Today’s blog post is all about how to make an effective decision. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation of ‘paralysis by analysis’ then you know that sometimes, decision making can be really tricky.
So many people become terrified of making decisions and it can really hold you back because you’re so scared of making the wrong decision. Have you ever worked with someone or known someone who refuses to make a decision and is constantly looking for more information? It’s not very inspiring is it? Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. Effective decision making is a skill that is invaluable to great leaders so if you’re going to be the best leader you can be, it’s time to flex your decision making skills!
Here is my 7-step process for making effective decisions:
- Breathe! I know you probably think I have shares in the “Breathing Corporation” as I’m always telling you to breathe but its importance cannot be underestimated! It’s your life force and when you can’t breathe – you know you’re dead so we have to embrace and harness the power of the breath. Remember the adage “3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food”
- Make sure you understand the problem/ issue before trying to solve it. How many times have you made a decision and then realised you hadn’t grasped the issue at hand?
- Weigh up your options. This is critical – make sure you’re taking an inclusive approach, not just seeing what you’d like to see. Sometimes we can have a bias and we look for info to back our thinking up…this is not smart decision making!
- Listen to your intuition – there has been a tendency to dismiss your intuition as ‘woo-woo’ or ‘fluffy’ but I am a big believer in listening to your gut instinct. Get better at listening to it and use it as part of the process.
- Decide – this can be the point where you retreat and think “I need more information or more opinions”. The time for that is over – now, it’s time to put your stake in the ground and make a decision.
- Implement – take action
- Review – if you don’t review the consequences of your decision, you won’t know if it was a good decision or not or if you were missing key information. As with anything, review what you did – see what worked well, what didn’t and how you could improve for next time.
Remember, we are all works in progress and as we continue to strive to be the best we can be, it’s important to recognise we are not perfect and we never will be. Actually, trying to be perfect is an unattainable goal so instead of trying to be perfect, why not be the best you? After all, that’s what we want to see!