We all like to be in a position wherein we get a chance to take decisions. However, taking the right decision at the appropriate time is a skill that comes with knowledge and experience. To be a good leader one has to master this important skill.
A decision is nothing but an outcome of cognitive thinking. So if you alter your thinking pattern and be practical in your approach, you may end up surprising yourself. Here we list down a few points that may give you a perspective when you have to choose from a number of options:
Define the problem: Instinctive or impulsive decision may work at times. But if you are a good decision maker, you will never depend only on impulses or instincts. If you can identify the problem area, half the problem is already resolved. Look at problems as opportunities to explore options that you may have never thought of. There is no point getting upset. Problems are not always negative; approach them with positively and taking a call will be easier.
Options galore: When in confusion, list down all the available options. It is always advisable to seek others opinion as well. For example, call for a brain storming session and encourage participants to come up with as many options as they can, irrespective of its applicability including welcoming opposing views as well. Remember, the more options you have, the less likely you are to miss out the most appropriate one.
Analyze options: Once you have a list of options, analyze the pros and cons of each. Ask questions like ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘whom’, etc. For example: Why am I choosing this particular option? How will it affect the concerned people? etc.
Even if the option is suggested by a foe, it is important to keep your ego and differences at bay and think objectively. Pile up the options against each other and compare them to the desired end result. Effective investigation will help you make informed choices.
Evaluate compromises: Once your analysis is in place, evaluate the compromises. Citing his own example a manager found him self in a situation where he had to compromise with basic professional ethics. But he chose not to. It was a very dicey situation, but he decided to put his foot down and bear the consequences. Although the next few months were not very pleasant, the result was he could be proud of the decision he made that day.
If you have to comprise on factors like basic values and professional ethics, think again. You are likely to find a better option in your list.
Be accommodative: You may have a ready opinion about the issue at hand. However, it is important to be objective and accommodative as you could be wrong. After all it is opinion as the best one. On the contrary, your aim should be to make the correct decision and not prove anyone right or wrong.
Commit yourself: Having evaluated your options effectively, it’s time to decide. Once you make a decision remember it is ‘your decision’. If you are the one who chose to opt for a particular option, you have to take responsibility for any untoward instance as well. So, ensure that you are thoroughly committed to it. Take the situation as an opportunity and gain as much as you can from it.
Change is constant: Needless to say, change is constant. In case circumstances change, or you realize that the decision you made is incorrect, be ready to accept a new option. This is quite common as it is only when you implement your decision that you will experience the practically of the situation till then it is theoretical. You should have the courage to accept the situation and start afresh.
So, let us move ahead with a clear picture of how we plan to sort out the challenges that lie ahead.