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The Power of Strong Decision-Making

To be a strong leader, fierce decision-making skills are essential, but decision-making doesn’t always come easy. Oftentimes, fear of making mistakes will lead to indecision, and that’s unfortunate. While making mistakes is difficult, mistakes are also an essential learning tool, and those occasions where you fail can ultimately make you a stronger leader.

In addition to making your own mistakes, it’s crucial to be a leader who allows mistakes from your team. If your employees are not making mistakes, they may not be pushing hard enough. Remind yourself that there is really nothing that can't be fixed, so it's important to take risks and make tough decisions.

Managers may also get overloaded with data and information when trying to make crucial decisions. Sometimes too much information can lead to indecision. At some point you need to tap into your judgment, experiences and your gut and go with what you feel is the best option. If it doesn't work out, you can always adjust the course.

Why is it so important, as a manager, to master decision-making?

As a manager, your team wants to know that someone is in control; it builds confidence and trust, and helps eliminate fear. People may not always agree with your decisions, but if you do it right, they will trust that you've taken in all of the information, listened to the different perspectives, put some points of consideration out for feedback, and ultimately made a well-informed decision that is best for the company as a whole, and the individual employees.

Three Tips for Becoming a Stronger Decision-Maker

Tip One: Become a good question-asker.
It's the manager's job to ignite conversation and to be a catalyst for dialog. Ask the contrarian questions, be the devil's advocate - push your team through a thoughtful and provocative decision-making process where the tough questions have been addressed and the creative ideas have been considered.

Tip Two: Whittle down the possibilities to the simplest form.

I often make decisions with the principle of "Occam's Razor" in mind - when faced with a complex problem, you have many options. Focus on the simplest, and that is most likely the best course of action.

Tip Three: Share the decision-making process.

Managers can often be most effective when they share the decision-making process with their teams.  Become that person who manages the dialog, allowing people to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Feedback is a gift, not something to push aside. Collectively, you'll come up with the best way to go.

Photo Credit: Decision Innovation