Executives are trained, encouraged, rewarded, and revered for their fearless courage, fast reaction times, and intuitive decision-making. The pressure to make decision-making look easy is ingrained in management culture. But how many of us can honestly say we make our best decisions on the spot?
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There is a perceived need, especially around a crowded meeting room table, to quickly make commitments and decisions. During those most stressful and emotional times, the very best corporate gun-slingers know that it is wise to be very deliberate when planning and decision making in business.
The Importance of Decision Making in Business
Why is decision making important in business? Think of it this way: In chess, the match is decided because of one wrong move. Once the move is made, it sets the game on an almost certain path. And in chess, as in life, a move like that can’t be taken back.
The moral of the story is to think long and hard before deciding when the stakes are high. Look at it from every angle. See what you see and then ask yourself if there’s something you can’t see. One wrong move can change the game. Of course, it takes practice for this method of deliberate decision making to become a habit.
Tips for Decision Making in Business
While it might feel like you need to decide the heat of the moment, nearly every decision (especially big ones) can be postponed at least temporarily. If you’re in a meeting, request a recess. Once you buy yourself some time, here are some tips for deliberate decision making in the workplace.
- Consider what your first instinct is. While that’s not always the right decision, it’s helpful to unpack how you currently feel or why. Are you reacting to something that happened in the past? Does one path feel more in line with what you’ve seen before?
- Talk it out with your staff or peers. Ask for input from people who are familiar with the situation. They might have another take on the problem that you’re not aware of.
- Get an objective outside opinion (perhaps from your business coach.) Sometimes, being too close to the situation can cloud our judgment. An objective view can help you see more clearly.
- Consider the pros and cons. It helps to make a physical list so you can see them side-by-side.
- Think about the moral implications. Is there a decision that’s more “right” than another, even if it’s not the most cost-effective? Whatever choice you make, be sure you can look yourself in the mirror afterward.
The key to my method of decision making in business is the word “deliberate.” I advise you to go slow, think it out, and then react. You will be respected for your patience, wisdom, and experience if you give yourself time to think it through rather than getting caught up in the energy of the moment.
Decision making in management is a trait that can be nurtured over time. Click here and fill out my contact form and let’s discuss some ideas to hone your decision-making skills.
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