We are often watching leaders in politics or corporations taking a painfully long time to come to their decisions and trying to communicate them in the right way. Watching from the outside we are not party to the mass of information, facts, figures, data they must consider before arriving at a decision – and sometimes it seems that any decision they take is perhaps bound to be the wrong one. Is taking no decision sometimes better than taking a decision which may later turn out to be wrong? Will making no decision and hoping the issue resolves itself be a better solution or will it make things worse?
In our daily lives as corporate leaders we sometimes feel the same way, i.e., whichever direction we choose has its downsides. However, if you put yourself in the shoes of our teams who will be impacted by our decision making the wait is often more painful than the outcome of any decision we may make. Waiting for a leader to decide lays a very fertile ground for filling the space with rumours, unfounded theories and speculations. This waiting time wastes organizational energy and lowers productivity – how are your staff supposed to thrive if they are operating in a state of uncertainty?
As a reason for not making a decision, I often hear leaders say that they don’t yet have all the facts or that they need to weigh the pros and cons just a little while longer. Here are a few tips that will help speed up your decision making:
o Tap into different networks by asking colleagues to recommend someone else who could help you think this through
o Bring the dilemma to your next coaching session – your coach is the ideal sparring partner for thinking things through and challenging your perspective
o Challenge your perspective with inputs from several diverse perspectives:
Someone you trust to speak candidly
Someone who generally disagrees with you
Someone who has no experience with the subject matter of your question
Someone from a different part of the organization
o In gathering different perspectives ask the following questions:
What are three ways this might fail?
Who will disagree with this and why?
What’s the biggest obstacle to this working?
What am I missing? Do I have a blind spot?
o Finally: Ask yourself what the worst possible outcome could be!
I encourage you to practice a couple of these tips so next time you have to make a big decision you already know what to do.
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If you find this inspiring and you would like to explore further how we could work together, I am delighted to meet with you for a 30-minute-free-of-charge-info-session