decision Making counts as one program toward a noncredit Darden Certificate in Leadership & Management. Complete this program and three additional programs within a four-year period to earn your certificate.


Manel Baucells

Manel Baucells

David M. LaCross Associate Professor of Business Administration

Sasa Zorc

Sasa Zorc

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Darden Executive Education is provided by the University of Virginia
Darden School Foundation.