Decision making is a major part of leadership. In business, we have to make multiple decisions every single day, whether big or small. Some are simple and require very little thought. Some are major decisions that require some real soul searching.
The decisions that have the potential to affect more than just you or will affect you for more than just the short term are those that are hardest to make. Sometimes, the pressure can be crippling.
While there is no escaping the fact that tough decisions are always going to be a part of life, there are ways to make the process easier.
- Consider all of your options. Most of the anxiety that comes with decision making lies in having too many choices in your head. Write down all of your options on a piece of paper so you can get a good look at all of your choices.
- Do your research. Look into each option and how each choice would likely pan out.
- Write down your pros and cons. Write down the pros and cons of each decision. Think about how each decision would affect your life as well as others. Weigh out risk vs reward.
- Separate fact from emotion. When weighing out the pros and cons of each option, it’s important to recognize which are routed in fact and which are based on emotion. It’s ok to factor in how you feel when making a decision. However, it’s critical to know the difference between what is cold hard fact and what is a feeling that may change or be influenced by circumstance.
- Focus on your vision. Make sure that you keep your goal in focus while weighing out your options. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in all of the possibilities and completely lose sight of what it is that you truly want in the first place. Stay true to who you are, what you really want and what is ultimately best for you and those involved in this decision.
- Select your best option. Select the one with the most sensible risk to reward ratio, but the one that also feels right to you. Select the option that best suits your vision and makes you excited for your future.
- Evaluate your plan. You’ve made your choice. Now it’s time to come up with a game plan. How will you get from point A to point B?
- Speak your choice. Once you come up with a plan and hammer out the details, say your decision out loud. When you say it, do you feel good, excited, relieved? Do you feel disappointed, stressed or confused? It’s okay to feel unsure, or scared. Fear is normal when making big decisions. If you feel terrible when talking about your decision or have a bad gut reaction, it may be worth a second look. If you feel nervous, but good, you know you’re on the right track.
This may seem like a long process to go through just to make a choice. Obviously, you don’t need to do this for every decision you need to make, but it is helpful to break down the process for bigger resolutions. Walking yourself through the process makes it easier and easier each time even for the most indecisive people!
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