Business

7 keys to making the right decision the first time (and all the time)

Making a decision without thinking or over-thinking things to the point of not making a decision are deadly situations in business.

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Making a decision without thinking or over-thinking things to the point of not making a decision are deadly situations in business.

7 keys to making the right decision the first time (and all the time)
7 keys to making the right decision the first time (and all the time)

Every entrepreneur has to be a decision maker, even if he is overloaded with information, or if he is overly emotional employees, angry customers or competitors attacking from all directions. Making a decision without thinking or over-thinking things to the point of not making a decision are deadly situations in business. The challenge is to find the right balance and make good and timely decisions all the time.

It is a difficult challenge. According to research by Paul Nutt of Ohio State, business decision makers fail half the time in initial decisions for their businesses. Some of the most commonly cited examples include decisions that led to the closure of pets.com, Excite, and WebVan. Although these cases involve strategic issues, errors in operational decisions are much more frequent.

Much has been written about the mental processes of the most successful decision makers, including Warren Buffet and Elon Musk. Some spend time every day thinking thoughts, regardless of how busy and busy their schedules are, while others apply sabbaticals away from the office on a regular basis to refresh their minds. However, everyone seems to have similar thinking habits in their daily decision-making process.

1. Stop to think before making a decision.

It is tempting to make an accelerated decision based on our instincts or past decisions, especially in a period of crisis or when we are stressed. As leaders, the way you keep things under control and the way you make decisions will set the tone for others to follow. Set the example so that you always think first and all actions are deliberate.

2. Focus fully, but selectively, on problems that have consequences.

Trying to divide your attention between many issues at the same time does not work. First select the problems that are important to you and delegate the rest. Then devote yourself to those things that you selected your full attention to make timely and well thought-out decisions. But don't let too much thinking get you to the point of not making a decision, either.

3. Use person-to-person interaction to reaffirm your thinking.

Most business decision making problems are complex enough to require direct input from a key element or to test your understanding. Although text messages or emails may seem more convenient, they do not reflect the tone or nonverbal communication you need to consider to make the best decision.

4. Allocate time and contiguous processes for critical decisions.

Having many short dialogues separated by other activities in a chaotic environment does not facilitate deep thinking or lasting decisions. The cost of recovering from a bad decision can far outweigh the effort of managing the thought process with the right people, at the right time, in the right place.

5. Think of an execution plan, beyond potential decisions.

Planning the next steps before finalizing a decision will validate your thinking or can clarify whether you need to do more work on this. Decisions made without proper consideration of the consequences of an execution often lead to more serious long-term problems.

6. Discuss your thought process while communicating a decision.

Decisions made in the form of edicts are never satisfactory and can lead to a negative response that contravenes a good decision. The most respected leaders have no qualms about summarizing their thought process and take the time to effectively communicate key points to relevant elements in their organization.

7. Manage and monitor the resulting implementation.

Even the best thought process and a good decision can be weakened by events you cannot predict or by people who do not understand them. Small on-the-fly corrections made quickly and efficiently, coupled with good follow-up, can prevent new and more serious problems and make your decision right from the start.

The ability to make good decisions in a timely manner is what defines you as an entrepreneur. It is not a talent everyone is born with, but it is definitely one that you can learn to improve your habits over time. For new entrepreneurs, I recommend seeking the assistance of a trusted mentor and not being afraid to ask for help from colleagues or more experienced counselors.

While new technologies allow you to act and react faster than ever, none of these tools substitutes for thinking, deliberating, and making your own decisions. In the end, all businesses are about people interacting with other people. Your challenge is to convince them that they are the center of your mental process.

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