Decisions, Decisions: Improving Managerial Choices - Business Results
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Decisions, Decisions: Improving Managerial Choices

Decisions, Decisions: Improving Managerial Choices

Decisions, decisions… we’ve all got to make them. In fact, it’s estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 decisions a day. Aside from that, as responsibility increases, so does the myriad of decisions one faces. Managerial positions therefore face many decisions which greatly impact their business each day. Here’s a few tips on ways to improve your managerial decision making.

  • Utilize diverse perspectives. Everyone around you comes from different backgrounds and influences, meaning everyone around you has something different to offer. Don’t limit yourself to the one narrow perspective you’ve known your entire life and be open to others who have other knowledge or views. Additionally, when asking for others’ perspectives, encourage their creative problem solving and use of their own perspective. This will avoid groupthink, where a desire for conformity or harmony overpowers true, functional decision making.
  • Take care of yourself. You should avoid making major decisions while you are stressed, tired, or ill. The physical and mental aspects of the human body are closely tied together, which means if you’re physically unwell, your brain processes can be affected too, and your decision making may not be as sound as when you are healthy.
  • Avoid common only thinking of the “best case scenario.” This is a pitfall in which one only focuses on the most ideal outcomes. Nothing tends to go perfectly 100% of the time; non-ideal outcomes are sometimes unavoidable. Examining all the possible results, and not just what you want to happen, will give you a wider array of options in your decision making and allow you to problem solve without being caught by surprise.
  • Make a pro-con list. This is one of the most common tips for decision making. It’s common for a reason! Making a pro-con list allows you to consider, conceptualize, and visualize the good and bad of a decision. Try to physically write the pros and cons down as opposed to thinking about them or speaking them out loud; this will allow you to physically see the results of your thought process.
  • Examine your motivations. Ask yourself why you would choose each side of a decision. Are you making a choice that helps your business grow, or are you giving in the path of least resistance? If you tend to make decisions quickly without a lot of details, that might lead to “ok” decisions, rather than great ones. Conversely, if you tend to be overly cautious in your decision-making style, you may miss a bold opportunity. Further, some people make decisions based solely on their emotions while others can get into an analysis loop feeling they never have enough information. There may be options which other people find more favorable but have no major benefits. Stop, understand what’s driving the decision first before acting. Don’t let your personal preferences interfere with the best decisions for your business.
  • Look into the future (as best you can, sans time machine). This is incredibly difficult, as research shows that humans perceive their future selves as entirely separate persons whose wants and needs are much less urgent than those of their present selves. With that in mind, when making major decisions try to consider the long-term as well as the short-term impacts. As best you can, try to envision yourself and your team or company at the five- and ten-year marks from where you stand today.
  • Have a backup plan. If a decision leads to a poor outcome, don’t start the blame game. Acknowledge the issue. Then figure out what you can do about it. If you have a backup plan already in place, that will help tremendously to minimize the impact. Some bad decisions have bad consequences and no matter how prepared you are, you now must deal with the new reality. Just be ready to deal with them. What resources will be needed? Money? Time? Can the poor outcome be corrected? Great. If not, what steps can be taken to make the most of it. Fail forward.

Following these strategies will help make those business decisions a little easier and help you maximize your Business Results.