How to make effective decisions for your business
Do you have a decision to make in order to move forward professionally in a positive direction?
Do you have a decision to make in order to move forward professionally in a positive direction? You’re not alone. In the midst of uncertain times we actually have the opportunity to make decisions that can result in a positive impact on business. To minimize the stress associated with decision making it’s important to create as much clarity around the decision at hand as possible.
Your skills are “what” has led you to where you are today professionally. Your behavior determines “how” well you will do now moving forward: Positive Skills + Positive Behavior = Positive Impact on Business (Sherpa Executive Coaching formula).
As with any successful business venture, it is essential to have an effective process. The same holds true when it comes to making good business decisions. Think about a specific business decision that perhaps you have been putting off because of uncertainty. It could be in the area of resolving a long-standing conflict that has resulted in a negative impact on business. Maybe you have a decision to make around innovation and the most effective way to go about it given your budget. Whatever your current decision is, write it down and be as specific as possible.
Next, walk through a proven process for effective decision making called: Decision Making Mountain. This process has 4 phases that are depicted in a mountain format. The first phase is basecamp and you climb up from there.
- Need: Defining the Essentials: Gather the facts and research the different areas related to the decision at hand. When considering a professional decision, you will gather the facts around your available resources to make a sound decision along with resisting the urge to make a snap decision. Impulse control continues to be one of the number one-character trait mastered by the top leaders of our time. Self-control means to manage your actions, feelings and emotions. The best decisions are made when you are calm, centered and objective. Ask yourself: What decision needs to be made?
- Assessment: Another Sherpa Executive Coaching process involves nailing down your “Why it Matters” (your main driver in life) as this will come into play when you do make decisions. During this step you assess the ramifications of making the decision or leaving things alone. You may want to bring in other insights and wisdom from people you know, admire and trust who have gone through similar decisions in their life to gain wisdom. Ask yourself: What do I need to know to make this decision?
- Change: How adaptable are you? Decisions walk hand in hand with change. Reflecting upon your ability to adapt will offer you the opportunity to identify and adjust accordingly. Try to anticipate the unexpected. Learn from undesirable outcomes (a definition of failure) and expand your successes. There is a big difference between an undesirable outcome that comes from doing nothing and those that occur when you are taking risks, when you’re striving to do the right thing. What is the decision at hand and the anticipated changes associated with it? Exploring your options and playing them out can sharpen your clarity of focus which leads to accuracy of response.
- Coaching and Follow-Through: This is the most important step: a conscious dedication to the resolution of the issue in every facet: creating the desired effect, adding to the knowledge base, building loyalty, efficiency and team cohesiveness. Ask yourself: The decision is made, what needs to happen now?
Part of decision making involves your own internal expectations that you have around the decision at hand. This is a different tool to explore. Dannemiller’s Formula for Change suggests that you will not move forward successfully in the midst of a new change initiative in life (that comes about through decision making) unless the following elements are present:
D x V x F x L > R
- D: Dissatisfaction with your current situation which may come in the form of frustration; confusion; overwhelm or negative perspectives.
- V: Vision: clarity of focus leads to accuracy of response, a clear vision is essential for forward action steps to appear.
- F: Forward Action Steps: Putting into practice simply, forward action steps create the infrastructure for sustainable change to take root and replace old patterns of thought and behavior. Creating new messaging systems within our brain through simple repetition of positive behavior result in personal transformation.
- L: Leadership/Coaching: Mentorship and coaching have proven successful support elements resulting in positive, sustainable shift. Connecting with a coach that aligns with your personality and core belief systems is essential in order to create psychological safety for personal growth and development.
- R: Resistance to change. It has been shown that whenever one of the above elements is missing in a person’s life that R: resistance to change will win out.
When all 4 elements are present: Dissatisfaction with your current situation or conflict, Vision, Forward Action Steps and Coaching then your desire to experience a positive, decisive SHIFT in your life will win out over any resistance, including procrastination around your next step forward to make the decision at hand.