More than ever, decisions—ours and others—surround us and definitely affect us. For example:
Masks or no masks.
Vaccines or no vaccines.
Work remotely or work in the office.
Make a stand about a dispute or walk away from it.
According to various sources, the average adult makes 35,000 decisions each day. What is one decision you made that you wish you could do over—maybe a marketing campaign, a promotion, a new hire choice, or a product or process change? What would you do differently now?
I suggest establishing guidelines, so you can be thorough, consistent, timely, and grounded in your future decision making.
Find ways to become more grounded in your decision-making process.
Consider these seven guidelines:
- Decide, don’t wait. Putting off deciding something to avoid dealing with an issue does not show solid leadership. People prefer their leaders make a decision (even if they don’t like it) than no decision at all.
- Gather a reasonable amount of data before making a decision. Remember this saying from computer science: Garbage in—garbage out? This applies to decision making as well. Ask questions and gather reliable, substantiated data, then challenge the data you receive. In addition, challenge the opinions of people offering you data so you can understand their viewpoints.
- Avoid spontaneous or impulsive decisions. Identify small issues and analyze them before they become large issues. Then you’ll know what to do if you have a problem with someone on your team. You will have anticipated it and thought through the best way to handle that issue when it happens.
- Avoid making decisions for political gain. Whether at home or at work, any decisions made for the wrong reasons will ultimately show up as that, putting your credibility as a leader at stake.
- Avoid becoming bureaucratic in your decision making. People want leadership, not a wishy-washy response to an issue. Again, your credibility as a leader is at stake.
- Avoid trying to please everyone. Make the best decision you can given the information you have. Recognize that not everyone will be happy with your decision. What’s most important? Making the right fact-based decision for the good of your team.
- Consider your decision’s effect on your business culture. Factor business values and core competencies into your decision-making process. As an example, if your culture supports high-performance teams, look for possible new hires through that lens.
And always, always, always be thorough, consistent, and timely with any decision you make.