Management: Decision Making

time-to-decide-indicates-indecisive.jpgEach day we are faced with situations in life that require us to make choices.  Some of these choices are easy, and at times, some of them can be difficult. The ‘responsibility list’ for managers seems to get longer and more difficult, day by day.

There are some pretty understandable reasons why decision making is not always easy, management often struggle with this process and takes the most strain. They are afraid of being wrong. There are costs with being wrong like getting fired or not getting a promotion. They might put one of their employee’s jobs on the line

But decisions still need to be made. Dragging this process out will have a negative impact on your team. On top of that, the slow pace of finding the middle ground exposes us to the rapid speed of today’s business environment. 

So how can you as a manager get out of the slow paced environment in which you are now?  It’s actually pretty easy.

Identify the decision and the goal
One of the most effective decision making strategies is to keep an eye on your goal.  This simply means identifying the purpose of your decision by asking yourself what exactly is the problem that needs to be solved? And why does this problem need to be solved?

Figuring out what’s most important to you will help you make good decisions.  When you know the reason why you have been making a particular decision; it will better serve you in staying with it, and defending it.

Calculate the risks…then take them
Every decision has risks. Unfortunately, you need to gather as much information as possible and reduce every risk that you can think of. That information gathering takes time and effort.  All too often one doesn’t calculate the cost of getting it because many times the value of it is less than the cost of obtaining it. You need to weigh the balance between risk and facts and when you have enough data to be reasonably comfortable, make the call and take the risk.

Measure and adjust
Once you’ve taken the risk and implemented your decision, your next step would be to measure and monitor the results of your choice.  It’s important to know that many times you can go back and change your decision.  Often that is the right choice to make but you rarely do so.  Why?  Because that requires you to admit that you made the wrong decision the first time around.  Pride will destroy your organization. If you made a bad call but now know what the right call is, make the right call and move forward. Understand why you made the wrong decision the first time and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again.  Don’t let your ego and pride lead you to follow a path you know is wrong just so you don’t have to admit you messed up.

Of course, it’s easy to see the carelessness of management at times, and no one can make the right decision all the time.  But maybe it's necessary for each individual who has the “power” of making important calls for the company to approach decisions with a little more curiosity, a little more open-mindedness, and a little less certainty about the rightness of their position.

If you feel that you are the ideal manager but your current job is not allowing you to shine, maybe it’s time for a new one. Contact us and apply today.

Credit: by Stuart Miles