Did you know that 91% of business leaders are confident in their ability to make good decisions, but 60% of those decisions fail? Use these four proven rules to clear thinking, effective problem solving, and powerful decision making.
1. Inquire with an open mind for more information
When making a choice, we rarely ask enough questions. Emotions replace rational thinking quickly because emotions allow us to justify our wants. Even in business, emotions influence our decisions. To avoid that, take the time and ask a series of “WHY and HOW” questions:
- Forget opinions and solutions
- Ask why and how: Why do we need this? Why will this work? Why are you so certain? Why is this true? How will we measure it? How will it work?
- Dig deeper: Why is this the right time? Why not some other direction? Why are we considering this now? Why is this the best answer?
For example, if the decision you were dealing with was whether to buy a client database from an out-of-business competitor – forget your opinion of the client or how buying it will solve a problem. Ask the questions first.
2. Question your assumptions
We all know the downside of assuming. Before jumping into any conclusions, ask questions to “TEST YOUR ASSUMPTIONS.” See if the answers leave you feeling Certain or Uncertain or if you get a sense that the answer is More Important or Less Important. Build yourself a grid with these four categories in each quadrant of the grid and test your assumptions.
3. Examine the IMPACT of your decisions
In any business there are four areas of IMPACT when making decisions: resources, processes, stakeholders and cash.
For example, your impact list under resources might include time, energy, people, equipment, etc. In the decision-making process, ask yourself if buying this database will impact time, people, energy and equipment positively or negatively? Use the same method when analyzing processes, stakeholders and cash.
4. Alignment with company values
The last aspect of good decision making goes back to your company’s core values, its strategies, goals and initiatives. Alignment is the easiest concept to work with, yet often overlooked. For example, if one of your values is Integrity, does buying a competitor’s list compromise that value in any way? The fact that the competitor is out-of-business probably says no.
Imagine the impact on your entire company if you set up a process whereby all decisions have to be in alignment with your core values. This alone is a powerful tool to help empower your team to make good decisions.
Inquiry, Assumptions, Impact and Alignment – these are the key components of making good decisions. For one client, deploying this process would save him $18,000. Don’t let bad decisions impact your ability to drive profits to your bottom line. Try it.
Need help with this topic or leadership coaching? Contact Mission Critical Teams.