This month I’ve made another big decision in my life. Not that I now have any doubts that I made the right one, but the number of times I was asked whether I had made me think about what to consider when we do doubt a big business decision.
When faced with a tough business decision it’s common to feel overwhelmed, anxious, pressured, confused and/or distracted and it can be exhausting. So in this article I’d like to share some questions you can ask yourself to help you make effective business decisions.
1. Play it over in your head – How does it feel?
Does it feel right? Our gut instinct is often along the right lines as a starting point.
How does it feel? What are the positives? What are the negatives? What’s the knock-on factor of any pain or gain?
2. Does the decision move you closer to your goals and objectives?
Do the pros related to your decision outweigh any cons? Don’t just think about them but make a list for detailed comparison. Bear in mind that a shorter list on one side of the argument may still outweigh a longer list on the other, depending on the impact of the listed items!
3. Does the decision impact anyone else?
Does the decision affect someone else involved that needs to be considered, and how does it impact on your values?
Talking of lists, before you consider the decision make a list of your objectives and desired outcome. Maybe a list of features and benefits. Then you can compare the decision against that list to keep it focused to purpose when so much else will be going on in your mind and your diary.
4. What do the numbers tell you?
Have a look at the data in your business, what is it telling you? Is there a financial impact or does the decision impact your success factors? If the financial impact is a negative one, are you comfortable with that, or at least prepared for it?
5. Is there another way to achieve what you want without a difficult decision being made?
Does an alternative decision provide a better outcome? Have you considered the risks associated with your decision? What is the likelihood and consequence if they occurred?
6. Do you have someone else to talk it through with?
It often helps… I recommend that you personally reflect on any big business decisions after at least 24 hours. As they say, sleep on it. Make especially sure that the decision is based on fact, thought and consideration not just an emotional reaction to a situation.
Making your business decision work…
Finally, now the decision is made, plan out how you will communicate it to others, especially those who will be impacted most. Often playing the scenarios through brings about timely reactions or sometimes additional thoughts. But don’t dwell on it too long, once the decision has proved to be the right one, act on it or you could be losing precious time and causing undue stress or worry to yourself and those around you.
As always, I hope these questions have been useful and thought provoking. If I can help you in any way in the development of your business, then let’s have a conversation. But for now, I leave with these thoughts from Deepak Chopra.
‘If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision.’ The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life