9 Decision-Making Pointers

9 Decision-Making Pointers

Inspiring leaders are known for making important decisions. Here are 9 tips to help you make well-informed decisions that will motivate your team.

1. Be true to yourself

How you make decisions depends on several factors over which you have varying degrees of control:

  • Your level of confidence
  • Your tolerance to risk and stress
  • Your underlying motivations, such as the well-being of your team, productivity, uncertainty, etc.
  • Your level of optimism

You can influence how you make decisions, but remember that your natural instincts will always kick in.

2. Grace under pressure

When faced with a decision, time is of the essence.

However, the sense of urgency will vary according to a manager’s personality and experience. In other words, urgency is in the eyes of the beholder.

Consider how time influences your decision-making. If you're impulsive, take a step back to think things through. If you tend to procrastinate, you might want to speed up the process.

3. Nobody’s perfect

Perfection is simply unattainable. It is therefore best to accept imperfection, and embrace flaws and simplicity, rather than endless do-overs.

Sometimes, delivering good work on time is better than perfect work that’s late.

4. Be independent... within reason

Seasoned decision-makers have to think collaboratively at times.

However, when asking their team for advice, they must choose their words carefully. They say, “What do you think?” rather than “What should I do?”

It’s important that seeking advice be kept to a minimum and remain independent in your decision-making. Committees and approval structures tend to limit, or at least considerably slow the decision-making process.

5. Gather intel

You’ll make better decisions if you know all the information. It’s easier to find the best solution when you can see the situation for what it is.

6. Trust your instincts

It's difficult to define precisely what an instinct is.

It’s a mix of personality, experience and reading between the lines. Intuition also comes into play when making decisions, especially when not all the facts are known.

Trust your instincts and listen to yourself.

7. Keep an open mind

Jumping to conclusions comes naturally. Our brain likes familiarity and is wired to steer us in that direction.

You then tend to overlook facts when making decisions, relying instead on your cognitive biases.

Your end game must always be to make the best decision, not the one you want although you may not like it.

8. Admit when you’re wrong

If you made a bad call (and it happens to the best of us), face the music and admit your mistake.

Humility will earn you more respect than hard-headedness.

9. Have a plan B

No one enjoys going back to square one or being caught off guard, so always have a back-up plan. If you fear you didn't make the best decision, change course. There is no shame in applying an alternate solution to correct a situation that didn’t go as expected.

Inspiring managers admit mistakes are learning experiences from which they have bounced back stronger.