Making decisions is an essential part of our lives. Our choices shape our lives, and of course, a business decision is what makes a company successful or not. But often it can be difficult deciding on either option, so here are a series of tips to help you.
Collect data, but not too much
We hate uncertainty, and by nature a decision is to opt for something without guarantee of what might happen. One way to reduce uncertainty is to gather data. If you are reporting about the pros and cons of each decision and their potential impacts, you can at least make an informed decision. But beware of the risk of spending too much time collecting and analysing. The danger of "analysis paralysis" is always present.
Looking outside for counsel
Sometimes two minds work better than one and three better than two. If you get stuck, you can seek advice from others. In the end the decision is yours anyway, but it can give you a different approach.
What advice would you give to someone in the same situation?
Sometimes what blocks us is the emotional part of the decision. Therefore, imagine that a friend has the same problem, and think about what you would recommend to them. It does not always work but it can be helpful if in doubt.
Be devil's advocate
Sometimes we have an immediate preference for any of the options, with no rational basis or data to support it more than others. This has its own danger, because we can let ourselves unconsciously be influenced by the facility, or other emotional factors. Taking the opposite party and acting as devil's advocate is an excellent exercise that allows you to better weigh the alternatives.
Confront the tough decisions
As a business, there are many decisions to make and it is quite common that our human nature drives us to neglect or postpone the most difficult dilemmas. This is very dangerous because opportunities are then lost and you can even jeopardise the future of the company. Therefore, be courageous and proceed to take action sooner.
Have a plan B
Deciding fast does not mean being reckless. Every major decision you make should have a plan B in case things do not work as expected in the beginning. This is so you can quickly adapt your strategy, should you meet an unforeseen obstacle, without going back to square one.