Making decisions is an important function of management at all levels, from day to day operational  decisions  to strategic and business decisions at the top management  level. One of the most important things to learn when trying to achieve big goals is how to make good decisions. If you endlessly procrastinate ,  or keep changing your mind,  you will not only infuriate yourself, you will infuriate those around you and quickly lose their trust and respect.

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of British Telecoms and formerly with Procter and Gamble says

Making decisions is the single distinguishing characteristic that separates the good  from the great. The people that are really outstanding are the ones who are great at making decisions. It is an art  more  than  a science.  You don’t have to get every decision right; you have to get the majority right.”

Patterson  adds :-

  • Instead of making decisions in a purely logical , sequential way, do it in a more instinctive and holistic 360 –degree way.
  • Knowing when to make a decision can be just as important as knowing what that decision should
  • The timeliness of decision-making is just as important as the effectiveness. Because if you don’t make the decision early, there is going to be a consequence to it.

Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you get things right, more of the time – Making Good Decisions

  1. Gather all available information before making a decision to minimize assumptions.
  2. Determine deadline to make decisions and prioritizes those that are urgent and save others for later. One at a time.
  3. Jot down your thoughts – doodle, diagrams, anything visible that can give you a clearer picture as well as for you to refer back later.
  4. Ensure that decisions made are genuine and not influence by others.
  5. Assess the risk of each decisions and make sure you can live with it.
  6. Listen to your gut and instinct – when the line for right and wrong are not clear.
  7. Sleep on it – You will continue to mull over the decision even when you are not consciously thinking about it. Useful insights might just come your way.
  8. Never ignore decisions that needs to be make – a poor decisions is usually better than no decisions.
Article contributed by R.Selvanathan , Finance Dept., Cheng & Co. H.Q. and  adapted  from the Australian Institute of Management


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