Make Good Decisions, Avoid Bad Consequences

Sections of this topic

    Have you made decisions that seemed right at the time, but did not turn out the way you expected?

    In a coaching session with a manager, who was dealing with a setback, I asked what did she learn? She answered honestly and with some regret:

    “I wanted it to happen so badly that I didn’t pay attention to the red flags that were right in front of me.”

    How to Avoid Bad Consequences

    Most of our setbacks are not due to bad circumstances but to bad decisions. We forget that a decision is an action that has consequences. It is a commitment of limited resources (time, money, reputation, manpower) that we can never get back. Here are three suggestions to help managers pause the action button, see the red flags and evaluate the potential problems.

    1. Slow it down.
    A quick decision isn’t always the best decision. Get in the habit of asking: Why do I (or we) have to make this decision right now? Who or what is pressuring us to take action and why? what would happen if we waited?
    2. Let go.
    This may be extremely difficult because many leaders want to be “in control”. Yet, your staff may be in a better position than you in understanding the facts and circumstances.
    3. Get support.
    Find a coach or colleague who can relate to your world. Ask yourself, “Who is able to fully comprehend the issues and stress I’m facing? Who can help me see this problem, the crisis, or the opportunity more clearly?”

    Management Success Tip:

    If you’re sitting on the fence about a major decision, take time to reflect and gain greater clarity. What kind of challenge or problem is it? How big is it? Is it worth my time and energy? What path seems right? What the worst, and the best possible, thing that could happen? Am I paying attention to the red flags that are waving at me? Am I ready to get off the fence? If yes, what’s next? If no, what do I need to get moving?

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?