Decision making is inherently a risky task for all of us in general, as we are all somewhat afraid of making mistakes in the process. Definitely a reckless plunge into finding a quick, instinctive solution or panicking too much won’t solve anything. Decision making is a highest kind of an executive’s skill, and in that way, it is riskier to make no decision than to make the wrong ones; indecision is perhaps your greatest enemy in executive development.
Sometimes, most critical decisions grow out of little ones, so better than your reluctance towards the process you might learn to love deciding correct and quick. A five way plan might help a top executive to make right decisions –
i) Organize yourself
This is necessary as disorderliness creates chaos; it interferes with straight thinking. An organized executive gets more jobs done, finishes fast, foresees the outcome, and makes wiser decisions, while disorganization ends in piles of work over the desks, mislaying of important documents very often, and so on.
For better organization, one might follow these ways –
• Plan your work schedule and stick to it. Keep track on your daily routine work, try to spend more time on executive functions- like planning, organizing, delegating, attending meetings, conferences, etc.
• Do the most important or difficult things first; fearlessly decide upon the priorities. Procrastination is often a symptom of fear to make decisions.
• Make small decisions promptly and positively by deciding on the basis of simple things like an on-the-spot counseling, or a quick search through the files, or by a simple telephone call, or similar.
• Use all available help from your colleagues. Sometimes executives are afraid to leave anyone else in charge of a work and tend to do all by themselves, but this stands negative and a hindrance in career growth; it displays his inability to decision making.
• Also learn to say ‘no’, as your popularity might become a burden and a time waster, and come in your path of thinking and deciding promptly.
ii) Welcome responsibilities for your actions
This is somewhat synonymous to the task of decision making itself. The fear of not being able to face the consequences of his decision or take responsibility of the same is very common in many of us. But ambitious executives must welcome it though wisely being under the protection of his superior’s responsibility for his actions.
iii) Master the techniques of problem solving
Most of the problems big and small, can be solved by the following keys –
• Identify the problem analytically – start by writing down everything as you perceive them, then rearrange data of that list into a logical sequence, and hit the core of the problem.
• Find the causes of the problem – investigate, compare, talk to all concerned and deduce to get the real causes.
• Weigh the possible inferences – practice ‘educated’ guesses relying upon your thorough job knowledge, experience and sharp observation.
• Decide on the best solution – be rational in your thoughts, analyze the available information, and sometimes even go by your intuitions while doing so. Remember, the best solutions are – workable, time saving, economical, based on facts, meet current needs and can foresee the future trends and needs.
iv) Create a happy environment of harmony and success
This is necessary for executing orders and decisions of the highest levels to promote efficiency, achieve the organizational goals. Also selections of the right people for a task, timing to carry out your decisions, and the right communication and follow-ups later, are all important to fetch success for all.
v) Learn from your mistakes
Do not be ever be afraid of mistakes, rather profit from them. Though mistakes costs in time and money to your company, yet you can always learn not to repeat them while keeping on analyzing what went wrong and what could be done to mend the mistake.
Finally, right decision making is a key criterion looked for in every aspiring leader and executive. It has to be made a habit rather, in order to climb up the ladder of success in business and profession. So, overcome the fear by the techniques of rational analysis of the problem, the people, the facilities, the difficulties, and finally apply logic or sometimes, common sense through an orderly approach.