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Making Better Decisions

Making Better DecisionsMaking decisions is often the toughest part of a leader’s job. The wrong decision can carry tremendous risk – damaging the company’s reputation, impacting customers negatively, or causing loss of revenue or increased costs.

However, many of the decisions that we have to make don’t have to be made immediately! Often we can take some time to really think about what needs to be done and who needs to be involved to ensure we are making the best decision. Additionally, we need to realize we are not always the best one to make a decision. We need to get others involved who have expertise and experiences we may not have that will enable us to see a problem from different perspectives and therefore arise at better decisions.

Bad decisions are often the result of:

  • Not engaging others (e.g., your team or peers) in the decision making process.
  • Not clearly identifying alternative solutions.
  • Not collecting the right information prior to making a decision.
  • Not weighing the costs, benefits and risk of a particular solution.

Before moving forward with making a decision, consider the following questions:

  • What happens if no decision is made? (Sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone.)
  • What are the advantages (pros) to making a decision and the disadvantages (cons) to making a decision?
  • Is there sufficient information available, or can it be researched, in order to make a decision?
  • What will affect making a decision? (Are there limits around resources, technology, budgets, or timing?)
  • Who needs to be involved in making a decision? (Who is most impacted? Who has information that is needed? Who will be impacted once a change is made?)
  • How soon does the decision need to be made? (Do you have enough time to research and make a good decision?)

In order to make better decisions, take the time to consider who needs to be involved, why you are moving forward to make a decision and anything that may impact that decision. Don’t rush your decision! Rarely do decisions need to be made so quickly that you can’t take the time to think.

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