As a leader, we are often required to make decisions as part of our daily lives. Not every decision is important or difficult, but learning to make them efficiently is important. Even the small decisions can add up to a negative outcome if badly managed. Do you have a decision-making process? Or do you act impulsively? Do you make decisions at all, or instead become frozen by the options? Here at Justin Cobb Leadership Academy, we have some tips for making better decisions.
1. Trust the Data
Human beings are emotional creatures, and emotions are prone to manipulation. Whenever you can do so, it’s important to make data the driving force of your decision. Making decisions based on real numbers, history, projections, and trends cuts out the emotional part. It keeps you grounded and based in reality.
2. Consider Short and Long Term
All decisions have effects that play out in the short term, and in the long term. Don’t get too focused on one or the other. Just because something is good for your business tomorrow, does not mean it will stay that way next year. Make sure to consider both aspects.
3. Step Outside of the Decision
If the decision affects you personally, it can be hard to be impartial. It’s helpful to practice being an outside observer. Imagine someone else in the same situation, asking you for advice. What would you tell them, if the outcome didn’t affect you?
4. Don’t Think Too Much
It might seem sensible to think any decision through for a long time, but in reality, it’s easy to overthink decisions. Overthinking can introduce doubt and confusion into a decision. You may start to introduce information that is outside the scope of the problem. If you find yourself going over and over the problem, consider taking a break and coming back to it with a fresh mind.