As a leader in a business, you’ll be faced with decisions every day. Whether they’re small decisions that don’t make much of an impact or larger scales decisions that could change things massively for the company and those working for it. It can be daunting and the sense of responsibility on you often gets overwhelming. There’s no clear set way to make a great decision, it all depends on the situation, those involved and the implications of each possible outcome.
We have developed a quick list of things that we suggest taking on board when it comes to making your next big decision! From gaining experience from more senior employees to using your team in the process.
- Experience in different roles: Having experience in a range of different roles that require organization and management means that your exposure is broadened. In turn, this means that your knowledge and understanding improves in order to make informed decisions.
- Learning from others: If you have the opportunity to pick the brains and learn from senior leaders that can give you insight into decision making then take it! There’s no better way of learning than learning from others.
- Shadow others: As well as asking questions when they pop into your head, physically shadowing people in different roles is a great way to learn. Understanding different roles means that you’ll be more informed when making decisions that impact others.
- Take on complex projects: Although they may seem daunting, projects that require a complex level of decision making are a valuable way of developing the skill.
- Learning: When you learn, either formally or informally, you’re building on your decision-making skills. The more knowledge you have the easier you’ll find it to make decisions.
- Space: Once you’ve made a choice, give yourself some distance from the situation before formally confirming your decision. Emotion can play a huge part in how we make decisions and it shouldn’t be the reason you’re making choices. Resist the rush to decide immediately and step back to look at the problem objectively.
- Use your colleagues: Each member of your team has a unique set of skills and knowledge, they all bring something different to the company and they’re there for you to use. If you need input then ask them as many questions as you need to, even if you can’t tell them about the problem you’re facing. Gaining perspective underpinned by knowledge and skills is an asset you need to start using.
- Find people who aren’t there to please you 24/7: Involve people who aren’t scared to disagree with you in your decisions. Maybe there’s a member of the team who shares their opinions and thoughts with you openly. These are the people who should be on board with the process. It allows you to see the issue from a different perspective and think outside of the box too.
- Think about the worst-case scenario: When you make any decision it’s important that you consider the worst case scenario and what you can do to soften the blow if it arises.
- Think past your gut instinct – Evidence-Based Management (EBM) uses scientific evidence in the process of decision making. Most of us use personal judgement and how we think we should manage a situation when we make choices. Consider performance data, objective evidence, business strategies and whether your evidence is relevant and current.
- Sharpen your eye for risk: Ask around for information if you think there are risks, look at past data and reviews.
- Learn from previous decisions: Keep a log of all of the decisions you’ve made. Its great practice to look back on them and see the thought processes behind them. Look for any faults that you can improve on and also for things that went well.
Hopefully, this was useful in your journey to becoming a more successful decision maker at work. As accountants we often see companies make huge decisions and we’re a key part of that process. For business support, you can get in touch with us!