Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
Executives are trained, encouraged, rewarded, and revered for their fearless courage, fast reaction times, and intuitive decision-making. As a result, 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 to make commitments and decisions quickly, especially around a crowded meeting room table. Yet, during those most stressful and emotional times, the best corporate gun-slingers know that it is wise to be deliberate when planning and making decisions in business.
The Importance of Decision-Making in Business
Why is decision-making critical in business? Think of it this way: In chess, the match is decided by 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 story’s moral 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. But, 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 in the heat of the moment, nearly every decision (huge 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. For example, 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 you’re unaware 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 more “right” decision than another, even if it’s not the most cost-effective? Then, whatever choice you make, be sure you can look at yourself in the mirror afterward.
The key to my decision-making method in business is the word “deliberate.” I advise you to go slow, think it out, and react. You will be respected for your patience, wisdom, and experience if you give yourself time to think it through rather than get caught up in the moment’s energy.
Decision-making in management is a trait that can be nurtured over time. So click here to fill out my contact form and discuss some ideas to hone your decision-making skills.