We make thousands of decisions every day.
Sometimes, they’re only small – like how to respond to a simple email. Other times, however, they’re much more significant – like which candidate to hire as your new manager or which project to initiate.
When we’re faced with a clear decision between a good outcome and a bad one, it’s common sense that we’ll go with the former. However, business isn’t always that simple. Sometimes, we’re met with more complex and challenging decisions, with valid points for and against each outcome.
That makes the choice hard to make.
As a business coach, I have seen many talented leaders struggle with their decision-making process. The pressure of choosing an outcome that not only affects them individually but also their organisation and stakeholders can be crippling.
So, I want to share with you a technique that I use to help my clients conquer indecisiveness to become better leaders and decision-makers.
How to become a decisive leader
Like any skill, decision-making can be improved upon with a process and ongoing practise. But as a leader, how do you even know if you need help with making good decisions?
Well, start by asking yourself:
- Do I often find myself postponing decisions?
- Have I missed a deadline or opportunity because I’ve delayed making a call?
- Have I been too dependent on other people to make decisions for me?
- Do I weigh up the outcomes but still have trouble arriving at a final choice?
- Are my business processes negatively affected by my decision-making?
If you answered yes to any of these, then it’s time to take a look at your process.
Using my decision-making process, below, you’ll be on your way to becoming a more adaptable and decisive business leader, thereby improving your productivity and the performance of your organisation.
Two steps to making better decisions
When you’ve got a lot on your plate, it’s easy to just set aside a new problem and worry about it later. The issue with this, however, is that you’re simply delaying the inevitable – which involves finally making a choice.
What’s worse is, you’re opening yourself up to making a potentially pressured and last-minute thoughtless decision further down the track.
Instead, the best way to approach decision-making is to plot out the time to decide. Set up an achievable timeframe to process the decision and choose an appropriate outcome.
Here are two steps that I recommend you – as a business leader – use to help you make better decisions in a more comfortable and conducive way.
An analytical flow makes for an organised and well-informed decision-making process.
By that, I mean that it’s important to begin by understanding your problem and gathering all available information that can be used to aid your decision. This way, you can filter out influences like emotional and confirmation bias and instead, use this data to come to an enlightened and logical conclusion.
Now that you’ve gathered your information, it’s time to reflect and make an informed decision. During the review phase, it’s important to make sure:
- there are no inconsistencies in your data
- you haven’t overlooked any supporting details, and
- you have a clear understanding of what each outcome will mean for all parties affected by your decision.
Once this is all clear, you can now take action, make your final decision and feel confident in the outcome – whatever it amounts to.
What if you still make the wrong decision?
Making a decision is never without risk.
This is just a part of business. When you select one option, you forego many others – for better or worse.
Unfortunately, many still feel apprehensive about making decisions due to the lingering possibility of failure or dissatisfaction. However, this shouldn’t stop you from making progress. A great decision made after following the above steps is considered progress – because you have taken a carefully considered approach rather than delaying the choice.
Then, if you do still find you’ve made the wrong decision, you can take comfort knowing you did everything you could with what you had at the time. In this instance, take the opportunity to review your process and determine what you can do to improve the likelihood that you will make the right decision next time around.
Do you want to be a more decisive leader?
As a Business Coach and Mentor, I work with business professionals like you to help you implement better decision-making strategies and reach your goals.
Whether you’re struggling with trusting yourself and your decision-making process, you fear losing opportunities through indecisiveness, or you’re looking for a fresh perspective to empower your team to make better decisions, I’m here to help.
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