confident making decisions

3 Tips to Strengthen Your Decision-Making Skills

by Sonya Shelton

As a business leader, when going through times of change, many people will look to you for direction. It can feel overwhelming, but great leaders are made in times of crisis.

One of your most critical leadership responsibilities is making big decisions. The stakes may have been raised, but remember that decisions take courage, and courage means taking intelligent risks to move the organization in the direction of the vision.

Some think you either focus on the vision or you focus on the day-to-day, and that’s just how the world is. But great leaders know they must be able to see BOTH the long-term vision and the very next step. 

To strengthen your tough decision-making skills and to optimize your business and your team, take these ideas into consideration…

Challenge Assumptions

Your assumptions may be a blind spot, and leadership requires us to challenge them repeatedly. What used to work yesterday may no longer apply today, and it’s important for leaders to question and challenge those assumptions. 

The process of examining and challenging assumptions about your market, customers, shareholders, people, goals, and strategies can make a huge difference in your results, especially when those assumptions limit you.

Take a moment to write down a list of assumptions or things you think are true about your business and your organization no matter how “obvious” you think they may be. Do the same with your team.

Challenge the assumptions one by one: Is it really true? Could it be different? What if you dropped the idea altogether? 

When you challenge assumptions, you can come up with better solutions to problems, identify efficiencies, and create new ideas.

Eliminate the Clutter

When you’re overworked and overwhelmed, you are not your most productive – also you’re more likely to make reactive decisions as opposed to strategic decisions. This is why it feels like it takes so much more work. To alleviate this situation, evaluate your processes and eliminate tasks that no longer serve the organization or bring in revenue. 

Systems and processes that were important and had a purpose when they were implemented may no longer help your organization today.  Make it a practice for everyone in your organization to challenge one another about the value of activities—all of them! 

Be Clear & Confident

Above all else, when making tough decisions, you need to be CLEAR and CONFIDENT.

Aside from your experience and knowledge, clarity and confidence can come from being honest with yourself. When you understand your own strengths and development areas, you can trust that you either have the information you need or can get the information you need to make this decision with confidence.

It’s important to be objective about others, as well. While involving others is important, insisting upon consensus can do more harm than good. Consensus decision-making causes people to think their priority is asking others what to do. This lets them off the hook for being accountable, and it doesn’t result in the best decisions. In fact, consensus allows no one to take responsibility for doing the research, it fosters mediocrity, and ultimately opens the door to blaming others if something goes wrong

Every success story started with someone who made a courageous decision. That courageous leader can be you, and your story can start now.

As 2020 comes to a close, now is the opportunity to make sure your team finishes the year strong. Need some support? Book a free strategy session with us.

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