Decision-making is a critical skill to develop as a leader. Decisive leaders are more effective at executing plans, achieving goals, and driving the organization forward. When you’re stuck in limbo trying to make a decision, you’re keeping yourself and your team stagnant. As Brian Tracy said, “Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.”
However, many of us feel paralyzed when making a decision because we’re afraid of making the wrong one. So, how can you be more swift in your decision-making, while also avoiding making decisions that will have a negative impact on your team?
Here are 5 tips to help you gain confidence in your decision-making skills:
1) Set a deadline
Giving yourself a deadline will prevent you from procrastinating, as well as help you avoid overthinking. (Yes, thinking too much about a problem can actually be detrimental.)
To keep yourself accountable, put it in your calendar – or better yet, tell your team that you’ll announce your decision on a specific date.
2) Be objective
You want to make sure you’re not bringing any personal biases or assumptions into your decision-making process. Look at all the factors you’re using as a basis for your decision, and ask yourself “is this true, or is it my assumption?”
3) Gather relevant info
Reach out to staff and colleagues at various levels and ask for their perspective. If you can, gather input from those who will be directly impacted by your decision, as well as those who can be more objective about the situation.
You can also look at similar issues from the past – what decisions were made, and what the outcome was – to inform your current decision.
4) Take a break
Do you ever notice that you tend to get your best ideas while on a walk, in the shower, or as you’re falling asleep at night? That’s not a coincidence.
Taking a step away from the issue at hand allows you to return to the problem with a clear head, and fresh ideas.
5) Follow your guiding principles
This one is important. You want to make sure whatever decision you make aligns with the values that you hold. You won’t feel good as a leader (or as a person) if you’re acting out of integrity.
Every leader should have a set of principles that guide their actions, decisions, and leadership practices. Not sure what your core values are? Let’s talk.
Looking for more leadership tips to add to your toolkit? Join our newsletter to get leadership tips sent straight to your inbox every month!