Decision making should be second nature by now, right? You’ve had years of practice, and yet, there are some ‘Yield’ signs that we all miss sometimes along the way. Here are a couple of the glaring decision crossroads to look out for.
In many cases, our prevailing instinct is to be galvanized by the options and data set before us. Do you have enough information to make a decision? Have you conferred with the right people or teams? Have you massaged the data and reached perfect certainty? Well, the fact is that we often get afflicted with what Susan Heathfield, human resources expert, refers to as analysis paralysis.
How do you get past analysis paralysis? The Marine Core battles this syndrome with the “70 percent solution.” If you have 70 percent of the information, have done 70 percent of the analysis, and feel 70 percent confident, then move.
Teach yourself to place importance on “fast enough” – decision making based on sufficient information, not perfect data. Moreover, in reaching a decision, rarely are all the data available to be sure of its outcome. So gather all of the information that you have available, then make a move. You will be glad that you have moved the team to the next step in your process or project.
Seek Out Authority
Responsibility is not typically bestowed; it is actively sought. If you readily embrace more responsibility, you will find that eventually you are given the leeway to make decisions. Yes, it is more risk for you, but you will also have more power to effect change in your environment. Always work toward greater responsibility. This increases your decision-making ability through practice (being faced with repeated decisions) and placement (being put in a position that requires more decision making on a daily basis).
Finally, let’s talk about post-decision triage. Let’s face it, some decisions take us in the wrong direction, and it is worth taking time to learn from them. Routinely looking back on decision processes keeps you (and your team or department) learning, and therefore, being jettisoned forward in content and process knowledge. In your post-decision review meeting, ask questions such as, what did we think would happen? How did the situation actually play out? If there was a divergence, ask yourselves possible points where those deviations occurred.
We all get “decidophobia” at times. Thwart that tendency by paying attention to the decision crossroads that you are in front of you.