We all need to make decisions. While we all know that this is part of business, we can often find it difficult. It might be that:
- We are afraid of getting it wrong
- We procrastinate
- We get lost in the detail and lose sight of the bigger picture
- We worry about how others will react
- We don’t know what outcome we want to achieve
How to Be More Effective
- Recognise that very few decisions are a matter of life or death. Most decisions, even if they don’t work out quite as you expected are irrecoverable. Give your self permission to make mistakes and learn from them.
- Avoid putting things off. If you know a decision needs to be made, find a way of forcing yourself to move toward it. One way might be to set a deadline.
- Keep your focus on the bigger picture and make sure you do not get lost in the detail. Keep asking what is important about this decision?
- Whenever you have to take a decision, remember that not everyone is going to agree with it. As a leader or manager you are paid to take decisions and sometimes they will be unpopular.
- Get clear about the outcome (result) you want before taking a decision so that all discussion, debate, etc is linked back to the result.
- Make sure that you have the right information available to take the decision and if not go and find it.
- Trust your intuition. Sometimes you will just have a hunch about something. Our natural reaction is to dismiss it. Instead try using it. For example, imagine you are part of a Senior Management Team discussing a new investment. You have a hunch that it is good long term even though the numbers might indicate otherwise. Throw it out you might just spark others to look at different perspectives.
- Look at the options and weigh up the pro’s and cons.
- Consider talking through the decision with a more experienced and trusted colleague to broaden your perspective.
- Remind yourself that we are all human and mistakes will be made. The key thing is to keep learning.
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