March 4, 2022
“Why are our managers not able to make their own decisions?” “Why do I get a phone call for every decision the managers make.” These are both comments I’ve heard in countless meetings. We are constantly telling our managers to make decisions, then why don’t they? Is it fear? Is it a lack of confidence? Is it lack permission? Is it laziness? The questions go on.
The truth about making decisions is, no one has the answer because no one can predict the future. Is that where the fear comes from, not having enough information? Or is it some other factor? All decision-making is at its core is an educated guess. Each one of us makes hundreds of decisions a day that we don’t even realize we are making. (For example: What road are we driving on to get to work, What do I need to take with me when I leave for work? What ink pen are we writing with?). Many of those decisions are good decisions even though we do not realize when we made them initially or when we keep making them.
What is it that is happening when making a decision or an educated guess is? Consideration of the facts, weighing the pros and cons, and settling on a decision. The comfort of decision-making comes from making it a habit to learn from your experiences and be willing to consider all facts and decide. Also, be willing to learn from others’ experiences whether those decisions are good or bad, and listen to opinions that are different from yours. No one can predict the outcome, but you can learn from others’ experiences to make a more educated decision.
Making the wrong decision will happen and that’s okay if you are willing to do two things. First, be honest about what happened. Second, learn from the decision. Learning from a bad decision is critical, it allows you to see what went wrong and to help you identify if you considered all the factors when weighing the pros/cons. There could have been a con you did not even consider. What does that prepare you for? It sets you up to consider that factor in your next decision-making process because you learned from the previous situation.
It’s our human nature to dwell on the bad decisions we make, but do we reflect on the good decisions? What can also be learned from making a good decision? Do we even realize we made a good decision? Do we give ourselves any praise for getting things right? Giving yourself praise and reflecting on the good, is earned and allows you to be more self-aware that you are on the right track to grow and to accomplish your goals.
This is what the true problem is: Not taking action and not making a decision is the true definition of making a bad decision. If you do nothing, there is no progress, nor is there learning. Not making a decision keeps you stuck in the status quo and stuck in the same cycle of business. Not making that decision didn’t allow you to take a step forward or a step to growth.
When you make a decision, not everyone will agree and that is okay. Trust yourself and your thought process and take action. Take action to be better and to grow whether the decision you make is moving a step in the right direction or just a lesson to be learned to grow from.
So, the question stems from how I become a better decision-maker. First, you have to make the decision to be willing to make a decision each and every time. Second, educate yourself. Third, learn from the experience whether it’s positive or negative.
Sometimes you got to take the leap of faith and have the confidence to try. What the future holds is un-telling if you are willing to take a risk and decide to try.