Add to this that an indecisive person is surrendering precious time, energy, and other resources by prolonging a decision whose outcomes could be the same—if not better—if they’d made a quick call. A 2014 Ketchum survey of over 6,500 workers only reinforces this point. The survey found that of all the traits that can help a leader or up-and-comer build credibility, the three skills that make the biggest impact are open communication, decisive action, and personal presence.
As you commit to being more decisive, you can take inspiration and direction from some of the powerful senior women leaders I’ve interviewed for Pushback and The Next Generation of Women Leaders. Practice these mind shifts—even a little—and you’ll lift your confidence as a decision maker:
- Insist on Balanced Thinking: Said Lori A. Greenawalt, partner at KPMG LLP, “I was sought out by a different company and given an attractive offer. I debated that offer back and forth for a while….I always consider, ‘If the best thing happens in this situation, where I am and how would I feel?’ Then I play the inverse: ‘What if someone else takes the new job (and risk) and the best thing happens to them? How would I feel about that?’ I let this sit for a period of time and I can usually come up with an answer that feels right.’’
- Embrace Imperfect Information: Recalled Carla Luccino, a member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service who’s worked across the Department of Defense, “I am always thinking back about what lessons learned I’ve gathered and how I could do things better. I make decisions by thinking through all possible outcomes and I try to avoid making the same mistake twice…. I often have to make quick decisions with 20 percent of the relevant information. If I take a risk and it doesn’t work out, I always try to learn from it.”
- Back Up Your Decision: Fizzah Jafri, COO Fixed Income Research and Economics at Morgan Stanley MS -1.07% noted, ‘‘I start [making a case] by getting a lot of data: costs, numbers, turnover; anything impacting the end decision. This tangible information makes you sound smart. If you think about it, it’s just like writing a paper in school. Your opinion matters, but only in the context of the research you’ve done.’’
- Be Inclusive: Says Maria Chandoha, President and CEO, Charles Schwab SCHW +1.08% Investment Management Inc. reflected, “I do ‘pre-socialization’ of my case. By talking to key stakeholders around the firm, I can uncover issues I might not be aware of. That way, by the time my case is presented, there’s not a lot of argument or opposition….There will always be some things you’re not conscious of and advisors can help with this.”
- Use Your Greatest GPS: Sheila Murphy, associate general counsel at MetLife MET -0.25% advises, ‘‘Be ready to give the facts, get buy-in, commit to your stand, and execute well….Much of what you think of as ‘your gut’ is experience you’ve built up over time. That experience allows you to make reliably good, quick decisions. Keep exposing yourself to varied experiences and your instincts will steer you the right way.’’
- Take More Responsibility: Irene Chang Britt, President of Pepperidge Farm and
SVP of Global Baking and Snacking at Campbell Soup Company notes, “Not that I would have listened, but I wish I’d known that it was okay to make mistakes earlier in my career….We have to know that we’re responsible for the results we create. We’re victors, not victims. A mind-set of personal responsibility is really important.’’
When faced with a tough decision, what’s helped you move forward confidently?
source: forbes.com by Selena Rezvani