Developing-Leaders-issue-37-2021

86 | Developing Leaders Issue 37: 2021 STEP 1: DECIDE QUICKLY There are times when patience is a virtue, and when the right decision happens naturally. At other times, not deciding actually becomes a choice in itself, when we lie to ourselves or mistake procrastination for patience. Stay calm. „ Emotion is an unreliable foundation for decisions. Emotions can shift depending on your outlook at any given time. „ Saying “it felt like the right thing to do” will not help others to understand your decision as clearly as a logical explanation. Stay informed. „ You cannot know everything. History’s first philosophers (philo = lover, sophia = wisdom) understood that wise people can admit what they don’t know. „ Overthinking will confuse you. Focusing too much on the completed parts of a puzzle will cause you to forget what is missing, but focusing too much on what is still blank will cause you to miss emerging patterns. Stay balanced. „ Decisions balance gain against risk. For example, “I would enjoy fries.” versus “Salad is healthier.” „ Being cautious and avoiding risks is NOT a bad thing. Stay ethical. „ Leaving a restaurant without paying for your food might involve only a small risk, but the consequences of getting caught could be much worse than the cost of paying. „ Unethical decisions damage reputations. NB. These initial steps for deciding quickly can be used in most situations. STEP 2: DECIDE THOROUGHLY A quick decision should still be thoroughly thought out, even if you only have time to reflect after the decision has been made. Thinking afterwards is as critical to effective decision-making as the initial steps listed above. List your options, either in your mind or on paper. Identify possible outcomes, how other people will be affected, and whether goals will be hurt or helped. Map your choices against your priorities & focus your efforts on outcomes. Track your progress from the first step to the last. You will then have a record you can use for future decisions. STEP 3: DECIDE TOGETHER Decisions sometimes require group discussion. Allowing different opinions to be expressed from the beginning will reduce anger and opposition if things go wrong. Advice is not usually objective or neutral. Even experts might have an agenda, and when working towards an agreement, it is easy to forget that colleagues have goals and ambitions of their own. „ Make sure that asking for a does not confuse you people about who in charge of o „ Beware The STEP 4: DECIDE DECISIVELY You cannot have your cake and eat it too. There is no point being negative throughout the whole decision-ma process. Being unsure before , during, and critical after y your decision will not Decisive decisi (Specific, M Time-b se CONCL Turnin Effective Decision Making 05 READY TO PUT INTO ACTION IN S pecific M easurable A greed R ealistic T ime-bound E thical R ecorded Several of these Leadership Prompts mention the success- focused, goal-setting method known as SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Time-bound, Ethic l, and Recorded). The idea of SMART targets appeared in the 1980s, and since then, it has been develope and added to. Why use SMARTER targets? There is no problem so difficult that it cannot be solved. But if an issue is not properly framed, people might confuse managing processes with achieving results, especially when they are working quickly. Asking questions is the best way to get answers. Each letter (SMARTER) stands for a m asure, and under these, there are a group of smaller enquiries. The answers t these will help everyone understand the whole project. Working SMARTER 08 4 m MORE ON THIS READY TO PUT INTO ACTION IN “ Most people do not listen with the intent to understand ; they listen with the intent to reply .” Stephen R. Covey “I hear you” – three little words that can move mountains and make a big difference. Giving your time to others so they can express their thoughts and feelings is a beautiful gift. If you do it right, it is a gift that keeps on giving. Your understanding of the individual and maybe even your understanding of life in general will grow a lot. Disagreements will arise, even between good people, and people with similar views. If you wish to avoid or resolve conflict, you must first learn how to listen. Listening is an art. Think of your friends, colleagues, or family members, who have not begun to master it; are their lives enhanced by being unable to see the world from the perspective of others? Probably not. Learn how to listen effectively. Effective Listening and Building Empathy 17 4 m MORE ON THIS Wouldn’t it be great to be able to get hold of - in a single place - practical answers to the type of challenges that leaders face every day ? That’s where Leaders’ Prompts come in… They provide up to the minute ideas and approaches to what research has shown are the most common 50 problems leaders face today. They don’t patronise but they do put across solutions in a straightforward way. Tips , solutions and just-in-time support for managers Practical solutions to tricky management issues The latest leadership thinking Opportunities for instant improvement Easy access to: They say performance is ability x skills x motivation… it is little wonder therefore that people who in interview or on paper should do well, sometimes can’t, or won’t. Sometimes it is easily resolvable, sometimes not. What divides the