Who hasn’t questioned themselves at one point or another and asked if the decision that they are making is the right one or not? We have all been there, where we have agonized over one decision or another at one point or another. But while some maybe more confident in their decision making and may only stop when the choice involves big risks, others may question every little decision that is in front of them, even deciding where to go for dinner may send them into a frenzy.
Unfortunately decision making is something that cannot be avoided. In our businesses and workplace, there are all kinds of decisions one has to make, some big some small – what person to hire? what strategy to pursue? what supplier to work with? whether merging or acquiring a particular company is worth it or not? and so forth. Especially if you want to be an effective leader, the ability to confidently make a decision and stay with it is something that is essential.
I wish I could say that there is one standard formula that would make decision making easy but unfortunately there isn’t and neither is there a quick 5 minute fix that can be incorporated either. The good news though is that confident decision making can be developed, it can be learnt and you can start seeing the benefits over time.
Here are 10 tips that I have seen work well –
1. Smart people make wrong decisions too
Somehow less confident people seem to think that smart people must have something special about them, they must always make the right decisions. Think about it, is that even possible? We are all human beings which means we all make mistakes. Smart people make wrong decisions largely due to over-confidence. If you have consciously or subconsciously compared yourself to others and that has played a part in you being less confident, then recognizing that everyone can make wrong decisions, yes even the smart ones can help you get past the block.
2. Remember what worked
Even if you think you have poor decision making ability, there are probably some decisons that you’ve made that have turned out to be successful. So go ahead and try recall them to see what worked and why it worked. How did you arrive at those decisions? Focussing on your strengths and positives will help you be more confident.
3. Get in the habit of exercising your Intuitive sense
You know I mention this quite frequently in my posts and its only because there is such limited awareness and understanding about this sense. Once you learn about it and slowly practice it, it can make decision making that much easier.
4. Stop the overwhelm
When decision making is a problem, it’s easy to procrastinate and let things sit. And when we do that, soon comes a time perhaps in the form of a deadline where delaying the decision is not possible anymore. This can get overwhelming and cause you to make snap decisions, thereby making the situation even worse. When you are faced with a choice, take your time but make sure you don’t leave the decision making to last minute.
5. Intellectualize your hesitation
When you are struggling with the decisions, it’s best to ask – why or what is stopping you? Once you break it down mentally, you would be able to exactly pin point where exactly is your problem.
6. Prepare for the worst
This is one of my personal favorites as this is what I rely on when I am faced with an important decision; do the worst case analysis and get prepared for it. The benefit – well there can be nothing worst right that you are not prepared for, it can only get better.
7. Get out of the what-ifs
People can drive themselves crazy thinking about imaginary what – ifs. I mean seriously. And when you do that, what you are really doing is giving power to things that do not even exist – if I make this decision, what if this happens or that. Remember there is no guarantee about anything in life and only time can tell how something will turn out, so do yourself a favor, don’t drive yourself crazy worrying about the what-ifs.
8. Start writing
Putting things down on paper can really provide you with clarity. The more you write, the more you get clear and sort things out. Write down everything you can think off about the decision you are about to make – the good and bad. Seeing everything in front of you will help you see things clearer about what you are suppossed to do.
9. Be Courageous
Okay so isn’t it true that sometimes we struggle with decision making because we want everyone to be on board; we want to please others, get their approval, make them happy and if everyone is with us we feel it’s easier to make a choice. But how about when somebody isn’t on board, do you stay as convinced about your decision or do you begin to question the validity of your own judgement? Think about it.
10. Surround yourself with encouragers
Yes, sometimes even the people who love you don’t know how to support you and often they can bring you down by putting you down. Now this happens because of their own weaknesses, it is not personally directed to you, unfortunately it can appear that way though.. But when you are trying to work on something, in this case your decison making, you need people who lend you the confidence that you lack right now. So you need external encouragers who will give you that boost that you need to move ahead.
I hope you will find these tips uselful. Feel free to share what has worked for you in the comments section below.