You've just had an urgent problem dumped on your desk, posed to you in a meeting, or presented to you by a client. The situation is tense. Emotions are starting to flare, and all eyes are looking to you to act. What do you do? Do you react with a knee-jerk solution? Do you calm the situation with an acceptable solution? Or, do you stop, think, and work to identify a solution that's going to allow you to think, "I'm glad I took the time to think that through"?
Do you stop, think, and work to identify a solution that's going to allow you to reflect later, "I'm glad I took the time to think that through"?
Now here's something to consider: Just because that third option is last, and it's highlighted above, doesn't mean it's necessarily the best option and one you should always strive to achieve. It's just that: an option.
Every day, you're confronted with dozens, if not hundreds of decisions to make. As you've climbed the hierarchy of your organization or as you've otherwise expanded your domain of responsibilities, the sheer number of decisions you have to make each day increases exponentially. To address them and move forward, without realizing it, you've honed your problem-solving and decision-making skills. You've honed your skills by learning from past mistakes, successes, and observations. You've learned to problem-solve seemingly on-the-fly, yet you're actually problem-solving very rapidly. Will you make mistakes with this rapid-fire skill? Absolutely. However, remember you'll also make poor decisions in situations where you've deliberated for months or years. Don't equate quick decisions with poor decisions.
There are times when, no matter what you decide, someone or a constituency is not going to be happy. However, movement is needed. An answer is required. Someone has to be willing to take the heat, and that person might be you. Make the decision, though imperfect, and move on.
Yes, there are those decisions, that you simply have to say, "Let's all take a deep breath, slow down, and work through this." Those decisions are the ones with potentially far-reaching, strategic ramifications. There are stakeholders involved. There are issues to be debated and assessed. There are relationships to be considered. These decisions address more than problems; they address your reputation, as well as personal and professional relationships, so respect their importance with intentional thought.
You've got one decision and three choices on how to make it. Which one is right for the situation and right for you? Decide, then make your decision and move on. [Click to Tweet]
Copyright MMXV Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC. +1.717.597.8890
Liz and her team work with leaders to create focused plans for their organizations' future. Then they teach leaders how to make their plans a reality.