Over the years, I’ve heard many people, especially business leaders, state that many of the decisions they make are based on a “gut-feeling.” In other words, the decisions they render are emotionally driven.
It makes sense that decisions are impacted by strong feelings, especially when we are confronted with a difficult situation.
However, without a solid plan and appropriate guidance, impromptu decision-making will quickly spiral into chaos, and there is a limit to how much disorder our businesses and lives can handle.
Avoid Solo Decision-Making
Some of my worst decisions happened when I relied solely on my own knowledge and experience. This problem was even more evident when I was younger, as my knowledge and experience was significantly less.
Even when making personal decisions, seek the advice of a friend, family member, colleague, or spiritual advisor. Today, I am fortunate to participate in a couple of men’s bible study programs, which allow me the opportunity to engage with other men facing the same issues. As our bonds have strengthened through active engagement in these ministries, I feel confident seeking guidance from these men.
A notable problem with making decisions on our own is that our perspective is narrowed to just one lens. While our viewpoint is critically important, we must realize it is inherently biased.
Most people want to avoid a counter-angle because they have already decided what they are going to do. However, when we ignore constructive feedback, we increase the chances of overlooking potential flaws in our thinking.
When observing leaders, regardless of the industry where they work, I’ve noticed that the best ones often lead with humility. In other words, these women and men have an innate ability to relate to others.
Here are ways they seek help from others:
- “Dana, we are ready to open the new office in Buenos Aires, and I would like to hear your thoughts regarding the people we should send over there. While I have some ideas, I’m interested in listening to your advice. After all, you’ve helped with other South American projects in the past, which means you know even more about this topic than the leadership team.”
- “As you know, this is a new ministry coming to our parish, and we have important positions to fill. While it’s true that I was selected as the Director, I want to make it clear this is only a title. We’re in this together, and we will only have success if everyone is committed to speaking up and doing their part. Please feel free to challenge anyone, including myself, when you feel we need to consider an action that will improve our operation.”
- “Carrie, I have a tough decision ahead of me. The CEO has just offered me the Director of Operations position in Boise, Idaho, meaning my family will have to move from Texas if I accept it. I will need to speak to my husband about it, and we need to consider the impact it will have on our two teenagers. I’ve worked so hard to put myself in this position, and it could lead to even bigger opportunities, which will improve our family’s economic situation. You’ve made this type of career move in the past. Please share with me your lessons learned.”
As you can tell by these examples, humility is the driver. Just as important, we must practice excellent listening skills.