best managers from the rest, is how quickly they identify the problem, the cause and take the actions necessary to finding a lasting answer. Because confronting the issue can be stressful, and resolving it difficult, you should aim to give people the tools and techniques to make it an easier, more manageable and more consistently successful part of their role. The following notes are just some illustrations of the causes, effects and answers that are typically involved: 01 Managing Poor Performance Identify the problem > Understand it > Act quickly > Find a lasting answer > Provide support MORE ON THIS © IDEAS FOR LEADERS 2015. All rights reserved. STEP 1: DECIDE QUICKLY There are times when patience is a virtue, and when the right decision happens naturally. At other times, not deciding actually becomes a choice in itself, when we lie to ourselves or mistake procrastination for patience. Stay calm. „ Emotion is an unreliable foundation for decisions. Emotions can shift depending on your outlook at any given time. „ Saying “it felt like the right thing to do” will not help others to understand your decision as clearly as a logical explanation. Stay informed. „ You cannot know everything. History’s first philosophers (philo = lover, sophia = wisdom) understood that wise people can admit what they don’t know. „ Overthinking will confuse you. Focusing too much on the completed parts of a puzzle will cause you to forget what is missing, but focusing too much on what is still blank will cause you to miss emerging patterns. Stay balanced. „ Decisions balance gain against risk. For example, “I would enjoy fries.” versus “Salad is healthier.” „ Being cautious and avoiding risks is NOT a bad thing. Stay ethical. „ Leaving a restaurant without paying for your food might involve only a small risk, but the consequences of getting caught could be much worse than the cost of paying. „ Unethical decisions damage reputations. NB. These initial steps for deciding quickly can be used in most situations. STEP 2: DECIDE THOROUGHLY A quick decision should still be thoroughly thought out, even if you only have time to reflect after the decision has been made. Thinking afterwards is as critical to effective decision-making as the initial steps listed above. List your options, either in your mind or on paper. Identify possible outcomes, how other people will be affected, and whether goals will be hurt or helped. Map your choices against your priorities & focus your efforts on outcomes. Track your progress from the first step to the last. You will then have a record you can use for future decisions. STEP 3: DECIDE TOGETHER Decisions sometimes require group discussion. Allowing different opinions to be expressed from the beginning will reduce anger and opposition if things go wrong. Advice is not usually objective or neutral. Even experts might have an agenda, and when working towards an agreement, it is easy to forget that colleagues have goals and ambitions of their own. „ Make sure that asking for advice does not confuse you or other people about who is ultimately in charge of outcomes. „ Beware the devil’s advocate. These are people that might take a stand or make a point just for the sake of debate or to be stubborn. STEP 4: DECIDE DECISI V You cannot have your cake and eat i t too. There is no point being negative throughout the whole decision-makin g process. Being unsure before, scared during, and critical after you have mad e your decision will not help. Stay positive . Decisive decisions are SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Time-bound, Ethical and Recorded, see Prompt on Working SMARTER). „ Making your final decision and sticking t it does not mean that you are abandoni n objective judgement. Keep reviewing your choices so that you remain firm but flexible, rather than rigid but weak. „ Is there a Plan B? Why not? An alternative course of action you can take, with its own set of SMARTER targets, will prevent careless decision-making if things do not work out as planned. CONCLUSION Turning choices into outcomes involves making decisions. You may feel that none of the available choices are very attractive. For example, do you fire one person or cut the salaries of everyone? Or, you may have a lot of exciting options, all of which could be good for personal or corporate progression. For both extremes, and everything else in between, effective decision-making will reduce stress by helping to confirm and support the final course you decide on. Effective Decision Making For more on Leaders’ Prompts from Ideas for Leaders , visit ideasforleaders.com/prompts READY TO PUT INTO ACTION IN Decision-making is a daily part of life. Expected and unexpected, group and individual, decisions come in all shapes and sizes. There is no set method or rule for making decisions, but there are steps we can take to help us, so that the process is more than just a simple coin toss. The hardest part of making any decision is working through the fear of its consequences. “Do you want fries with that?” “Have we got ourselves a deal?” “ Which candidate should get the job?” So how can you better make decisions? Effective Decision Making 05 4 m MORE ON THIS Contact us to see how Leaders’ Prompts can enefit your organisation: To learn more please contact: e info@ideasforleaders.com t +44 (0)20 301 2901 www.ideasforleaders.com

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