How To Make Excellent Decisions All Of The Time

How To Make Excellent Decisions All Of The Time

The more we use advanced thinking processes and techniques, rather than just going for what seems right and our own “gut” feelings, the more likely we are to make better decisions and to decrease error rates.

When considering planning and making decisions much can be gained from a scientific and measured approach towards assessing risks and hazards and our own attitudes to those. The following steps can be used in a wide variety of different contexts and operational fields, including our own professional development:

  • Identify hazards, situations or occurrences that will be difficult to deal with
  • Asses risks that different options, including doing nothing, will give us
  • Analyse the controls we need to establish before setting out on our chosen path of action
  • Make control decisions by being clear what these are and who is responsible for them
  • Use controls clearly and decisively to increase the likelihood of success rather than failure
  • Monitor results accurately and make revisions to the plan if needed

Much can also be made of taking the time to think systematically around our own prejudices and perceptions recognising that human attitude can cloud effective and efficient decision making and management style.

Improved judgements will always be made from sticking to the following universal practices which promote and develop better judgements and situational awareness:

  • Anti-authority: always follow the rules because they are normally right and doing so will protect you.
  • Impulsivity: avoid, at all costs, the temptation to just dive into a problem or an issue – think slowly, carefully but above all think first before acting!
  • Invulnerability: bad things come to everyone and no-one is immune from this. If it is going to happen it will happen to you, unless you are supremely lucky.
  • Fearless: taking risks looks brave but is ultimately foolish. Glorious failure in full glare of everyone watching sticks in the organisation’s collective memory.
  • Resignation: you need not be a victim and there are always things that you can do to lessen the impact of a disaster or to preferably avoid it in the first place!

By recognising those attitudes and re-focusing our managerial focus we will always be better positioned to make good decisions as leaders.

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