Manbir Kaur – Helping Leaders, Teams & Organizations

What is Decision Making?

Decision making is the difference between “Doing Things Right” and “Doing Right Things”.

Everyone must strive to do things right. Once you have a task, you must handle it well, find the right way to do it. This is a basic expectation from any role. If you do things right, that does not make you stand out, it just means you meet expectations. By “Doing Things Right”, you might rise within the Organization but will hit a ceiling. One may not rise to senior leadership levels by just meeting expectations.

“Doing Right Things” is a different ball game altogether. It is about considering options; quite a few times, discovering new options; or at times, inventing new options and then choosing the right one. It may mean going against, “What is supposed to be done” or “What we usually do” or “What everyone else will do” or “Nothing can be done”. A lot of it is making the right decisions.

Decision making is not about yourself!

You cannot stop at choosing the right option. In today’s world, decisions impact in a much larger way and across functions.  What stops people from making effective decisions-

  • I know it all

Many leaders make decisions based on the belief ‘I know it all’. You must share with the right stakeholders with conviction the logic behind the decision and why you propose to depart from the norm, if at all. What benefits does it bring? How will it make organization perform better, or your team perform better or get more profits or more business or so on and so forth. It is not only knowing your decision; it is also about conveying it in the right way.

  • People don’t understand

As you go through the process, others might share many ideas. How do you deal with these?

You must either convince them or get convinced. You must not force your logic or just ignore the concerns. You must work with others to understand the concerns, create a vision that others can relate to and take people along on this journey of change or transformation. It is not about when you know you are right. If you are not able to influence other stakeholders, the probability is you may not be right.

  • Taking your team granted

A few leaders also take their own teams granted. Take time and effort to paint the big-picture for them, getting their buy-in. Give them an opportunity to challenge you, so that your reasoning and logic can become even more robust. You must gain their respect by encouraging the out of box thinking or free thought. When they are convinced and are clear about their role in the big picture:

  • They will happily work on it and drive the results with enthusiasm
  • You may not have to monitor closely, as they will take ownership and drive personally and taking the pressure of delivering results of you.
  • Fear of Getting it wrong

A few leaders are apprehensive of making decisions, they do not want to be wrong. They fear being proven wrong. I suggest leaders to face that fear and plan the decision making in an effective way. Do admit when you are wrong; Sometimes, your version of the vision may be misplaced, there may be somethings that you did not consider in your framework. When others share a different point of view:  

  • Do not stick to your guns. Do not be hell bent on proving yourself, right. Act rationally and work on correcting your world view and reworking your options.
  • When others tell you about these things, “listen to understand” not “listen to respond”.

To be a Leader is to be a Decision Maker

The leaders are required to make decisions every day. The impact of a decision, right or wrong can be huge. While no-one expects you to make all right decisions, everyone expects you to make decisions in the right way. You must be seen as inclusive, adaptive, respectful, understanding, rational and a confident leader. Others must be able to trust you and your judgement.

Your leadership teams not just look at the results your decisions bring, but also the way you make decisions. They also look at how well are you able to take others along and how well you help others align with the vision you have. To become one of them, you must prove that you have the capability of “Doing Right Things.”

Be a better Decision Maker

For your promotion, you must instill confidence in your leaders about your decision making.

Identify the areas of decision making that you need to work upon, tighten your belt and get on with them. Do not leave them for tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes!

If you need any help, please feel free to reach out by clicking this link right here!

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