Leader's Mindset Series -101 | Making Effective Decisions

As a leader, you are expected to constantly make decisions and you do. It is pivotal to identify and recognize the impacts that your decisions can have on your team, department and the organization. There are strategies to enhance your ability to use resourcefulness and judgement to determine appropriate solutions and alternatives by leveraging opportunities and avoiding pitfalls.

Common Mindset: Decision-making means choosing between the possible solutions to a  

Leader’s Mindset: Effective decisions are the outcomes of careful identification of 
problems, collaboration of diverse perspectives and evidences to find best possible solutions within the context. 

Strategies to Make Effective Decisions

1. Acknowledge the Areas where Decisions Need to be Made

Decision-making can be nerve wrecking, especially, when the stakes are high. Meet the situations proactively and avoid procrastination. Timely acknowledge the problems; changes and situations that need attention and take decisions that may have pivotal impacts.

2. Wear Other Lenses

When presented with a problem, where a decision needs to be made, take a step back and review the context. Try and see the problem from at least 3 different perspectives before stepping towards making a decision.

3. Make Evidence Based Decisions

Encourage yourself to take evidence based decisions matching the context of your current team, department and organization. Decisions based on past experiences and familiarity may or may not be applicable. Support your perspectives with data that is applicable to your situation. This may include, data related to performance, projects, other strategies used, etc.

4. Include the Inside and Outside Perspectives

Having perspectives from outside the organization has the potential to provide creative opportunities. However, you understand your context the best. Encourage others to share their voices and information to provide more insights into a situation to make effective decisions.

5. Consider the Risks

Every decision comes with its own set of risks. Develop an eye for considering risks during the process of making decisions. Risks may include the unfavorable impacts on different stakeholders, processes, efficiencies, costs, people, and the organization culture and goodwill. Map out all the risks in different categories with their potential impacts. Consider the worth of the potential decision(s) against the risks involved.

6. Separate from the Decisions of the Past

Experience is necessary but a past experience or strategy may not be valid anymore in the current context. Beware of clinging to the most familiar and older strategies and be open to newer ideas, perspectives and supporting evidences. 

7. Check for Unconscious Bias

Bias is a part of human nature. Everyone tends to have some kind of personal biases related to parts of our environment consciously or unconscioulsy. Mindful leaders are well aware of their biases and use that self-knowledge to add effectiveness to everything they do. Same goes for decision-making. Decisions have impacts on others too. Keep your biases in check.

8. Communicate Decisions Effectively

Ensure that everyone who is impacted by your decisions is timely informed and provided with the necessary support. This may include communication about training, hiring, training support for new technology, counselling, etc. Align your communication strategy with the organizational culture, and policies and procedures.

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Sahil Sharma
Talent, Learning & Leadership Development Professional | Certified Leadership Coach

For consultation and services, contact us at www.ledxlearning.com