When tough decisions must be made in the workplace it can be extremely beneficial to have a manager who has gained the experience of taking part in a leadership coaching program. These individuals have intentionally worked on their leadership development and attest to the change in mindset that was brought upon them while they focused on growing empathy and perspective throughout the program. But, sometimes even the best leaders need to be reminded of what they should and could be doing to better the way that they lead their teams through complex decisions and change.
The Process Must Have Structure
Making decisions when in a position of power is affected by a variety of external and internal factors that managers do not consider at times, and often this is simply because they don’t know what to look out for. To improve your decision-making processes as a manger, we’ve compiled a few small tips that make a dramatic difference.
Understanding the decision, who it should involve and what the implication of each resulting action will be is the most obvious but overlooked way to create a structured decision-making process. So many times, a team is set with a decision that they’re having a challenging time coming to an agreement on, and the question – what if we CAN’T decide? – looms. Instead of addressing the elephant in the room, management sweeps over the potential problem with a phrase like “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”. It’s important for leaders to avoid this practice, as leaving your team in the dark only fosters more anxiety and discomfort in them and their relationships with you.
Instead spend time explaining how the decision will be made to your employees before conversation starts so that they feel comfortable speaking up and making their voice heard. Not only will this boost confidence in them as individuals to share their ideas in future collaborative settings, but it will strengthen your connections to them. If those who are involved in making the decision aren’t fully equipped to address the decision from all angles, it’s more likely to influence the outcome.
Don’t Be a Victim to Confirmation Bias
When confronted with uncertainty, it’s understandable for us to turn to the opinions and thoughts of those around us for direction. It becomes an issue when we purposely ignore information presented to us that might go against what we believe, or when we seek out and confirm information that coincides with it.
Instead, make sure you give yourself the chance to think, and rethink your decision if it doesn’t feel right. If you’re set on a choice, consider the alternative anyway. Its important that we challenge our own assumptions and behavior, the same as we would anyone else’s.
Ask yourself, why is it that you’re leaning one way or another? Are you unknowingly thinking with bias? Would a change in mindset be more effective to make this decision?
As you question your own actions and the reasons behind them, make sure you challenge those involved as well. Are the actions and behaviors of your team swaying the decision in ways that it shouldn’t be? Remember – if you don’t look at it from every angle, how do you know that you made the right choice?
Increased Perspective Leads to Better Decisions
The final tip we’re bringing to you is one of general knowledge but is one of the most effective ways of improving your decision-making skills. To make a decision that is free of biased opinions (whether that be from you or your team) and unaffected by external factors, you must consider all perspectives.
Explain the ‘whys’ of the structure you’ve chosen for the decision and allow others to challenge you! Maybe they have a point of view that you have been unable to consider because of a knowledge gap. As a manager, if you want to improve your process of decision-making; you need to create more efficient lines of communication between you and your team to get all angles – and that starts with creating connections. Leadership coaching programs are there to ensure you make progress in good time.
How Can a Leadership Coaching Program Improve Decision-Making?
Think of a sales and marketing scenario where you aim to do what you can to find out what your customer likes, what they want or what they’re thinking but not telling you. We understand in situations where product is involved that it’s important to get multiple perspectives, so why can’t we apply this logic to our team? At the end of the day, perspective gives you that added insight into different mindsets that may never occur to you as useful.
Without building connections with your coworkers, you aren’t giving yourself the chance to get a variety of perspectives. And, without perspective your decisions will always be influenced by your own mindset and experience.
Understanding Your Leadership Circle Profile
At Epiphany, we understand the need for leaders of all ages to be well informed on what their strengths are in the office, and what they need to improve upon to be the best they can be for their teams. Included in a variety of our leadership coaching program opportunities is the chance to take your own Leadership Circle Profile assessment. This encourages an unfamiliar perspective of yourself and along with that – insight on what areas need improvement, and how to create change.
Visit our page to learn more about this ground-breaking tool.