Tips for Making Good Business Decisions
As a business owner, you will no doubt be faced with decisions. Some will be simple, others not so much. Keep in mind that effective decisions are important to the functionality of your business. An effective decision has these characteristics:
- Reflects a positive attitude: Negativity is like glue. It slows everything down, saps energy, and undermines momentum. If your attitude is negative during the decision-making process, or if the decision-making environment is highly stressful, you’ll make a poor choice. Period.
Negative attitudes and critical thinking are not the same thing. Critical thinking improves a decision.
- Aligns what you think and how you feel about the final choice: Pushing forward because you feel obligated is draining. When your heart just isn’t in it, even if you think the idea is a good one, nothing happens, or if it does, it takes a lot of effort and can feel quite depleting.
- Balances your intuition with your rational, analytical work: Ideally, you want your gut and your mind working together, each providing a check and balance to the other. One entrepreneur told us, for example, that he’d been to an investor’s meeting where the pitch sounded good and the numbers looked sound, but he didn’t opt in because he had a bad feeling about the deal.
- Includes time to contemplate and reflect: Time can be your ally when you’re deciding on a course of action. Often the best ideas occur when you’re relaxed and doing something other than concentrating on the decision.
Bias, prejudice, and doubt influence decisions whether you realize it or not. Here are some suggestions to help you overcome the three:
- Doubt: Doubt simply signals that a hidden fear is getting in your way. Ask yourself, “What’s the worry?” When you put the fear out in the open, you often find that the doubts and worry lose their power over you.
- Bias and prejudice: Prejudice and bias create a blind side, and you need help from others who can point out what you can’t see. To minimize the chances that unseen bias and prejudice are influencing your choices, notice when you’re leaning toward one solution or perspective over another.