How could I ever buy THAT?
Why did I think that he could ever be a good Manager?
I shouldn’t have rented this new office space.
I was reactive when I hired him, why didn’t I think it out longer?
I should have charged them more!
Yes, we’ve all made bad decisions in our lives. Bad decisions about small issues and bad decisions about big ones too; there’s nary an adult that at one time or other didn’t stop and wonder what the heck was I thinking?
But is it possible to become a better decision-maker so that you can avoid making poor choices? I think the answer is most definitely a resounding YES. Here’s how:
Don’t rush. Some decisions require time to research and reflect on the situation and the options that are available to you. We’re all busy juggling work and home responsibilities but sometimes you simply have to stop watching the clock to reflect long and hard about a decision that you must make. Being reactive rather than proactive is just the wrong decision in business!
Get as much information as possible. We live in an information age with access to more data than ever before; best of all, this data is easily available to access with just a few keystrokes. Most good decisions are based upon a combination of information, knowledge and gut instinct; relying on hearsay, guesswork and advice from less than knowledgeable resources often causes bad decisions. Be proactive!
Don’t make important decisions when you are sleep deprived. Sound decision-making requires mental acuity and this is seriously reduced through sleep deprivation. Don’t be reactive: (Here’s a great article from WebMD – “What Lack of Sleep Does to Your Mind“).
Seek advice. While you may ultimately make the final decision based on your own analysis it is often helpful to seek the advice of others; turn to the “Subject Matter Expert” on a particular subject or discuss with another seasoned professional having more experience making decisions of this kind.
Do a cost-benefit analysis. Oftentimes putting the decision into a dollar and cents perspective will help you to see the pros and the cons of the decision.
At the end of the day you should stop obsessing! Senior Executives are always tasked with making decisions. Gather the required information, do your homework, get sound advice, be proactive and then trust your gut.
For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, email@example.com or call (516) 935-5641.