How To Make Successful Decisions You Will Feel Good About

We make many decisions throughout the course of a day.  Some are small and inconsequential while others are large and can affect peoples’ lives and wellbeing. At some point in our careers, we have all made decisions that just did not work out the way we predicted. The good news is, you are not alone. The decision process can vary by organization and commonly will fall into either consensus-based or management led decisions. Following these steps will help you navigate the decision- making process:

Don’t Hesitate – When faced with a difficult decision, don’t delay. Instead face it head on and fully review the pros, cons and risks of the decision.

Expert Advice – Discuss the problem you are trying to solve with a trusted peer. Most leaders like sharing their experiences and offering an objective opinion on the situation. Avoid “reinventing the wheel” at all costs.

Emotionally Disengage – Being too personally invested can lead to a lack of objectivity.  Focusing on the facts will help you make better decisions.

Data Dive – Determine the data needed and verify that it is the correct data. The only thing worse than having no data is having the wrong data. Keep in mind that you will never have complete data to make your decision.

Be Decisive – Making decisions by committee is often difficult. Everyone has their own views on a given issue and it’s important to listen to all input before making a final decision. It may be necessary for one person to take the responsibility of making the final decision. Sometimes, any decision is better than none.

Messaging -Some good decisions become bad decisions because people don’t understand or even know about them. Communicating a decision, its rational and implications, is critical to the successful implementation of a decision.

Contingency Planning – Outline all the risks associated with the decision and determine how each will be mitigated. Using this approach will help you feel more comfortable when making decisions.

Don’t Look Back – Once a decision has been made, don’t continue to think about it. If an issue related to that decision arises, address it and then move on.

Decision making is a skill that is required in our personal and business lives.  The path to good decision making is lined with pitfalls. It is common to fall, but keep in mind, it is not a failure but a lesson.  A successful leader is one who learns from those from those lessons.

Contributed by: Amy Noel